There was a thorn in my side and a weight on my mind,
There was something eating my spirit from the inside.
It was gnawing away at my secrets,
No longer allowing me to keep them,
Pulling me down beyond reason,
Proving to affect my ability to reason.
It was crushing my soul and changing the course I was headed for.
It was dragging my feet and making me speak unconfidently.
It proved to be a sense of defeat.
I proved myself to be weak.
Until you believed in me.
You had faith that I could change my ways,
You remember me as I was on other days.
You recall when all we did was take risks,
When we dove unprepared into the forest,
When we explored further than we intended,
When we had days we never regretted.
You made me remember.
The feeling of my legs when we had walked for miles,
The contentedness of my heart when I allow myself to wander,
The freedom of my mind when I am left in silence to ponder.
To be carefree and embrace it effortlessly.
You know me.
It was in the moment when I returned,
It was in the gathering of items we have both grown to yearn.
Collecting our backpacks and my shoes,
You could sense what we were about to do.
I bring adventure and the outdoors,
You are my best partner in exploring.
I bring the human necessities,
You bring a sense of peace.
I pack the food and water,
You dance across the lawn in excited glee.
I am the aider of escape,
You remind me of patience.
It was in the way that you were happy to see me,
When I finally remembered who I can be.
You believe in me blindly,
And I have never lead you to injury.
You support me over miles,
So I gather the energy to travel even farther.
You live for these days with “Auntie”,
And I embrace the title handed to me.
But you adopted me,
That’s the way I see it.
This responsibility is a gift.
There is no other partner I would rather adventure with.
I love you in ways that I never thought I could.
There is no choice in what I must do.
I must live up to the human that you look up to.
I must adventure endlessly,
I must remain inspiring,
I must act boldly.
You will always be there for me,
Just up ahead on the trail,
With me loyally following the wagging of your tail.

Loving & Leaving

He doesn’t understand, and that is the worst part. He is confused, but not yet hurt. He cannot use words. He expresses himself in other ways. He is constantly under my feet or next to me. He holds a look of concern. He is beginning to learn. He is beginning to panic. He sees all my things being packed. He knows. He knows I have to go. I explain it to him rationally, expressing my far fetched dreams. But he has no concept of what I want to be. I am perfect the way he sees me. I am loyal and dependable. I am a best friend he has grown to love. I am the holder of adventures and the bringer of treats. I have come to be known as Auntie. I always lay down a blanket for him in my back seat. I kiss him goodnight every time he goes to sleep. He has become a part of my routine. He has become a part of me. And I cannot begin to express my pain as I prepare to leave. I cannot tell him that this is what’s best for me. Since all he will see is an act of disappearing. He will notice when I’m not longer writing in the mornings. He will miss greeting me after work. He will search for me and there will be no sign, nothing. But he will continue searching. It will take a few days, or a few months, or maybe he will never stop. Because he blindly loves me. He will not understand when I am only visiting. He will continue hoping. He will listen for my car. He will wait for my return. He will never learn. He can’t understand. This is a concept outside of his grasp. Since his world once existed with me and now I am disappearing. He has no choice. He cannot use his voice. His eyes cry out with pain. I whisper his name and pull him in close. I am not ready to lose what I love most. I cannot move on when I look in his eyes. I cannot claim that I am strong when I hold him for long. I cannot begin to convey the love the I have felt for him since the first day we became roommates. Because I cannot begin to understand why I would do this. I cannot come up with a valid reason for leaving him. I cannot picture me surviving without my best friend. I cannot explain my pain as I prepare to leave him. Since nothing I say will change the reality we both have to face, where I am gone and he is in the same place. A place where he is loved and cared for. A place where I know he’s comfortable. A place that I was once a part of. A place where I learned to love.

