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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

on "The One"

I hear people talk a lot about how a certain dog is The One for them. They love all their dogs, but there's that one dog that is their Heart Dog. Just a little bit special. Just a little bit different from the rest.

I think it's great that people have that kind of connection with a dog. It doesn't detract what they have with their other dogs at all, they just have that one super-special bond.

A lot of people ask me which dog is my The One, which one is my favorite. They give me a little wink or a nudge and say, "it's okay. Everyone has one. Which one is yours?" For me, I always have a hard time answering. It's easy for me to say Nemo - but as soon as I say that I remember how amazingly awesome all of my dogs are in their own ways.

Nemo is my awesome cuddle dog. He loves to be loved. If you sit down on the floor, he will make a beeline for you and settle right into your lap. He does it every single time, without fail. He does it everywhere, with everyone, and it's awesome. Together, Nemo and I have our own little rituals. He has a particular spot next to me where he sleeps at night and whenever I come home from work he brings me his ball to show me how glad he is that I'm home.

But Heidi is good at everything. She can handle any situation. She's the dog we bring places so we can show off how great pit bulls are because she doesn't get stressed in new environments with new people. And on top of that she's a super-snuggler too. She loves to curl up in your lap regardless of what you're doing and she'll chill out there for as long as you let her. Unlike Nemo, she doesn't do it for everyone. She's chosen her special people and only does it with them.

Melanie is her own special kind of special. She's isn't super cuddly, she isn't really eager to please. She's typically on the lookout for her own interests - she wants what she wants and has that classic pit bull "stubborn" attitude. She'll do what she needs to do to get that treat, but she's definitely not doing it just to make you happy, she just really wants that food. But every now and then she does get cuddly with me. And in those moments I know that she's doing it because it really honestly does make her happy. It's what she wants more than anything in that moment, and because it's me that she wants, it makes me feel special too.

And then of course there are the dogs that are no longer with me, but whose lives were so intertwined with mine for a time. There were the dogs I grew up with in my childhood, and Cookie, the first dog I ever adopted on my own, and of course Molly, who was with us for so many years.

I don't know which dog is my The One. I like to think they are all The One in different ways. But maybe we all have it backwards when we ask which dog is The One.

Maybe they aren't my One. Maybe I'm theirs.

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