Spooning with a Pitbull


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OK– my bad…

I was going to blog regularly this year about the things that give me joy, as it’s the points of light in the day that keep us going but I’m not going to lie about it: it has been a rough few weeks. Sometimes life just hits you in the gut, and it takes all your energy and resources to remain standing and be there for family, friends… and dogs.

As some of you know, I started participating in the “sharing economy” by setting up a dog sitter profile on Rover. I did it partially on a whim, but I have been receiving many dogs now into our humble abode. Part of me did it because Teddy is 13 and geriatric dogs interact less, sleep a lot and push out the grossest farts. I had forgotten how much fun it is to have a young energetic dog in the house, and it has livened up our empty nest. I work from home fulltime and the dogs force me to get up from my desk and take them for a walk.

Also, Rover is/was my opportunity to “test drive” some breeds because I’m positive that once Teddy passes, we do want another dog but maybe not a doxie.

Speaking of breeds… like many people, I’ve been leery of pitbulls. Years ago, a good friend of mine was riding her horse in the woods in the Netherlands and out of nowhere a pitbull came charging and latched onto the horse’s chest and wouldn’t let go. The horse survived but was forever traumatized and would flip whenever it saw any dog after that, and well, we all read the occasional pitbull story in the news.

So… two weeks ago I had a meet & greet (the pre-intake to see if the guest dog is ok with the host dog) with what was described on the profile as a labrador/retriever and the dog is a mix but when it jumped out of the car I saw it had a clear pitbull face. The meet & greet went fine though, so I decided to cast aside my prejudices and listen to all the people who will tell you that pitbulls are the sweetest dogs.

If there’s anything that this dog business has taught me it is that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Weeks ago I had a meet & greet with the weirdest little mutt I had ever seen but he was Mr. Magic — so sweet, funny and endearing that I was ready to “dognap” him by the end of his stay. Note to self: never foster any dogs, because I’d adopt them all and would become the crazy dog lady in the hood.

Here are some pics of the guy I’m talking about:

Anyhow, when Mr. Pitbull arrived in the house I was wondering how things would evolve but after spending one hour with him, I could tell he was mega smart, sweet and reliable.

But then Jon walked into the house and the dog started barking with one of those really loud, growling barks. I was doing something in the other room, so I told him:

“He’s very friendly– just stick your hand out…”

And Jon screamed back from the kitchen: “I ain’t sticking my hand out to a fucking pitbull.”

“There’s only a little pitbull in him…” I said, but Jon wouldn’t buy it, although now he loves him to pieces as well.

What can I say? These dogs have actually been my savior in the last few weeks. When a certain darkness would grab hold of me in a vortex of dreary thoughts, Mr. Magic would curl up in my lap or Mr. Pitbull would put his big square face on my knee to remind me that life is filled with love if you open your heart to those (read: dogs, lol) around you.

Mr. Pitbull is my steady companion now– the moment I get up from my desk, he darts out of his bed and is by my side. Also, Teddy never comes when you call him (except when you yell the word cheese) but this dog comes running when you say his name once. Funny as it may sound but it gives you a sense of control, and therewith a glimmering realization and hope that maybe in life you can control things too, if only for a split second.

Last night I was pissed about something and withdrawing to the bedroom with the dogs, I turned on the news. Now the news these days is sure to get you down, so I lay down on my bed and invited Mr. Pitbull. I curled up beside him and thought for a moment: wtf, I’m spooning with a pitbull…

It was therapeutic. Life is good, but dogs are better.

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