Every morning when I walk my dog Rufus I am filled with such a happy feeling. I feel so damned lucky to have him. That of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, he walked into mine. So much so that as I was walking him today, this epic Curtis Mayfield love ballad came to mind … one that in my youth I had ascribed to countless fellas who either didn’t want or deserve my affection. As I’ve grown older & wiser, I’ve learned to save myself for those who really love me back. Like Rufus!
When I got him, my life was in a shitty place. The economy was in the craphole … everyone worried for their jobs. And I had been abruptly booted from my apartment at Christmas time just days after learning that my Dad’s cancer had reached an advanced stage and he only had a few months left to live. I ended up taking the first apartment I could find. It was a dump for sure – it smelled so badly I called it “Stankonia.” On the positive side, it permitted dogs. I went on a mission to find my canine companion and three months later, after countless shelter visits and petfinder.com inquiries, I found Rufus. That was almost 3 years ago. My Dad got to meet Rufus. He said “he is a cute as can be.” Rufie loved Dad too – he loves manly men.
And here we are, several years later and the honeymoon’s not over. It is such a simple thing: the unconditional love of a pet. Each day their joy at being fed, pet and loved is a reminder of how to be grateful. Easy to please, never snarky or insecure or abusive or manipulative like humans are wont to be. I am not one of those people who elevates pets to the level of humans per se … I don’t view my pets as “children replacements.” I want children TOO! But until that’s possible, it is so fulfilling and grounding to have creatures to nurture, love and care for. It’s an external focus that really enhances my life.