Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Take a Moment

My normal morning routine starts when my alarm goes off at 6 am. Nikita will gently step into the bedroom and place her head on the side of my bed, anxiously looking for signs that I have woken up. Once I give the slightest indication that I have awoken, she will jump into my bed and cuddle with me in the sweetest, groggiest way possible. We will snooze the alarm 2-3 times and then stumble our way outside so she can have her morning walk. As soon as we return from our walk she bolts back into bed, where she dishes out the biggest heap of puppy dog eyes you have ever seen begging me to return to the warm bed and cuddle. Since I imagine my dog has expensive taste, this cannot happen and I must get ready for work. She casually hops on her treadmill for her mile walk while I shower, toss around clothes determining an outfit, and primp with hair and makeup. Once I am done making myself somewhat presentable and she is done with her workout she keeps me company while I make breakfast (where I usually share my last bit of bagel) and she chows down her breakfast. I turn on iTunes for her and leave her for the day at about 7:15. It breaks my heart to leave her every time.

This morning was a little different. I was so overwhelmed by her attentive cuddling that we laid in bed extra long and she missed her treadmill workout. She kept me company in the bathroom for my normal primping routine and while I was eating she ignored her breakfast and enthusiastically brought me her blue ball. Her hopeful eyes looked up at me begging to play and lighten up before what was expected to be a jam packed stressful day. I melted as I realized how happy she is with the simplicity of chasing a ball and bringing it back to me. Needless to say, I caved and we played ball. 

She joyfully pounced after the ball and was thrilled when I got up to run around with her. I try not to get her too riled up before leaving for the day (especially when she didn't get her normal energy outlet of the treadmill) so I decided that when she chased after her ball, I would hide behind the open bedroom door. When she came to bring the ball back to me she stopped dead in her tracks when she realized I wasn't in the same spot. I shifted quietly so I could watch her from the crack of the door. 

She turned from where we had been playing in the living room and checked the kitchen.  I wasn't there. 

She scanned the dining room. No luck. 

She walked right past me and looked in the bedroom. Then the other side of the bed. I wasn't there. 

She bolted to the bathroom and closet. Empty. 

At this point she dropped her ball and I could see she was panicked. She frantically repeated her search pattern, continuously with no luck. I decided to give a soft whistle to give her a clue. This big, bad German shepherd could not pin point where it was coming from, but she knew I was still there! She paced back and forth and began whining, truly beside herself at where I could have gone. I peaked my head out from behind the door when she was in my line of sight, and the expression on her face crushed my soul. It was one of panic, concern, heartbreak and longing. 

I couldn't take it and came out from behind the door. She ran towards me and jumped in my arms, squealing with joy that she had me again. I fell to the floor crying; my fresh make up running down my cheeks. I couldn't help but think of all the shelter dogs out there, and in particular the ones abused by their previous owners. They still have that longing in their eyes, looking for someone to love them as they have so much to give. As Nikita rolled to her back so I could rub her belly, I thought of all the dogs who frantically search for their owners, only they never jump out from their hiding place behind the door. I am her world and it is such a huge honor to have her love. She will never know the feeling of waiting for me to come back to get her other than me going to work or going on a short vacation. She will always know love. 

In her true innocent canine fashion, she had no idea how moved I was by the experience or how my heart was breaking. After drooling on herself from her belly rub, she jerked up to run after her ball and bring it back to me. I was 10 minutes late for work. 

I am so grateful for the people out there that love their dogs and I admire those that love dogs that are not theirs. Dogs are so selfless; they do not care about the past but only spending time with you now. 

I hope everyone can take a moment to appreciate their companions and acknowledge the selfless love that is being given to them. We are their world.


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