Monday, September 17, 2007


(Reflections on the Lake)

I lost my temper tonight.

Maybe I'm just too attached to my dog. Maybe I'm too concerned about what he's thinking and feeling, but when you have no kids of your own and you want them, when there's so little else that brings you both peace and satisfaction, you tend to dote on your pets. And after everything Duncan and I have been through together, tending to each other, nurturing one another, healing each other, I don't think I could be blamed.

Fine, I'm a dog doter. There, it's out.

I work so hard at taking care of him. I bought a house because I though he needed a yard. I didn't need a house. I didn't consider buying one until that puppy was running around and I thought, "I need to do everything to make this little guy happy." I went into debt (I can't name a friend I don't owe money to because of his Christmas surprise last year), I sacrifice my time and social life to him. I feel guilty if he doesn't get the attention he needs. I do everything within my power to make this ungrateful dog happy and he's not appreciating it, dammit.

Lately, on our walks, he's bright and exuberant and happy, but the moment I turn toward home, he becomes sullen and starts dragging his feet. His head hangs low and he becomes quite pathetic. He stops obeying me when we cross the street–as if getting struck by a car, or getting me struck by a car, is a viable option to returning to #613. What is so bad about this apartment. Part of the reason we picked it was because it was so big, had so much more light, and was so close to the park. Once again, we were thinking about Duncan. So the least he can is not make me feel terrible when I've had enough of the walk, when all I want to do is sit down, not deal with people, not care about anything else. I spend the rest of my day tending to the piddliest people and their petty complaints at Arapahoe Community College. I walk him and play with him and throw the ball and wrestle and cuddle and feed and walk him again. Have I spoiled him?

Should I just strangle him and start over?

Perhaps our walks have become too much about me. They are my Zen moment but I do spend a lot of time thinking about other things, looking for pictures to take, wishing someone else was there to take the reins and let me just walk and enjoy the night.

And I still wish he had a yard that I could let him loose in.

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