Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Letter to Barry

Dear Barry,

If you could read and understand what I'm telling you then I'd tell you this:

I hope you are happy with us. I hope you feel like you are safe and loved. I am pretty sure you are happy. You seem excited to see us when we come home, you insist on sitting next to or on us, you always want to get into bed with us at night, and you seem content.

I hope you know we will never abandon you. We can hardly bear to leave you during the work week so there is no chance we could give up on you and abandon you. I hope you don't feel neglected or sad when we leave during the week. I miss you during the day but I know you're safe at home and that the dog walker will come to break up the monotony for you in the middle of the day.

I hope we've never scared you or confused you. We probably have. People are pretty confusing. I hope you have forgotten any of that and have moved on already. If I've ever shouted at you and made you trust me less, I'm sorry.

You're a whole lot of work but it's the good kind. It's the kind that we are rewarded with daily. We enjoy watching you run and play. We like just sitting around while you lay out across the couch and take up all the space. We love your personality and how silly you are. We just can't get enough of you.

I accept that you have a natural instinct to hunt small animals, like squirrels. They drive you nuts. I hope you can understand that when we see a squirrel and I pull you away and turn back the way we came that I'm not mad at you. I just need you to be under my control and it's hard for me to control you when you are trying to chase a squirrel. It's also not acceptable for you to act that way in the city with all these humans around. Humans look at you like a mean predator sometimes and they become frightened when you start displaying your hunting instincts. In order to keep the peace and for others to not become frightened or worse, go to the police because you are out of control, I need to pull you away. It's for your own good more so than mine. It's because I'd like to keep you around. You live in our world and our world has rules that you can't understand and that may not seem fair. It's the only way I can protect you from those that don't know you.

I do respect you and respect that you're a dog, as much as I want to treat you like my baby. I know you're a dog and your needs are different. I respect that. I also am thankful that you love to curl up next to me and on me. I love that you enjoy being close and don't mind hugs. It makes me happy. I'm thankful that you're a relaxed and easy going guy too. You can be on-alert and excited outside but you are a pretty great dog all the time. Even when you're excited outside you look to me and walk next to me.

In the end I feel like I hit the jackpot with you. You are strong, loyal, lovable, fun, and you've added a new and interesting dimension to my life. I love you and I'm glad you're part of the family.

With love,

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