To the four-legged furry best friend of mine: I am sorry I panic when we go to the vet, I am sorry we have to wait in line, while we both grow more anxious. I am sorry my Flake, that age and illness is part of life, but I am so blessed to have met you. You taught me more about unconditional love (as cliche as that sounds) than anyone who has come into my life only to exit dramatically.
People who haven’t fallen in love with a dog are missing out. I know I was not an animal lover before I met you. Animals were like children, a commitment, except they would never stop depending on you. Now I can safely say that this has been the most rewarding commitment I have had. There are values you unknowingly taught me that people could only pretend to have. You never lie, you never manipulate, and you tell it as it is. I don’t recall you ever shying away from me when I have slept countless days, you have never judged me for being flawed, and if anything, it seems you tell me that it’s okay, everytime you place your paw on my shoulder. People get so judgemental. They seek perfection and demand perfect, and in the process, lose their vulnerability and flawed beauty. How many times have we both been judged? Do you remember the way that guy at the vet said you were old and overweight? Or the time that person from my past left me because of MS? Or that time when my friend called you “a boring dog”? Everything around us is fake. People stay in relationships with others even when they are unhappy, just for money, for comfort, and shy away from choosing their heart over their mind. The heart, passion, always frowned upon, always considered inferior, as though it is unacceptable to be emotional, to be human.
But I say “to be human” when I mean I wish people were more like you. Perhaps every dog lover would say this. I am sorry people are mean Flake. I am sorry that when I introduce you to them, I can’t seem to tell whether they are here to stay or leave. An optimist like me assumes the best, and perhaps I am like you in that: eager, excited, unwary. Is it wrong to live in your world? I am still in the process of learning. Thanks for teaching me all about love. And I am sorry about the unlovability of humans. If I ever am reincarnated into something, I’d like to be another you.
Flake, as sweet as my favorite chocolate, just never crumbles. You persevere and still wag your tail at the slightest dose of happiness, you love despite all obstacles, and you don’t ever give up on family. How can I not admire that?