Thursday, May 12, 2016

Midas and Me: On becoming a Dog Person

Don't let the photo fool you. I have never been much of a Dog Person. My family had enough of them. Them meaning dogs and Dog People both.  My parents have always had a dog or two - very well behaved dogs I might add. My siblings have usually had a pair a piece as well. When we had been married just a few months, my husband decided it was time for a dog. I always knew I wanted my kids to grow up with a dog, so I guess that meant we had to get one. I wasn’t really ready for the responsibility, but he was so we took the plunge.

I was rather neutral on the subject for most of our time together.  Our meaning the dog and I. I have never been neutral with my husband. Flint, as we named him, was a great dog. Like amazingly awesome. A full-bred Black Lab, he lived for the tennis ball, the water, and the family. That was really it. He was smart and well trained and loveable. After more than a dozen years we had to say goodbye and it broke my husband’s heart. You can read that sad story here.   

Now remember me saying that I wanted the kids to grow up with a dog… well here we were with four kids (aged baby to tween) and no dog.  So of course we had to get another one. It wasn’t just that the kids were begging for one, it was that I really think dogs add something special to a family. I wasn’t sure why, because, again, not a Dog Person, but I just knew we needed to move towards getting another one.  A year passed.  My husband wasn’t ready. Another year began and I decided it was time.

Everyone told me I was going to be the one doing every thing- feeding, walking, poop-scooping, whatever. It was all going to fall on me.  And they were mostly right. 

My husband said ‘he won’t be as awesome as Flint because Flint was the perfect dog”, and he was sort of right too. Flint was our dog – his and mine.  We raised him and brought him through puppy hood before we had kids.  We practiced our parenting on him.

But now we are parents, in the most active parts of parenting, and we have this dog. This huge puppy.  And it is different. Midas is my dog.  He isn’t my kid’s dog, he isn’t my husband’s dog, he isn’t our family dog.  He is mine. I don't know how it happened that way, but it did. And that is okay. We mostly have shared responsibilities for the daily stuff.  But I am the one whose heart he has captured. 

From the first moments when he crawled into my lap, to the moments now when he just quietly follows me from room to room while I go about the tasks of motherhood, he is mine.  And I am his.  He is the one to greet me when I come home to a quiet house after dropping the kids at school.  He is the one to follow me into the bedroom at night.  He has learned where he can lay and watch me cook, and when he needs to go to his own spot. I know that in the years to come he will be a source of comfort and companionship. When the kids leave home for college, Midas will very likely still be there, at home, waiting for me.  He won’t move on to cooler, better, more grown up things. I will always be enough for him.

Although he is another mouth to feed and he adds tasks to my schedule, he is never a source of guilt.  Midas is happy, truly happy with what ever I have to give. And I have to admit it is kind of nice being able to escape the chaos of the house a few days a week for a really long walk with Midas. As a mom, I of course feel like I am never able to do enough or be enough, and yet looking at him I see unconditional love. What ever I have to give is enough.    And that is pretty cool. 

So to all you dog lovers out there – I get it now. I am not sure I am ready to dub myself a Dog Person, but Midas is working on me a little at a time.  

Thanks for stopping by!  
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