Tail of Love:
Every day, I receive mail from many wonderful women, telling me how awesome my life must be. While I am grateful that the Universe has been gracious to me, the truth is, my life is far from perfect.
There was a time when I was caught in the cusp of a crippling sadness that I almost gave up. My salvation came in the form of a little furball just over a foot tall – my dog.
When I was younger, I brought a yellow light with me wherever I went. I always radiated with energy. I was a social butterfly. The life of the party. You’d always know whenever I’m around because you’d hear my laughter from a hundred-mile radius.
As I grew older, however, things started to change in my life. Personal problems began to surface. I started to wonder whether I was cut out for my career at that time. I drifted far from my close friends. Living alone started to feel utterly lonely.
I started calling a rain check on every social invitation that came my way. I lost interest in the things I used to enjoy doing. I always felt so tired, which was the perfect excuse to flake out. Some days, the fatigue was so bad that I’d fall asleep in the middle of my tasks. But it was not the kind of sleep that rejuvenates the body. It was a disturbed, shallow semblance of sleep that only left me drained in the morning.
For days, I’d refuse to talk to people. I wouldn’t get out of my room. I’d refuse to eat. I would only lie in my bed, alternately sleeping or crying.
In my “hibernation,” I made plenty of unwise decisions. I stopped going to work.
And I decided I wanted a dog. So I went to adopt one.
Our Adoption Journey
I went on Facebook, and as fate would have it, a friend sent a message at the same moment I went online. “Toffee just gave birth. Want a pup?” The popup notification read. Toffee is my friend’s two-year-old mommy dog that I loved dearly.
I have always wanted a dog, but I couldn’t commit to one because I worked long hours. However, I knew that If I ever got myself a dog, I want it to be just like Toffee. Small and perfectly furry, amazing and extremely sweet.
I said yes, and arranged to pick little Churro on the same day.
That was the first time I hauled myself out of bed in almost a week.
The 360-Degree Turn
It was a spur of the moment decision, but it turned out to be the best I have made by far.
I was raised by a dog-loving family, but Churro was the first dog I owned on my own. Just a few weeks after having my first “baby,” my life started to change.
I gained a sense of direction. I started to go out again, even if it was just to bring Churro to the vet or to shop for puppy food. Truth be told, the sadness did not go away immediately; but I had a reason to pull myself out of bed every day. I began to understand that I am now responsible for another life, so I kept my act together.
In the morning, I would spend a few minutes in silence. Then, I’d go out of bed so I can play with Churro, feed him and give him a bath (he loves playing with water!), and clean the house. With a “kid” who persistently “guarded” me, even as I showered, I started to feel less sad and less alone.
I traced the bottom of the pit I was in. I identified the things that made me sad, and moved to change my situation. I severed ties with toxic people.
I formally left the job that depleted me. I gained enough motivation to eventually start blogging, as well as do many other things I have always wanted to do. I focused on my passion, which was interior design.
It’s funny now, but I wanted to work hard to give my “child” a good life.
Sometimes, as I watched my fur baby bark softly in his sleep, I’d wonder how it’s possible to love something so much. I’d wonder how it’s possible for dogs to love humans so much. For dogs, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been gone five minutes or five days: they’re always so glad to see you! My dog’s love is so pure that it pulled me out of the ditch that consumed me.
As I woke up to wet nose kisses and furry paws, I felt happy I held on. My dog taught me that the Universe has its own, surprising way of shifting plates into their proper places.
Are You Ready to Have Your Own Fur Baby?
As I always say on my blog, there is no practical reason to own a dog. Pet dogs are a lot of work; they always need care, they fight for your attention, and they always seem to crave for affection. Owning a dog also isn’t exactly cost-effective. Between veterinary visits, vitamins, dog food, dog shampoo, and dog clothes, your monthly paycheck will take a beating.
You don’t get a salary for being a fur mommy. You don’t get a rebate or any material reward. Instead, you get unconditional love, punctuated by wet nose boops, wagging tails, and hilarious antics. You get a home that’s full of genuine love and happiness, and a constant companion through life’s ups and downs.
But planning is also important for aspiring fur mommies. I got away with my sudden decision to adopt because I have always loved dogs. I grew up in a home full of dogs, and I have always known I was ready, financially and physically.
Before you get a dog or give a puppy to someone as a gift (which I am somehow against), please ask yourself these questions: Am I ready for the responsibility? Am I ready financially? Is there enough space in my home for the dog? If you’re giving the puppy as a gift, is the receiver going to nurture the dog, even when it’s not a cute little pup anymore? Are they truly pet lovers, or do they only “want a cute pet”?
Taking care of a dog is pretty much like taking care of a human child. It’s a commitment you make every day. You’re ready for a fur baby only when you’re ready for all the responsibilities that come with being a fur mommy.