Recently I was at a friend's house and as it got later in the evening, and we decided to play some games, another guest who was there was asked if she wanted to join in as well. Her response was, "no, I really need to get going. With Lupe's needs, I just ca't be gone for hours at a time."
Lupe is her Bichon Frise.
After she said that, she looked at me and said, "well you understand I'm sure."
I know that dogs are supposed to be able to be left alone- they aren't babies, they are animals. But there has not been one day since I became a bulldog mom that I have not planned my day with Olivia (and now Griffin too) in mind. Dogs are incredibly social and need to be with people. They get sad where they are alone too long.
Does that make me a "crazy dog lady"? Maybe. But anyone who makes that claim has never had a dog.
Last week was difficult for me as I planned a memorial service for a young man who has been on my summer staff for the past two years who died tragically in a car accident. For days, I'd been numb, focused on talking with staff and families and working out details. But as I sat on my couch, one dog on each side, typing away, the sadness came all at once and I burst into tears. Not quiet crying, but wailing sobs.
My normally very needy, demanding dogs watched me for a minute and then Olivia climbed onto my lap and rested her head on my shoulder, while Griffin snuggled in next to me, wrapping his body around me and leaning his head on my lap. They sat quietly embracing me as I sobbed into them and held onto them. They seemed to genuinely understand pain and offer compassion.
Again, "crazy dog lady"?
Dogs have the ability to feel, to comprehend, to communicate. I feel sorry for anyone who disagrees, because it means they haven't experienced that connection. And if they want to call me a crazy dog lady, I'm okay with that.