Undeserved Loyalty

You are the best friend I can not claim to be only mine,
But our friendship has grown with time.
You are the one on who I have grown to depend,
And yet there is no reward for you in the end.
You are the support that I need.
In you I find consistency.
You hold the moments that usually escape me.
You give me a chance to breathe.
There is a light in your eyes and a perk of your ears that alerts me to your attention.
There is an understanding in your complexion that I do not deserve.
I see love in your reflection that is unearned.
This all a projection of what I want to see in you, since we cannot understand each other plainly.
There is a gap in species that separates you and me.
You communicate with your eyes as I try to internalize my own demise.
You sit with patience while I expect more than this.
You rely on consistency while I crave to be anything else.
You taught me there is more to be felt.
I admire you.
I admire what you have gone through and yet what you are still willing to do for those who take care of you.
You wait all day for my return and provide me with love that is unearned.
You hate to see me cry.
You seem to sense my pain as it builds inside.
You have sat with me in silence and danced with me in celebration.
You have supported me through my trepidation.
You are the one that I hold near when I have so much in this world that I fear.
Your touch gives me confidence to move on with this life.
And you are the one that I will miss in spite of knowing that I must move on from your life.
I can’t live the life you live.
I need to move on to one where I am given a chance to find my own best friend.
I need a dog of my own on who I can depend.
And despite my never ceasing love for you,
There is so much more in this life that I must do.
I see the understanding in your eyes,
More than your human could ever say in lies.
I must move on from you, but it is not because of anything you do.
I still love you.
And I always will.
You are the one who helped me heal.

Good Boy

It has become routine for him to do yoga with me,
And I have come to depend on him as my friend.
He never speaks words of judgement,
And he never conveys that he is disappointed,
In the choices I might make,
Instead he chooses to lay,
Right next to me in my times of need,
Listening to the way I breathe.
He has grown to watch over me,
Counting me as a reliable friend,
And someone on who he can depend,
To pay attention to him instead,
Of pass by without a glance,
Never giving him the chance,
To become the support I sought,
And to soothe my negative thoughts.
He is persistent with his patience,
And I don’t have the faintest,
Idea why he continues to try,
To be there for me when I cry.
He is patient with my tears,
And he has been for many years,
While listening to my greatest fears,
And understanding that our friendship
Is something that I hold dear,
Despite not offering much in return,
For the lessons he has helped me learn.
Since he was the one who accepted me,
And all of my faults so plainly,
Before I could accept him,
And all on which he also depends.
He looks forward to our time together,
No matter if it is spent in hell or fine weather,
Since he can count on me,
To be the friend who he sees,
As both an adventurer and a partner,
Who he can count on to never falter,
In the routines on which we have both grown to depend,
In the pursuit of what we are seeking in the end.
It is in moments spent with him,
That I have learned to look within,
For the answers that I feel escape me,
And the patience that I know I need.
And while he watches and listens to me breathe,
I begin to believe,
That he might be the best thing for me.
Since he joins me for the habits that I should embrace,
And he encourages me to pick up the pace,
Because despite of his old age,
He seems to have more energy every day,
To carry on with persistence,
And believe that it is worth it,
Because he will get to spend another day with me,
Laying on my floor as I work through reality,
Matching the way in which I breathe,
And catching my eye as I lay down my head,
With a look that says he will never regret,
The time he has spent with me,
And the comfort of our routine.
He almost wore a smile,
As I laid down on the floor for a while,
Allowing the weight of life to wash away,
As he watched from where he lay,
We have the perfect relationship for me,
One in which I am the only one who can speak,
Yet it is not words we need,
In order to convey what he means to me.
I take a deep breath and release my head,
Turning to look at him relaxed in his bed,
And with this small sign of recognition,
That is when he begins,
To wag his tail with a joy,
That I depend on from my devoted boy.

The Only Opinion That Matters

Today was the day he made her see that she had changed — for the better or worse was still to be determined, but she had indeed changed. There was a stark difference between the way she spent her time these days. She was out of the house constantly, would return home exhausted and smoke herself to sleep in order to wake up and do it all over again. She was raising her voice more often and visibly frustrated with whatever she experienced while she was away from home. She was packing suitcases and unpacking them again just to allow them to sit on her floor for a week and be packed up again. She was always tired yet always moving and she never seemed to stop and play fetch anymore. She was finally moving again and she had finally admitted defeat to the strain of boredom. Continue reading

