Dating, Pets, and Max the Wonder Dog

What’s more important, your relationship with your PET or your relationships with humans?

Sensitive topic, Yes?  And it’s the perfect day for me to be addressing the issue, as I found out this morning that my precious Max (Max the Wonder Dog, pictured left) has cancer and will likely be with us for a very short time.

I fondly call this amazing, gorgeous creature the BMIES (Best Money I Ever Spent) — well, unless perhaps it might have been that investment I made in the dating service where I met Mr. Ferman.  Which was the better investment?  Hmmmmmm.   Tough call…

I sobbed like I’ve not sobbed in a long time last night.  Over this animal who has loved me and consoled me and played with me and walked with me for eight years.

I have a favorite place to hide — it’s on the swing in my yard, overlooking the golf course and a lovely pond where geese, ducks, and the occasional heron fly by to inspire me.  That’s where I like to take my naps, just far enough from the house that I can’t hear the phone ring.  And Max sits there with me, every single time, guarding me and protecting me, watching over me.

Understanding the nature of this kind of love which we pet owners experience — I’m not sure it’s really possible for someone who’s never lived with, cared for, and loved deeply a creature as magnificent as Max has been for us.

Truth is, love is beautiful in every form.  The heart muscle is exercised and developed each and every time we use it.  The heart likes to love and needs to love and to be loved.  Our trusted animal companions give us that opportunity, and I say, this is a good thing.

My best girlfriend is a real “girly girl” and we met each other right around the time Max joined our family.  Initially, she would recoil from him, worried that his hair or a bit of slobber might mess with her gorgeousness (she’d never lived with a pet and was admittedly just … not a dog person.)  Well, as you might imagine, seeing a photo of Max the Wonder Dog, her aversion for him didn’t last long — between Max and her boyfriend’s two pups, now she’s become a huge fan of the canine, and can’t imagine life without endearing traces of fur on her pantsleg.   This kind of love is really tough to “get” until it happens to you.

Back to my world as a matchmaker.  I hate to see one of my Clients veto a prospective candidate because of a preference for (or aversion to) pets.  I say, if this particular person has lots of your other key criteria, then absolutely — meet each other and explore possibilities.

Here’s how my Clients David and Susie worked it out.  Susie is terribly allergic to cats, and was inclined to decline David’s invitation to meet, as he’s an animal rescue enthusiast and has three cats at home.  They did in fact meet, they fell in love, and now they live together.  They turned their garage into Kitty Cat Heaven and the cars park in the driveway.   He gets to have his cats, and they get to have each other too.  That’s what I call thinking outside……the litter box.

Personally, I think loving an animal is good for the soul, and gives us an opportunity to practice the skills we need in order to be in a healthy relationships with our fellow humans — we get to/have to exercise compassion, flexibility, patience, compromise, and sacrifice — Ane here’s a whopper benefit —  Being with animals brings out our playful inner child and develops the ever-critical sense of humor which is on the “must have” list of just about any profile that’s ever been written.

If you’ve never had the experience of having an animal that you love with all your heart, I’d suggest that you start dating more pet owners.  Falling in love with a pet owner might just give you the opportunity to have that experience.   Gift with purchase.

And if you would, please say a little prayer for Max the Wonder Dog, that his remaining days will be sweet, and that on the other side there will be lots of biscuits and a rabbit — just one rabbit that he might actually get to catch.

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