O.K be honest
Who has a family pet that lives in their house? Now, who has a best friend that lives in their home? Those that know what I’m talking about completely understand the difference between the two.
A man’s opinion is his own
I have always been a cat person; mostly because dogs and I have a rather unpleasant history. You see, when my son was very young, he was attacked by a dog. He had a good chunk his face ripped off, and to this day still sports the scars. As you can imagine, it was a horrific experience. Now, I’m not blaming all dogs or even the owner of that dog in particular. But I simply reserved the right to fucking hate every single one of them; that’s all. But, as always, life has a way of changing your mindset, especially when you least expect it.
The first meeting
A few years ago the kids and I blended families with my (now) wife and her two kids. And when we moved in together this little furry ‘thing’ was part of the package. I mean you could call it a dog I guess. I was ok with it. It was small enough at only 9 lbs and weighed less than any cat I ever owned. I figured it couldn’t hurt anything no matter how bad it got. We could co-exist I suppose.
A strange pairing
Shortly after we moved in together, this small creature began following me around everywhere I went. EVERYWHERE. It didn’t matter where I was going; to the bathroom, to the kitchen for a drink, to answer the phone…this little dog would quickly trot next to me. “Wait for me wait for me wait for me wait for me wait for me wait for me wait for me” Kinda like Donkey to Shrek, me being Shrek of course.
How PTSD usually starts to play out
It was an unusual bond that I can’t explain, even becoming a bit of joke in the house. It’s not one I encouraged and certainly didn’t expect. This dog would even curl up in a tiny ball on the mat by the front door anytime I left the house, thus earning the name the ‘bye-bye’ square. Now I would say about a year after moving into together I started to withdraw. In hindsight, I realize it was one of the earlier warning signs of PTSD, but at the time I didn’t know this. I started to go outside less and less and began coming up with excuses not to leave the house at all. I developed a reputation for being ‘that guy,’ the one that never shows up when invited places, and eventually, the invitations stopped. I didn’t care. Besides, that was exactly what I wanted, right?
It had seemed I had met my match
The only problem was this tiny Yorkie-Pomeranian mix. This small, relentless dog named Mr. President. And Mr. President fucking loved playing Frisbee, and you simply can’t play Frisbee in the house. Mr. President did not give one single fuck about my problems. He wanted to play Frisbee. And he would not stop. Bark. Stare. Bark. Stare. Bark. Stare. Bark……Stare.
Maybe a dog, but smarter then me
And anytime I would move or even shift in my seat Mr. President would excitedly spin around in circles and head towards the door. ‘Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Ohmygod!’ I mean one can only take this for so long until you concede, and before you know it you are playing Frisbee in the back yard with the tiny dog. The problem is, ten minutes later the whole process would start up again. I don’t think you realize just how much this dog LOVES Frisbee. After a while, I would find myself talking to him. I’d ask him shit like “what the fuck is your problem? We already played Frisbee!” He would just tilt his little head and smile his little smile, and of course, his ear would flop over at just the perfect time. Now Mr. President wanted a walk. Fine! A SHORT walk and that’s IT. But then a short walk became a long walk, which turned into a bike ride, which turned into a car ride, etc.
If I did not see it myself, I would not have believed it
And there you have it. A small dog was able to accomplish what no one else could. Not my kids, my family, friends, obligations. Nothing got me out of the house like that little dog did. And here’s my theory: No matter how bad things get or how hopeless things seem, you just can’t kick a puppy! You may want to yell and your spouse, scream at your kids or even think about throwing a punch at that captain that’s been driving you crazy at work. But when that little thing looks up and you and for some strange reason, no matter how much of an asshole you’ve been all day, all they want to do is be with you, day after day after day. Trust me, if you ever find yourself in a dark spot, that kind of companionship can save your life.
Friends come in some weird forms
It’s funny looking back on those days; when it was just the two of us hanging around the house, Mr. President and me. We became good friends, despite him not being much of a talker. I mean, I always had pets growing up, and yes, even dogs. But never did I experience the same type of bond. It was almost like Mr. President could sense days that were all fucked up for me, and in return would push like hell to simply get me to chase him. Oh don’t get me wrong, it used to bug the shit out of me! All I wanted to do was sit in a dark room feeling sorry for myself, not play chase. But he wasn’t having any of it!
Now hear this!
Maybe you have your own Mr. President. It doesn’t mean that your Mr. President has to be a dog. It can be a cat, a rat, snake, bird, guinea pig, duck, ferret, chinchilla; whatever! Whatever it is that brings you peace.
And did you know that you may be able to register your pet as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) with the National Service Animal Registry? This simple paperwork could allow your pet to accompany you almost everywhere you go. Now you have no excuse to stay home!