Thursday, May 3, 2012

Woman's Best Friend

This is a hard post for me to write, and I hope if you're reading this you don't find that ridiculous.  But writing is cathartic for me, so I really need to put these thoughts out there.

Dogs are known in this world as "man's best friend."  Stereotypically, men seem to find companionship with a dog enjoyable--hunting, fishing, etc.  And women seem to see them as an annoyance.  An extra mouth to feed.  Hair shedding all over the house.  Messes to clean up.  Extra noise.

Boog certainly does all of those "annoying" things.  While we have been on a very tight budget, he has been an extra mouth to feed.  He sheds like crazy, even worse than me, especially in the spring and summer.  And he barks at every stranger and person who comes to our house.  But I do not seem him as an annoyance.  He has been a loyal friend to me, sometimes when I needed a friend most in the world, and today I have to say good-bye to him.  So I'd like to share a few of my fondest memories of my time with Boog.

Nate and I adopted Boog from the Spanish Fork shelter at the end of July 2009.  He was brought in as a stray around the 4th of July, probably ran during fire works, and no one ever came to claim him.  We immediately thought he was gorgeous and after a little time playing with him, thought he was for us.  We went home for a couple of days to think about it and then went back to get him.  The first few months were a little rough as we tried to adopt two dogs, they didn't get along, we had to change things around, but Boog was the one we kept.

After a while we realized Boog was afraid of everything.  Apparently he wasn't treated too well before we found him at that shelter.  He never liked being petted on the top of the head, he wouldn't even roll over in the grass, loud and sudden noises terrified him, and then we noticed he didn't like other people.  But we persevered and Boog has become a part of our family.

When I was pregnant with Morgan, I got really really sick one night when Nate was working late.  And Boog was by my side.  When I laid on the floor in pain, he was right next to me, concerned.  That's Boog.  It may be hard for some to believe, but he is a sensitive dog.  Anytime I have been sick, or sad, or worried, he has been right next to me, trying to make it better.

My fondest memory of this happening was when my contractions started in the early morning hours of October 19.  Boog knew when I was going to have a contraction.  Right before one started he would come over and sit in front of me.  And when the contraction started I would pet him, and somehow this was so relaxing.  He came every time until we left for the hospital about 6 hours later.

We were worried about how Boog would be with a new baby.  No need to worry.  He was like a new mommy.  For those first few months while I was sleep-deprived, so was Boog.  He got up EVERY SINGLE TIME with me for those middle of the night feedings.  And I even caught him sticking his nose over the edge of the bassinet a couple of times, like he was checking on the baby too.

Being a stay-at-home mom is wonderful, and this is not a complaint, but sometimes it can be a lonely role.  Many days I have felt excluded from the world, friendless (even though that's not true), but I always had Boog on those days.  If I feel lazy and watch some TV, Boog is at my feet.  When I take a nap, he's there.  He follows me everywhere I go.

Morgan and Boog have become great friends too.  He puts up with her so patiently!  And now that she's learned to be softer with him, she'll pet him, bring him toys, they play fetch together (even though he only has to run a few feet).  If she has two cookies, he always gets one.  She brings him his toys, and sometimes she steals them, and he just smiles like it's the best thing in the world.  And for a mother, that has been a beautiful thing to see.

But now everything has to change for Boog.  Since we have sold our house and are moving to North Carolina to rent for a while, we won't be able to keep our 80 pound monster.  So he is moving on, TODAY!  And I feel like my heart has been broken.

So Boog, this is for you.  Thank you for being my loyal companion.  Thank you for seeing me, not someone who is too tall, talks funny, is overweight, or just not cool enough.  Thank you for loving me unconditionally, and mostly for loving my child.  I hope you have lots of fields to chase tennis balls in.  I will always remember how it feels to have you by my side, warming my feet, bringing comfort, sharing a smile, making me laugh.  Thank you for being in my life these last few years.  Good luck, we'll miss you, and we love you.