I’m in a co-dependent relationship. With my dog.
Her name is Daisy; she’s a German Shepherd – Lab mix, and she’s awesome. And neurotic. We are truly two peas in a pod.
What do I mean by neurotic? Well, for starters, Daisy likes the idea of going outside, but she doesn’t like to feel as if she has to go outside or must remain outside. So, sometimes (normally after I’ve been gone for a while), she will only go outside if I either go out with her, or leave the back door open so she can come back in whenever she’s ready. If there’s a loud noise outside, forget it. She’s not going. If the noise continues for any length of time, she can be found in the bath tub hiding. When it is actually time to give her a bath, though, she puts up a big fight.
But, I think one of my favorite things about this crazy dog of mine is that when she farts, she looks around, like she’s trying to find someone else to blame it on.
(I know I sound crazy, talking about my dog like she’s a person. If you met her, you would understand. She’s basically a person. Or a cat. Sometimes, she’s a cat).
Daisy has always been my dog. I found her on Craigslist, brought her home when she was around 6 weeks old, and I have been her person ever since. She’s also always had some separation anxiety issues. She didn’t eat for about a week when she became the only dog in the house. She didn’t really do much of anything, honestly. Neither did I. Two peas.
In my former life, there were very strict rules about dogs on furniture. My first night alone, I put Daisy up on the bed with me. She has slept there ever since.
For a long time, the couch was still off-limits. And then I was sick this past Winter and spend the a few days laying on the couch. I looked at Daisy laying on the floor alone, looked at the couch half empty, and quite honestly thought, “Screw it; who am I trying to please here anyway?” and invited her up.
What is truly remarkable, though, is that as I’ve regained my sense of self and of enjoying life, Daisy has, too. She’s always had a personality, and she’s always been quirky, but I swear it is like she’s loving life more now, too. She’s more energetic and playful. She understands me when I talk to her and normally reacts to my voice and tone. And, she’s a girl, so she’s moody sometimes too. Two peas.
(Side note, if any guys are reading. I’m allowed to say girls are moody because I am one. You are pretty much never allowed to say that. If you say we’re moody when we aren’t, we will very logically explain to you why it’s not true. If you say we are moody when we ARE being moody, well, then we’ll show you what moody truly looks like. There’s no winning).
Back on track now. As silly as it sounds, my crazy dog illustrates a very important point – we are affected by what we are around. Daisy responds to my attitude and behavior. People are much more complicated, yes, but in a similar way, we absorb what we expose ourselves to, and when pressed, that’s what comes out. When we surround ourselves with complaining, negativity, discontentment, and selfishness, we absorb that and start acting that way ourselves. I know from experience. When we surround ourselves with encouragement, joy, contentment, and selflessness, we absorb that. Then those attributes come out. I know that from experience, too. I enjoy life a lot more the second way.
Right now, as I lay on the floor of my study typing, Daisy is laying beside me. We are both very content. I am thankful for the peace of this moment, and the lessons highlighted by my crazy dog. Two peas.