To preface this story, I want to tell you how I spent my last couple of days.
Got puked on. Poked at our oldest dog’s belly, asking “are you bloated?” more times than I can count. Asked like I was asking a question that would actually receive an answer. Looked at more poop in the past three days than I have my entire life. Squinted and tilted my head, trying to examine her so many times that I have no idea what our dog ever looked like before this past weekend.
Dressed in head to toe snow gear to go look at even more poop. Spent more time on google than I have in the past six months. Convinced myself she had cancer. No GDV. No wait, pancreatitis. Nope, none of the above. Looked at her gums while she tried to swat me away. Googled more and decided I hated the internet. Argued with myself. Argued with Google. Argued with my husband. Argued with anything that stood in the way of me knowing what was wrong with her (AKA: everything.)
Second guessed every single decision I have ever made yet kept telling myself to trust my gut. Finally did. Moved on with a semi-normal life and pretended like the last couple of days didn’t exist.
TMI? Maybe. But at least all you had to do was read about it.
This is real life. My real life, in fact. And probably a very real life for many other pet owners.
And it’s not always pretty.
It’s actually quite disgusting at times.
And it does a number on my stress levels.
It makes me question if I can handle owning pets sometimes. Not because they are hard to care for or because they eat our pedometers when we go to see a movie. But because of how much it hurts to see them struggle. And how much I $@#!ing hate how they can’t just tell me what’s wrong or even if something is wrong or even if maybe I’m just crazy.
Heart on your sleeve doesn’t even begin to describe me. I’m a ticking time bomb of emotions that’s ready to go off every time I take a breath. And sure, it allows me to empathize with people. And I can’t fake my feelings. And I can love deeper than the Mariana Trench. And all those other positive beauties that have allowed me to accept myself over the years.
But if you want to give my soul a major ass kicking, just talk to my pets. And urge them to make me think something may be wrong with them. I will rarely feel as vulnerable as I do then.
It sounds easier to just not have pets some days, but I don’t know what I would do without the slobbery kisses and the blanket invasions when they want under the covers. The tail-chasing merry-go-round that occurs daily in our living room or the crushing blow of a dog into my shins when chasing a toy. The collapse of our oldest pup onto our laps to ensure that we indeed notice her need to have her belly rubbed or the unknown purpose of owning a sectional when everyone lays on top of me no matter where I sit.
I can’t imagine not having those.
Those moments get me through the toughest of days and especially the grossest of days. So even when I feel that twinge of jealousy over the couples that take off on a vacation without setting up pet sitters, whispering how much you’ll miss their pudgy little slobbery faces while you’re gone – I remind myself of those moments when I’m doubled over laugh-crying over how ridiculous our pets are.
And even though this past weekend was hard, she seems good now. She’s sleeping soundly right next to me, snoring like she does every other day. She may be older so we may never really truly be in the clear, but that door-rattling snore that reaches the volume of my husband’s snoring is a good enough sign for me.