My dream suitor has finally arrived! With a tie and flowers too, so classy!
I admit, there’s no good way a woman can express her love for a dog without appearing like a relationship-basher.
Just take a look at PETA’s 10 Reasons Why My Dog is My Valentine (“3. My dog never leaves the toilet seat up”) or Petfinder’s Ten Reasons Your Dog Makes the Best Valentine Date (“1. Dogs don’t talk / 10. Did I mention dog’s don’t talk?”)
These lists are all in good fun, but I think we can draw more meaningful lessons from our relationship with dogs without having to contrast it against all this emotional baggage!
In my 8 years growing up with this furry bear of a dog, here are the Top 3 lessons Panda has taught me about love:
3. Panda proved that a rewarding relationship takes time and patience.
“Off-leash woo hoo! I’m going to run away and be one with nature again. By the way, when’s dinner time?”
After 8 years of wrecking havoc, Panda surprised me by being so well-behaved on our recent off-leash dog hikes. He stuck right by me, and always checked to make sure I was within sight. It didn’t matter than he ignored me at home, I had the satisfaction of finally knowing that I was his person as much as he is my dog.
2. Panda provides me with insight on my human relationships.
“. . . and and sometimes she gets mad at me for no reason! So what if I like to munch on socks? I just don’t get women!”
I could never forget the time my (now ex) bf stayed at my place to take care of Panda when my family went away for a wedding. I returned jet-lagged and I wanted nothing but to crawl into bed with my bf who I haven’t seen for weeks. Instead, he tucked me in and took Panda out for their ‘routine’ nightly walk. Turns out during my time away, he came home from work early to be with Panda and took him for walks twice a day. From the way Panda followed him around and positively adored him, it was obvious that my bf took really good care of my dog. Ultimately, it didn’t work out between us for very human reasons, but I have Panda to thank for showing me I knew how to pick the good ones.
1. Panda taught me to love selflessly.
“Oh gawd, no more pictures, doesn’t she know floor shots make me look flat!”
In the end, dogs are dogs and no amount of personification will make them a partner in life whom we can rely on to open tough jars, or fix the toilet, or pay bills. I love Panda and I can’t expect him to do anything for me, including loving me back. All I hope for is that, if we ever hypothetically get lost in a crowd of doglovers holding milkbones, Panda would think to look for me!
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!