Understanding Change

She was moving on without him and he was resentful about it. Perhaps “resentful” was a bit strong of a word for what he was feeling, maybe “jealous” described it better. It felt like resentment to her though and her reflexive guilt had kicked in in response. She could not help but move on with her life and she thought she had properly conveyed that to him with months of preparation leading up to this moment. But perhaps he never took the time to actually listen to her and perhaps he never paid attention to the silent progress she was making. Either way, he seemed baffled by this development of change and jealous that he had been left behind. And the feeling was mutual. She was baffled by the fact that he had not seen this coming and the lack of support that she was receiving from someone she considered to be her best friend. And although she had always been able to count on him as an understanding shoulder to lean on, this time it felt like that shoulder was slowly sliding out from beneath her. That shoulder that she had to learn to lean on in the first place now felt like it was pushing back against her and cursing her for her change in dependence. She was now leading the way once again as his younger sister and the one who always accidentally out-shined him, and the resentment of their youth reemerged to place a sour taste in each of their mouths. It was not her competition with him though that drove her to accomplish more, it was her uncompromising nature when it came to living life to the fullest that brought this out in her. And she wished that he understood that. She did not move on to and get another stable job because she had given up on their dream of opening a business together, she did it to make that dream more of a possibility. She had not abandoned him with work still to be done because she no longer cared about their dream, but rather because she knew that life continued on and they needed a way to survive until that dream came true. And she did not leave him to struggle through learning how to make sales on his own, but she did expect him to step up and learn the skill the way she had had to do. All she wanted from him was evidence that he actually cared about their dream too — because from where she was standing, she had been the only one actually working towards making their dream a reality for months now. She had put in hours of her free time to write a business plan and even more hours to test its legitimacy. She had forced herself to reach out to resources to learn more from others who had successfully done what she dreamed of, and naturally expected him to do the same. She had set an example of progress and development for him, yet she felt like he had failed to see any of it and discredited her for the months of work she had been dedicated to. And now when she was expected to carry on with life and when she needed him to pick up where she left off, she was left hanging. And it was hard for her not to resent that. It was hard for her to forgive his blatant disregard for her efforts and dedication, and it was difficult for her to understand why he was struggling. Because she had never been cut slack in her life and she had always worked for everything that was handed to her in life. She was not blessed with good luck or cursed with terrible luck, instead she relied upon her dedication to work and improvement to carry her on. And he failed to see that. He never said it out loud, but she sensed that he thought life had just been kinder to her and that she had found the easy way out. He never gave her credit for the shitty jobs she held to pay the bills and the sacrifices she made to serve the practical side of life. He never saw that she stifled her creativity and independence to humbly work positions beneath her, and how she never allowed that to diminish her self-worth. He did not see the days she struggled to find value in how she spent her time nor the days when she wanted to give up on it all. He naively thought that this came naturally to her, when she felt a struggle and resistance to live every day.
But there was one who saw it all, and he was the one closest to the man who frustrated her the most. But he was also the one who could never do anything about it. He provided support to each of them and reminded them of patience in moments of frustration, but he could never speak out and resolve the clear conflict that was disrupting his household. Instead he waited for his humans to finally see eye to eye, and until then he showed them each the love and attention they needed. And life carried on in the only way they knew possible, with forgiveness, understanding, strength, and a healthy dose of unbreakable puppy love.

Walking Past the Shadow of Doubt

For as long as Mo had known his human, he had worn the label of delinquent. In fact that label is what drove his human to meeting his four-legged best friend in the first place. Operating under the image of a convicted criminal he struggled to find work in the already competitive job market that characterized the overflowing college town. He had grown to expect that he would be rejected as soon as he had to check the box that he had been convicted of ‘drug’ paraphernalia possession. He was not alone in his paraphernalia possession in a town that was built on prostitution and smoked weed like it was a source of life, but he was alone in being caught by the law and used as an example for punishment. He did not look like a criminal and he did not stereotypically act like one, but he had been labeled as one and he could not shake the complex that accompanied it. Continue reading

Holding Steadfast in a Sea of Change

He could see her struggling to keep track of who she is and not allow her new routine to cloud her perceptions. She had spent months with him living as they pleased and not caring about the influences of the outside world. They did not care about living what was considered a normal life style and instead momentarily lived one that suited each of their needs instead. Continue reading