If you are reading this as a non-dog-owner or as the owner of a dog that isn’t horrified of literally everything, you may not understand the idea that I’m about to present. Allow me to set the stage a little bit for those of you that fall into the aforementioned categories.
I have a very large and stubborn dog. She won’t go anywhere she doesn’t want to go. She is a big weenie. If there’s a broom propped against the wall she won’t walk past it. She’s literally horrified of everything, as I mentioned earlier. When she gets scared her stomach becomes nervous and she can flatulate her way to a house or car free of humans. She’s been on only one car ride with my wife and I. I had to lift her into the car and if it hadn’t been for a random set of earplugs in the glove box that I was able to cram into my nostrils I’m sure I’d have driven off the highway and killed us all. For these reasons and despite the facts that I love my dog very much and would love to take her to town with us, she’s never been in our car since the day we picked her up. She is a stayin’ home kind of dog.
And there you have a set stage. A whole paragraph just to say “My dog don’t go nowhere.” I’ll now proceed with my thought as I cringe at the triple negative I just committed.
This morning I woke up at 5:30 A.M. and went to the well known 24 hour grocery and goods chain that every town seems to have. I had to get my daughter an apple for school. When I got home my dog greeted me at the door, tail wagging so wildly that her back half reminded me of a derailed train where the rear cars are off the tracks but still desperately trying to follow the locomotive. She sniffed excitedly at the small bag in my hand and looked up at me with, what seemed to me, an expression of wonder. I had an epiphany. I had a thought I’ve never had before.
Perhaps with the kids still in bed and nothing too stressful looming on my immediate horizon my brain was free to entertain more idle thoughts than it can after a day full of cares, but I realized that, to my dog who never leaves her own house or yard, I’m a mysterious adventurer who travels to realms she’s never dreamed of and returns with things that, sometimes, she’s never seen or smelled before.
That’s an interesting idea to have, but it is also depressing. All this time I thought she was excited to see me because she loves and missed me. Maybe this isn’t the case at all. Maybe she’s just excited to smell the exotic smells that hitchhike home on my clothes and exude from the bags of wonders I sometimes carry with me.
If you are a person who takes their dog with them everywhere and your dog still greets you enthusiastically when you get home from work, I think you can rest easy knowing it is truly you your dog is happy to see. For me, however, I must be content with the thought that my dog is in complete awe of me. Sadly, I’ll never be sure if me dog even loves me. But, to at least one mind in the universe I’m a superhero who travels to strange places and returns smelling of the unknown, sometimes with armloads of alien artifacts.
You’d think she’d be more apt to obey such an individual, but we can’t have everything, can we?
I bid you adieu…and a don’t.
Adieu…think before you take your dog anywhere. Ask yourself “Do I want to spend time with my friend or be a mysterious adventurer to him/her” It’s a tough choice if you have a dog that even allows you to make such a choice.
A don’t…let your status as dog hero go to your head. It’s possible that dogs greet us out of instinct and have no care at all for who we are and where we’ve been.