Friday, August 11, 2017

Haiku For My Dog

Barker at the dawn;
Thief of snacks and foul tissues;
Soft brown eyes meet mine.

His name is Orbit, and he is five years old today. I didn't think we were ready for a dog. We were busy people with two young children and two dog-averse cats. We both worked and we traveled a lot. But my daughter talked us into it. "When will I ever get a dog?" she sobbed. And in my heart I wondered what sort of a veterinarian did not have a dog.

As intended, Orbit was my daughter's dog. She loved him so much. She brushed him and fed him and helped train him and walked him at least some of the time. But then in almost imperceptible increments this changed. Did the novelty slowly wear off for her, as everyone said it would? Did he grow on me in soft stealthy steps, as everyone said he would? Yes, both I think. My daughter still loves him, of course, but I love now too, fiercely even. I brush him and feed him and walk him and spend a ridiculous portion of the commute home looking forward to his greeting. And the hilarious thing is that he isn't even objectively "a good dog". He's actually a bit of an idiot. But he is a lovable idiot and, naive as I know it is, I manage to believe that his heart is pure. And this is really all that matters.

So when I enter an exam room and see a dog sitting beside their human companion I now have a more personal and immediate sense of what can pass between them.

Thank you for this Orbit. And for those greetings and dawn walks and everything else. Happy birthday.

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