I apologize for the misleading subject. I don’t want a best friend as in the two-legged kind. What I want is a genuine bff, man’s best friend, a dog. I have nothing against two-legged bffs mind you. They can make best friends too but most of the time they are too fickle and inconsistent. I like to call them ‘fair weather friends’ who love you conditionally. A dog on the other hand, loves you no matter what, rain or shine. Unconditionally. Maybe you could too but I won’t want to play those odds.
Believe it or not, I wasn’t always a defender of the canines. I grew up with a dread for them. I had so many run-ins with dogs that I was fine with keeping a respectful distance between us. As the saying goes, ‘Once bitten twice shy’ for me it was more like a dozen times bitten, forever shy.
As chance would have it, when I met my Amie, she had a little dog that was about thirteen years old. His name was Chippy. I had no use for the thing and instantly let her know that I would not be sharing our space with the mutt. Plus, I was allergic to dog’s hair. If I slept over, she had to make sure the dog was not allowed to take its customary spot at the foot of the bed. No ma’am, not in the same room with me.
When Amie and I moved in together, Chippy and I had developed a certain degree of respect and understanding between us. I did not trespass on his turf and he would stay away from mine. Sleeping on the bed while I was on it was a no-no, even if Amie was also on the bed. He was allowed to be in the same room with me but not too close. I kept a close eye on his every move.
Before the first year was out, Chippy was sleeping not only sleeping on the bed but on my pillow. Amie would come home to him and I cuddled up on the couch or on the bed. Whenever we got home from being out, Chippy would run past Amie and search everywhere for me. I would play hide-and-seek with him and as I hid, I could hear the pitter patter of his feet running around the hardwoods in search of his new master. He would whimper as he searched. Most times I would be so touched that I would come out of hiding just to make him happy. His little tail would wag so furiously that I feared it would fall off.
Chippy was there when our first son was born. Unfortunately, he was old and starting to show signs of aging. He was partially blind and had no bladder or bowel control. Much to my dismay, he would often relieve himself on my freshly treated hardwood. Even though putting him down would be devastating to Amie, I suggested it to stop his suffering. One day, she listened and with heavy hearts, we said goodbye to Chippy. My first real bff.
After Chippy, I never felt any real longing for a dog. I enjoyed being around them but remembered how much work it took and with three young kids, I am not sure I would be up to the task. Sometimes, like now, I think I am ready for the challenge and want another dog but like those other times, common sense will prevail.