The Dog Who Saved Me
I knew things were bad out there – my friend Charlie’s business was going under. Another friend was losing her house. But it wasn’t my business yet. It wasn’t me waking up in the middle of the night, bolting out of bed, making lists at the kitchen table in dark – trying to figure out how to pay what.
That would come later.
Everyone said it would get better. But of course it didn’t. Contracts were downsized, then cancelled. New business was harder to find. My 401(k) wasn’t that big but over time, I took out everything I had to try and hold on.
It wasn’t enough. I lost my business, my credit and my home. Maggie, my very first dog, died on the kitchen floor about two weeks before I left it behind for the bank..
Somewhere along the way, my mind shattered like a mirror. My cognitive skills were gone, just shards and slivers of crazed panic, reversed and refracted. Alone, ashamed, terrified, no way to explain what was happening to me. Not my stuff, me.
I was so strong, everyone said. I’d get through it. I drove to gun stores and sat in the parking lot, trying to decide.
I just couldn’t take one more pep talk. I didn’t want one more person to tell me I was strong. Anonymity was the most my mind could handle.
That’s when I joined Twitter, taking the name of the one friend who loved me no matter what.
Mr. Baby was always my dog. He was the homeliest puppy – absolutely adorable. Overbite, big head, huge ears, that one blue eye. His farts could clear a house, not just room. That dog had a nuclear behind.
He was there on my bed during the cancer. He was there on couch when I cried over my divorce. He was there when I hid from the mail man and yet another certified letter.
He was there, always there, flopped on the floor, his tail flapping in its sleep.
He loved pizza crusts and broccoli. Pigs ears were a big time fav. He loved food and running in the yard, when I had one. He didn’t like storms, but he loved to lie in the sun.
No matter how crazy I was, whenever I came home, Mr. Baby would throw a parade. He’d dance to the door, wiggling, smiling, so happy to see me, so glad to be in my company.
He was the reason I came home from the gun store empty-handed. He’s the reason I kept trying to do better than just survive. He deserved someone committed to caring for him.