Last week, I was dog sitting while my parents were on vacation.
Our family dog, Bailey (also known as Bilu) arrived to my apartment so white that people would stop me on the street to ask how I kept him so clean.
"He's a suburban dog," I said.
B hates rainstorms, being alone and loud noises. He's scared of plastic bags, or the sound of my camera clicking. When I would leave the apartment, he'd scratch the door, until the paint chipped away. I could hear his nails clawing at the wood, all the way down the hall by the elevator. I became those crazy dog people who'd shout down empty corridors.
"I'll come back soon! Be a good boy."
Bailey has no shame in wanting to be loved, every minute of the day. He wants to be near you when you watch television, brush your teeth, type on your laptop, make dinner, or stand around naked and decide what to wear. He doesn't judge, or care about mood swings, or clothing choices. He'd want to sit beside me in a $2000 dress, or a sports bra full of holes.
When I'd take him for walks, he had no qualms about rubbing his white furry body up against filthy lamp posts, and cement walls. By the end of the week, he was the colour of a used Swiffer pad. I was getting used to a busy routine with a pet, until I went from writing blog posts, to helping edit an obituary for my uncle who passed away last week.
When someone passes away, everything stops. What remains is how important it is to show love to those around you, and to take care of those who need to be taken care of.
On my last dog-sitting night, I decided not to freak out when my now dirty, city Bilu moved from his blanketed spot on my bed, to my bare sheets, to snuggle up beside me. That's what he needed to feel safe, and I realized I needed the same thing.
This week's mantra is from children's author Shel Silverstein. Enjoy.
“How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live 'em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give 'em.”