This is probably the weirdest blog post I will ever write but it’s a true love story, so I will go ahead and share.
A little bit of back story on my childhood with pets. When my mom married my stepdad, I was in 2nd grade and he already had a cat. The cat’s name was Shadow and he was really more like a dog and probably the only cat I will ever truly love. I also had a hamster in high school that I kept a secret from my mom because I wasn’t allowed to have pets. The hamster had a sad ending to his life which was a result of my carelessness, but it scarred me from getting a pet ever since.
My whole life I have wanted a dog. My friends always had them and I have showered their dogs with love. I loved my friend’s dogs soo much I often worried that if I ever got one of my own I wouldn’t like it as much as their dogs. What if it wasn’t as sweet, caring, or cool as the dogs I already knew?
The hamster thing also haunted me. A dog is a big responsibility! Could I financially handle it? Could I handle having another life in my hands? I was truly embarrassed that this reason was a strong ultimatum of why I hadn’t gotten a dog. I mean, if I had it my way I would be a mom by now, but I can’t even handle having a dog? What is wrong with me? I literally waited in line for hours to get into the puppy rescue on several occasions just to panic, hand back the puppy, and leave without a companion. I cried all the way home both times this happened because I wanted a dog but couldn’t pull the trigger. What the heck?
The other side to my story is one of anxiety. This might be part of the reason I panicked about the dogs when it came time to make the adoption. Mix that with a little bit of depression and you get a person that is incredibly indecisive. I just couldn’t handle making that big life decision. Even though it probably would have been an answer to feeling some of these feels!
So this past year, after some lonely months of quarantining during COVID, I decided to move in with my cousin. She and I had talked about it several times but after 8 years living alone, and 8 months of hardly any real contact with people, I decided it wouldn’t be so bad. I traded the weirdly changing city life in Capital Hill for a suburb in the “country” for some peace and quiet with great company. This year changed things for a lot of people, and I know I am not the only one who made some weird life changes because of COVID.
With that came a slew of new roommates. My cousin and her husband, their two children, and Bailey and Bruce. While I love ALL of my roommates dearly and will cherish my time here and the memories made, I love two of my roommates the most… Bruce and Bailey. How could I not? They are the furriest in the house, they give me unlimited kisses and they hang on to my every move. Who doesn’t want that kind of attention?
Bailey is cute and little and I love to dress him in different regal-looking sweaters like he owns the cover of doggie GQ, but Bruce is my main pooch. He is truly my best friend. And finally, after all these years, I get why people love their pups so much and why is worth the sacrifice of freedom that comes with owning a dog. You don’t want that freedom when you have a loving little creature to come home to. Instead, you want to bring them everywhere you go! Though Bruce is borrowed, he is a part of my family and has changed my outlook on owning a dog. He has taken all the fears away and has honestly changed my life a little bit.
I know far too many people who have struggled with depression and mental illness, especially in the time of COVID and I truly feel like Bruce has been a healer for me. Dogs love unconditionally. No matter what. They are there to greet you, to cuddle you, and to play with you at all times. They never stop loving. They never judge or resent you. I truly feel like I am a part of the case studies that prove dogs are good for mental health.
So this year I am dedicating my Valentine’s Day post to Bruce. Many of you won’t be surprised. A lot of you call me obsessed. And well… I am. This girl needed a little extra love in her life and Bruce stepped up to the plate. He makes me feel happy as a dog step-mama. He always cheers me up. He lets me baby him. He helps me from feeling lonely. And well… I just love him!
So Happy Valentine’s day. Hugs and love for anyone feeling lonely. Bruce and Bailey, my self-appointed Valentine’s, are sending you our love on this heart-filled holiday. If you have been thinking about adopting a pup or adding a furry friend to your family, I highly recommend it. There are so many dogs out there that need good homes and there is no better medicine for some heart-healing as a human than a little puppy love.
Colorado adoption organizations:
Mile High Canine Rescue, MaxFund, Animal Rescue of the Rockies, Bounce Animal Rescue, Aurora Animal Shelter, Denver Animal Shelter, Adams County Animal Services, Dumb Friends League, Colorado Puppy Rescue, LifeLine Puppy Rescue, Colorado Canine Adoption Network, Mountain Pet Rescue, Big Bones Canine Rescue, Brighter Days Dog Rescue, Low Riders of the West Small Dog Rescue, 2 Blondes All Breed Rescue