At eight-thirty this morning, Buddy let out a bark waking me up. I thought someone was at the door so we went downstairs. No one was here, so I figured he heard a car door. I let the dogs out, fed the rats and climbed back into bed after taking some allergy medicine. As I lay there waiting for the medicine to kick in, I thought about Buddy and how I wanted to do the thing that I am desperately trying to avoid: Buddy and I becoming each other’s world.
It would be easy, you know. It would be easy to close my way away from the world and allow him to become my protector and the barrier that stands between me and the outside world. It would be easy. People rarely come to see me. One bark or snarl from Buddy and no one would ever come to my house again. I’d be alone and I would love it.
Then reality hit me and I shook myself of that Melancholy moment. Buddy isn’t my barrier, he is my connection to the outside world, proven over and over again every time I take him out for a walk. People find him fascinating, beautiful even. It’s difficult not to be drawn to him. I mean, he’s so fluffy!
This evening on our walk I talked to two families. One family at the park. They’d had Chows in the past and they loved their Chows. They fell in love with him. We talked for several minutes too, exchanging stories, names, and just connecting. If I had been walking by myself, I would have never thought twice about talking to these people and vice versa.
Also, on our way home, I ran into one of my neighbors down the street who had helped me look for Buddy the day he ran off. She petted on him, loved him, hugged him, and Buddy lapped it all up. He wanted to play with the two young men that came to the house. She and I talked about our dogs and how much we love them. Had it not been for Buddy, I would have never spoken to this lady; maybe waved and called a friendly greeting, but never stand in the front yard and chat like old friends.
Dogs have that affect on people. They turn strangers into friends. They provide common ground.
To think, had I decided to go through with the whole isolation thing, I would have never made the connections I made today. I may never see these people again, but for a few moments I talked to people without fear of if I was going to offend them. All I had to do was talk about my dog and how much he means to me and listen to people talk about their dogs and how much they mean to them. Pets truly are therapy.
No, I’m not going to become a hermit. It wouldn’t be fair to Buddy, other people, or even me. Also, what if I decide I didn’t want to be a hermit anymore. If I train Buddy to be that barrier, it would take even longer to undo what I had done. Buddy doesn’t deserve that. He deserves to be a ambassador for his breed and not be another statistic. I want people to say “Wow, I always heard Chows were mean, but he isn’t!” I want to tell them how I was afraid of Chows before I got him and for the first couple days I was even afraid of him. I want people to realize that it is all in how the dog is raised. Just because he’s a Chow doesn’t mean that being aggressive is his fate. I am the person who determines his personality, not his breed.
I won’t give into the temptation of turning him into a barrier.
Until next time, keep connecting with others.