This weekend was spent getting my life back in order and I think I’ve turned a corner and am feeling more or less like myself again. The only exception was Sunday afternoon when, for unknown reasons I became extremely emotional and wanted nothing more than to recede into the background. I allowed myself some time to wallow and I watched a few sad movies but my mood didn’t last long. The reason for that is mostly due to my girl Charlotte aka Princess Baby. So as a thank you to her, please bear with me as I write this love letter to my baby girl as well as all the animals out there that provide us so much joy, affection, and love.
D and I got Charlotte when she was a puppy nearly four years ago, and she was our first dog together. At the time, we were living at my parents’ house temporarily, waiting for our condo to be built, so when we brought her home, Charlotte instantly became the family dog and the object of everyone’s affection. She bonded with everyone including my parents’ cats and was particularly spoiled by my dad, who called all things he loved his baby, thus the name Princess Baby.
I’m obviously very biased but part of the reason that Charlotte is beloved in our family is that she’s intuitive and can pick up on people’s emotions very quickly. Charlotte’s been emotionally cognizant since she was little and knows to be playful when those around her are happy, and comforting in times of sadness. I think that’s true for most dogs but not all because Moose, our second dog, in contrast is somewhat oblivious and doesn’t mirror your emotions too much, instead choosing to carry on in his own world. He’s funny and sweet, providing a steady presence, which is valuable in its own right.
We drop both Charlotte and Moose off at my mom’s house in the mornings during the work week to ensure that they’re not alone for too long during the day but also for my mom, so that she has a bit of company. Both Charlotte and Moose keep my mom busy and have their own personalities and quirks, which make them entertaining but my mom reports that Charlotte has been a great comfort to her lately because of her ability to read emotions. I know this is going to make me sound like a crazy dog lady, which I am, but Charlotte just gets it. We’re lucky to have her and Moose because dogs, and animals as a whole, are able to provide a type of love and companionship that is comforting and in its own way, healing.
Animals rely on their people a lot, which can provide you with a sense of purpose when times are uncertain. And though animals can be a source of frustration they also offer joy and love in unparalleled ways. The role of animals in bringing comfort and love has been frequently played out in the media but has become increasingly more important to me as of late. I can’t seem to escape these stories which beautifully demonstrate how animals, and specifically dogs can save you when you need it most.
I’ve included some of my favourite links below but I’m sure there are many more out there that I’ve missed. If you have them, I would love to hear your stories!
On the love that dogs provide and our unexpected journeys with them: “Committing to a Dog after Cancer” via the New York Times
Saying goodbye is never easy (PSA: do not watch this in public, you will cry): Denali
The lengths we will go to (attempt to) repay our dogs for the love they’ve shown us: “Vancouver’s Reddit community offers dying dog a place to play” via CBC