She is a month younger than our marriage. Our first "big" decision made as husband and wife.
She was our "tester" - our "if the dog's still alive in 5 years, we'll consider having children." (Sadly, this was a serious statement - I'd never had anything survive that couldn't take care of itself - plants, fish, even my high school pet hamster (poor thing starved to death because I forgot to feed it)). I figured if the dog could survive, I could handle something that could make it's needs known.
She isn't our first pet. That was Pumpkin. But she is my first dog ever.
And I had no idea. No idea that those big brown eyes would steal a piece of my heart and with one wag of a tail that same piece of my heart would never belong to me again.
She's not perfect - friendly is not typically a word used to describe her, at least not until you've gotten to know her well.
She's smart. And an amazing judge of character. And a great big sister. And an amazing guard dog. And a good newspaper fetcher (yes, she will go get the Sunday paper from the porch - when it was put on our driveway, she would go get it from there too).
But in the past two years, she has been my support group. More tears have been dried by this dog's fur than I can even count. More snuggles given and hugs received (yes, she gives hugs too) amidst a broken heart than I can remember.
It is Kali who taught me to love outside myself. It is Kali who taught me to put something else's needs before my own. It is Kali who gave me the confidence to think I might actually make a good mother some day.
She has a sense about her. She knows when I am sad, sometimes before I do. She knows when I just need her to rest her head on my lap and stay close. She knows when it's hard to get out of bed and loves to cuddle until I'm ready. She knows when a few chases of her favorite toy - a football (surprised?) - is just what I need to find a smile again.
She was supposed to be The Man's dog. He'll tell you all about how I stole her from him.
But really, I think she was supposed to be my dog all along. She "gets" me. And she's expanded my heart to places I didn't know existed.
No, she's not a baby. She is a dog.
But she is mine. And without her, the fact that there is no baby would be completely and totally unbearable.
Posted by Rebecca