Nov 21, 2009

Man's Best Friend

I'm 25 years old. During my life, I have had a few pets, mainly cats and dogs. Cats are all cool and stuff, but dogs seem to be a little more intelligent. They come to you when you call them. They do tricks, they make you laugh, they make you yell at them, but they all seem to have their own personality. Maybe it's just my dogs, but I've noticed that they can sense your mood at the time and react accordingly. If you're happy, they will run circles around the house, chew on stuff, cause any mischeif they can, and all is right in the world. When you are sad, they tone it down, snuggle up next to you, and give you the puppy dog face that tells you, even though they can't talk, that "everything will be OK."

As weird as it may sound, I conisder my pets on the same level as I would another sibling, or even a child. One of our dogs, Joey, died last year of cancer. I really don't deal with death very well on any level, but this was a total kick straight in the balls. The night she died, I remember laying in my bed, and thinking to myself that I was really upset about it, and that I was thinking of how this upsetted me, and how I wouldnt be as upset about this if I was told that some "acquaintance" of mine, a real person, had passed away. In other words, if someone told me that Person XYZ that was a friend of a friend that I knew died, I would be impacted by it, but telling me that one of my dogs died would completely trump that feeling. Maybe it's just the strong connection you have with animals. Maybe its the fact that you spend a lot of time with them on a daily basis. Maybe its the look they give you, good or bad, that everything will be okay.

I would classify my little doggy, Mr. Bo Jangles, as one of my "kids." He's over two years old, and during his reign of terror thus far he has endured a variety of health issues, including blowing out his knee (which required reconstructive surgery), his tail grows inside his ass which would involve a spinal tap-esque surgery if we wanted to correct it, and he has seizures, at least once a week. They used to be on a more frequent basis, but after a new medication, it has seemed to be tamed down to once a week. Regardless, I hold my breath everytime I come home from work and hope to God that he's sitting there waiting to pounce on me, than dead, laying in the corner of the house. I've spent the last year trying to narrow down what could be causing the seizures. Was it spending the weekend with my mom and dad? Was it the piece of cheese I gave him the other day? Was it the fact that I only hung out with him for 3 hours a night instead of 6? Lately, he has had his seizures on Saturdays. Is it possible that perhaps the screaming and yelling I have done at the tv upsets him and causes him to freak out? I'm not really sure.

Last weekend, Michigan played Wisconsin at 12:00pm EST. I woke up at about 11:45am and plopped down on the couch to watch the game. At about 11:57, I wondered where Bo was, because normally he follows me around wherever I go. At 11:59am, I heard his paws clawwing accross my bedroom floor as he sprinted towards where I was sitting. In his mouth he carried his littlle Michigan sweatshirt that he always wears when it is cold, but especially on Saturdays during college football season. So here it is, 11:59, right before kickoff, and here comes my dog running at me, with his own little jersey in his mouth, begging me to put it on him. Excellent.

Earlier today, I watched the OSU v U-M game. For the first two quarters, Bo paced around the house. Pissed off maybe? Nervous? Anxious? Who knows. As soon as halftime kicked in, and Michigan was down 14-3, Bo disappeared into my office. I walked in there, and saw that he had just threw up. He looked up at me, with a big line of drool hanging out of his mouth. Does he really know how I feel at this point, and basically did what I felt like doing? I cleaned his chin up and brought him in the living room for the second half. He slept the entire third quarter. I put his Michigan sweater back on him for the 4th quarter, since I had previously ripped it off him to take him outside to shit. Something inside me told me that maybe by putting this on him, it would be just what we needed to win the game. The 4th came to an end, and Michigan lost. I sat on my couch, trying to figure out what I was actually thinking, and what I might write for my blog. Do I turn my cell phone on? No. Turn I check my email or facebook wall? Nope. Just then, Bo comes up to me, puts his front legs on my shoulders, and gives me the big deep lick kisses that a dog only does when he knows you're feeling down.

As pist off as I was about the game, I was happy that I had my little doggy sitting there with me, cheering me on, and showing compassion for someone that I didnt know was capable of showing compassion. He's been through a lot, and despite all the screaming and yelling I did this afternoon, I'm happy that he didnt have a seizure. For me, it was kind of a wake up call that despite everything going on, football is just a game. Win or lose, I'm satisfied with having Mr. Bo sitting on my lap, happy, with his little Michigan sweatshirt on.