Dogs—man’s best friend. Woman’s best friend, too. Dogs secretly run the world, because with one look, they can melt your heart and thus you have sold your soul.
The first dog I sold my soul to was a German Shepard cross Collie named Sam. My dad saved him from the pound as a puppy. My mum was not impressed—they hadn’t talked about getting a puppy, and all of a sudden he had brought one home.
By the time I came along, though, Sam was a permanent fixture in our family unit.It wasn’t without strife, though. Sam was troublesome and very cheeky. He ran away many times. Once, he was gone longer than usual and my parents started losing hope of finding him. I think he was gone about two weeks or so.
After looking high and low for Sam, and losing hope, they finally found him at the house next door being fed like a king. The neighbours sure where he had come from, and Sam had decided to stay til the food ran out.
Sam was in our family until I was about eleven years old. He was one of my best friends … and always up for a cuddle.He was my introduction to the selflessness and warmth of a dog’s nature and I love him for that.
Since Sam, we have had two other dogs—first Rusty, a mini fox terrier, and then Max, a Jack Russell. The first, the smartest dog I have ever met, the latter, the dumbest. Both I have loved with all my being.
The thing I love so much about dogs is their selflessness and their devotion. They love their owners more than they love anything and they will do everything in order to make their owner happy. They will cuddle, they will play, they follow instruction—they bring light to your life. Not to mention, they are as cute as hell.
As soon as I see a puppy, my brain turns to mush. As soon as I see a dog, in general, my brain turns to mush. Everyone else—all the people that I don’t understand—become blips on my radar.
Rusty, my little mini fox terrier was the best at doing this. He was the apple of my eye (to sound like a cliché). My parents got him for me as my own dog but, really, he was a family dog. He was so patient with me. He let me dress him up in doll’s clothes, he let me hug him ‘til it felt like my arms would drop off, and whenever I felt inconsolable and the tears wouldn’t stop flowing, he would jump on my lap and let me know that he loved me.
At a young age, Rusty lost his sight. He had an eye condition that, apparently, is common in young dogs where the lenses in his eyes detached and were pushing against his retinas. It probably was as painful as it sounds. First his left eye went and then a few months later, his other one. Both required extensive surgery which unfortunately resulted in him becoming blind.
Rusty had a passion for soccer. He loved pushing a basketball around the garden. With full sight, he pushed the ball around the garden all day, and would crash in his bed late afternoon where he would snore his head off.
The thing that had me worried after his surgeries, was that he would lose his ability to play soccer. But, incredibly, he seemed to have a blueprint of the house and garden imprinted into his brain—only running into things that had changed position or were new on the floor. He played soccer fearlessly, though I supervised him like an overly cautious mother. He learnt the word “careful” meant that he was heading full-pelt into something that was likely to fracture his skull if he didn’t slow down and divert his path.
Rusty, an old man, left us last year. I miss him every day.
Bad things happen in threes … apparently.
That’s what they say … anyway.
There’s no saying like that for good things … that I know of …
You know those days where it seems like nothing is going your way? I’ve had one of those.
First, on the way to work, I spilt scorching coffee down my white blouse.
Then my train was late which made me very late for work.
Next, the in-tray on my desk started to overflow with documents I had to file and read and sign and edit. I just couldn’t keep up.
And finally, to top things all off, my boyfriend left a message on my answering service—something along the lines of “I met a leggy blonde twenty-something, so long”. Ass.
I want to hop into bed with a bottle of red, three bags of popcorn and all six seasons of Sex and the City. I should bury my phone in the bottom of my dirty washing basket.
As soon as I opened the front door, Charlie came bolting at me.
‘Hey, Buddy!’ I leant down and gently petted his head.
He smiled at me like I was the best part of his day. His devotion and the crappy, stressful day all of a sudden overwhelmed me and tears began streaming down my face.
Charlie immediately jumped up on his hind legs, trying desperately to erase the tears threatening to rain on him.
I laughed through my tears and ruffled his ears.
‘Thanks, bud. I can always rely on you.’