If you follow me on any social media outlet besides my blog, you know that being a dog owner has become a major part of my life over the past 8 months. I am aware that I dance the line of being a crazy dog lady, and now I just went and got another. But I figure it's time to talk about what having a dog has meant to me and how it has made me grow, maybe explaining some of the enthusiasm.
I got Lady on the day that I moved into my apartment in Norman. Even though I was only moving 30 minutes away, I had the foresight to know it'd feel a lot further. When you're single and an introvert, it is easy to become very inwardly focused. In the grand scheme of life's trade-offs, while my situation means freedom, it also can become a petri dish for selfishness and loneliness.
I've noticed in relationships over the years (romantic and platonic) that I have a hard time letting go of doing things my way and allowing for changes of plans, because that's all I've known for 8 years. So one of the reasons I wanted a dog is because I want to let go of some self-centeredness. A dog is a good place to start, because even though they can be demanding, they also only give you crazy love and no hostility (my dog, at least). If I can learn to adapt my own desires around an animal that loves me totally, that should be a good warm up for an imperfect person. :)
And I have to say, it's worked. Lady is demanding of attention, but it's been so good for me. We went almost 300 miles in 2012, many of which I would have been sitting on my lazy butt for if it hadn't been for her. She gives me something to move forward with besides myself. The first months in Norman when life felt upside down, there were many days I wanted to sit and pout over change I didn't think I could handle, but she kept me looking forward.
She's good company. And she needed company while I was gone 40 hours a week at work, so enter Davy Crockett. :) He's a 3 year old fox terrier. He was rescued from a case of animal cruelty, and recently recovered from some serious medical issues. But the kid has spirit. He is brave and sweet and feisty. He and Lady are having a grand time.
Maybe I'm well on my way to becoming a "crazy dog lady" (although there are NO plans for more dogs! I always knew I'd plan to get a 2nd eventually, and now that's done), but frankly, I'd prefer to be a crazy dog lady compared to the alternative of where'd I'd be without them. For me, dogs have been good for my soul.