Oh yes, it’s Pets Thursday again, which means that we sing our praises to the four-legged heroes among us. And since it’s Valentine’s Day, Fab copywriter Julie Tortorici declares her love to her favorite girl.
We’ve all heard that love is complicated, but that’s not always true. There’s one relationship that is simpler than any of the others I’ve ever had: the one with my dog, Dyna. We’ve been together for almost a decade, and this 55-pound mutt and I have been through a lot. When I first adopted her, I knew I was taking on a huge responsibility. What I hadn’t realized, however, was the responsibility she’d be taking on with me.
Our first few years were like the fun, worry-free part of dating. Compared to the greeting she’d give me when I got home, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is understated. Dyna is a jumper, so she’d welcome me back like a WWE wrestler in a championship match. Since everything she did was unspeakably adorable, there was just never a reason not to give her a treat.
Another milestone was when she won over my family. My parents weren’t fully on board with my decision, so Dyna had her work cut out for her. But she prevailed: My mother went from telling me that she didn’t think the dog was that cute to buying rotisserie chickens that nobody but Dyna was allowed to eat.
After a few years went by, my mutt and I hit that point where we weren’t quite so in sync. We’d fight about why she found it necessary to gnaw on my favorite pair of boots, or what she found appetizing about the Brita filters. We’d both wonder why we couldn’t understand the other’s point of view. Then our relationship hit a huge snag.
My husband—one of Dyna’s favorite people in the world—left. With my marriage suddenly over, Dyna and I hit that make it or break it point. Would we be able to deal with the stress as a team?
I’ve found that when life gets really ugly, someone needs to take the lead. In my case, it was Dyna. She was like a slobbery magician who made every day worth getting out of bed. She became so in tune with my state of mind that if my voice shifted even slightly, she’d come running to lick my face until I cried uncle. Coming home to her every day and make sure she was cared for was what saved me. This ball of fur needed and loved me. How could I spend the evening sobbing when there was fetch to play? How could I spend all day hiding under the covers when she had friends to wrestle with in the dog park? Without me realizing it, time passed. Suddenly I’d—we’d—gotten through it, together.
Since those dark days, Dyna and I have started over with someone new. And while I will happily wish him a Happy Valentine’s Day, this year it’s my mighty mutt that I would like to address: I love you and thank you. Here’s to ten more years together.