I believe that love is a four legged word. Dogs have been a part of my life since the day was born. Growing up, I had two dogs — a beagle named Carla, and a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Maggie.
I’ve written about Maggie when she died last year. Losing Maggie was devastating for me. Since I had gotten her when I was 10, she practically grew up with me. I mean, she was there during my wannabe goth stage.
Since last November (about a month after Maggie died), I wanted to get another dog. It felt like a huge part of my life was missing. While I knew that Maggie truly could never have been replaced, I wanted another furry friend to keep me company. My mom said no, because she wanted to wait until next spring to find a dog, so we did. That is, until my mom passed away in February.
During the first few months after my mom’s death, there was one thing that always seemed to make everything better — visiting my boyfriend’s dogs, Maya and Nala. Dogs have an incredible way of detecting sadness, and they were truly no different. After a while, I began to want one of my own.
One weekend in September, my boyfriend drove me to the animal shelter to look at a few beagles. I liked beagles because they were both small, and because of Charlie Brown. At the shelter, there were two dogs I was looking at — Abby and Freckles.
When we got to the shelter, I told the volunteers I was looking at both animals and wanted to meet them. They told me that Abby had separation anxiety, and recommended Freckles. When she was brought out, she ran right up to me, and jumped on me. My boyfriend and I took her for a walk, and she was somehow obeying me on the lease already. I loved her — and after she had calmed down, she began to cuddle up to me.
So, I decided to put in an application for her.
A week later, she came home with me.
It took us both a little bit of adjusting at first. The biggest was getting used to having to walk a dog pretty regularly since Maggie used to sleep on the couch 90 percent of the time.
All things considered, Lucy has become my best friend. For the first time in a while, I look forward to coming home, just because she’s there waiting for me. On bad days, she is there with puppy kisses. At night, she snuggles up to me and sleeps. And, in the morning, we are always walking around the neighborhood. She makes me laugh when she runs around the house showing off her favorite toys.
Furthermore, she is loved by everyone that comes in her path. My boyfriend considers her to be his own dog, and the three of us spend every weekend together. He also helps me out with her whenever I have to work late — something that she loves. She has met my father’s dogs and bonded with them as well.
I can not truly explain the depth of the relationship between a dog and their human. But, I can say that having a dog has changed my life for the better. Many — including my own mother — have said that dogs are better than humans. Because, during their short lives, they are the most incredible beings. They are empathetic and loyal — and not to mention just downright cute. Not many human beings have that combination, which is why she brings me so much joy. Lucy never took away the grief I am dealing with, but she brings some happiness back to my life.
As I write this, Lucy is running around the house with her ball and bones. Yes, I said bones. I make sure that she has more than enough toys. In our case, it was truly an instance of who rescued who. Which is why bringing her home is one of the best things I had ever done.