Let’s be honest… pets can be a real pain in the butt. I mean, I love my dog now, but there were times when she was younger that I really thought about bringing her back and maybe exchanging for an older model.
I would come home to shoes half-eaten, poop on the rug right next to the hardwood floor (why could it NEVER be on the hardwood floor?!?!), trash bags ripped out of the cans, and a disheveled bed where she’d nested for the afternoon, and don’t even get me started on the time she decided to eat rat poison for an afternoon snack (vitamin K is expensive, and yes, my dog survived).
I would crate her, but she would cry and howl (did I mention she’s a hound) so loudly that I was afraid the neighbors would complain… so, we trudged through. She developed an abscess $$, ate a whole chicken carcass $$, and ate needles and required surgery to remove them $$$$. Everywhere I looked their were dollar signs and more dollar signs. My brand new, unused, Lauren by Ralph Lauren bag never stood a chance with those gorgeous leather straps.
I mean, seriously, dogs suck. But we love them anyway. However, sometimes I am tempted to think about what my life would look like without a dog, and yes, sometimes I think about the freedom I would have… But then I think about not having a happy face to welcome me home on even my worst days, or the feeling of my dog curled up next to me on the bed each night, and I’m filled with a sadness that simply can’t be explained.
When I first adopted Camden, I was in such a dark place in my life. I had gone through some pretty rough stuff (we’ll save that for another post) and there were days that I didn’t want to get out of bed or even hear anyone’s voice. I ran away to Tennessee thinking that if I started over everything would get better, but I found myself feeling more lost than ever.
Then, Camden happened. It was a sunny day and she wasn’t my first choice. I had played with almost all of the dogs on “death row” at a southern kennel. I was going to leave, but then I saw this little ball of fur hanging out on a blanket in cage– pudgy little skin rolls and long floppy ears– she got up when I walked by, so I decided I’d take her for a quick play in the yard.
It was a weird moment when I knew she was coming home with me. It wasn’t anything big, but when I threw the ball, she chased it and instead of dropping it to play again, she laid next to me on the grass and leaned against my hip– just to hang out. In that moment, I knew we were meant for each other. I named her Camden, after a coastal town in Maine that reminded me of sunshine and summer, which perfectly summed up her personality.
She was so happy, incredibly skinny– as in hadn’t-ever-eaten-a-real-meal-in-her-life-skinny–but she never stopped smiling. The thought of her not making it out of that place alive didn’t even seem like an option. When I got back to her kennel, the staff were waiting for me because apparently, she was a parvo puppy (all of her litter mates had died) and she was set to be euthanized that afternoon. Without even thinking, I said I’d take her. I sat as they explained what I was getting into and that she probably wouldn’t survive the weekend. I said I didn’t care and called the first vet to show up in my Google search.
Our journey to her being healthy again was a little bit scary and unpredictable, but she made it. Since then, we’ve taken roadtrips, she’s become my office mascot, she’s taught me to slow down a little, and she’s brought more joy to my world than I could have ever dreamed up.
As Camden enters her 5th year in the world today, I can’t help but say that dogs suck– they suck you in and make you a better person because of it. They love you, no matter what. They don’t care what size jeans you wear, or if your hair is a mess, or if you haven’t showered in three days. All they care about is being with YOU. You are a total rockstar in their world, and they would be lost without you. And that’s a wonderful feeling.
Happy 5th Birthday, Cam-a-lam ❤