Once the kids moved out of the house, things really started to shift. My dog, became the center of my universe. Transference of my maternal instincts immediately moved from kid to canine and to be honest, it’s been a bit more rewarding. Very little pushback, lots of gratitude and cuddling round the clock.
I haven’t had my dog Jazz’s IQ tested but, I know her EQ (emotional intelligence) is off the charts. Living with her is like dancing the Tango with the perfect partner. When I am sad – she snuggles me – when I tell her to “go to bed” she goes to my room to wait til I call for her. She waits patiently for my return each day and performs a ritualistic “Honey I’m Home” dance which instantly erases the stress of the most challenging day. She licks tears from my face and grabs her leash when I put my sneakers on. And when I am reading or watching TV, she pushes her head into my body to connect and flips over for a well deserved full belly scratch. She brings me the mail (ripping it away from the postal slot), and barks by the back door when it’s time to go out.
When my dog Jazz – a 12 pound leggy and lean Cockapoo, turned 10, this past January 22, an alarm when off! I have heard tell small dogs live longer (like up to 15 years) but since I lost my Wheaton, JoJo who died at age10 years – I’m not confident about canine longevity predictions.
What has become clear over the last few months is, being away from Jazz for more than 48 hours is no longer ok for me.
Jazz and I have been in our own love cocoon for a full decade and she really is my best friend. I often wondered if my relationship with my dog bordered on the obsessive, ridiculous – over the top? I don’t really think so and, by the way, I don’t really care. If you aren’t a dog lover – you may just write this behavior off as kooky – but if you love your dog – then you understand that loving your dog is a connection bound by unbreakable heartstrings.
Now that the kids have their own apartments – Jazz is the child at home who I nurture. My husband Bill is the most patient soul ever and loves Jazz however, I have noticed that he often falls into the trap of treating Jazz as a dog, albeit a brilliant one. Our marital tension is most amplified around the topics of Jazz sleeping in our bed and coming on vacation with us. So far Jazz has won out on both counts with no compromise in site.
What I’ve noticed is my dog’s needs trump both mine and my husbands and at the ripe age of 10 — I have wrought what I’ve sown and that’s just fine by me. I have willingly knighted Jazz as the lady of our house and as long as she reigns she rules.
In order to clarify a my relationship with Jazz for myself and my family I put down a few confessions — a doggy test of sorts –to see if my behavior favored my doggy over the rest of my loved ones.
If you are a real dog lover – I am assuming you may be nodding in agreement with all 12 of the below confessions. Sharing these statements with the family may help your family understand who’s at the top of the family pyramid. If you are dog obsessed, you may want to share this to clarify with your loved ones who rules your roost.
1. My dog is invited into my bed to spoon with me – and if she passes gas I do not shoo her away (this applies to none-other).
2. I make my guests take their shoes off when they come to my house – but Jazz well –it’s just a paw print – it will come off.
3. When my dog throws up – I am on my hand and knees scrubbing the carpet and feeling so sad for my pup (for my boys – I shove a bucket next to the bed)
4. There is always food for Jazz – plenty of supplies in the pantry. – (the boys – well they have an APP for take-out)
5. Jazz has a regular Doctor’s appointment, which we go to together. (I hope my boys remember to get their check-ups – it’s their responsibility)
6. Jazz gets at least 45 minutes of personal walk time with me each morning (I greet my husband after his spin class and hope it’s been good)
7. I pick up my dog’s poop (no one else’s)
8. My dog barks at me to let her out in the morning and I instantly jump out of bed (my husband brings me coffee in bed)
9. When friends tell me they like my dog better than any other dog they have ever known (I believe them).
10. The friends I like best are the ones that love my dog. (ok maybe it’s a bit childish but I’m just being honest)
11. When strangers tell me my dog is brilliant and adorable – I agree. (witness — no humility to be had).
12. When I post pictures of Jazz on Instagram or Facebook – I am proud of the number of likes she gets (and I tell her).
Care to share a few of your dog confessions. I’m wondering if you can relate or not? Apparently there are plenty of US out there. I just found this link on facebook called I Love Dogs (https://www.facebook.com/TheILoveDogsSite — (it has over 1.5 million likes)
Here’s a recent video the kids made of Jazz ripping mail out of the mail slot – hilarious and I think this one should go viral:
Don’t you think she’s cute?