Monday, November 10, 2008

Man's Best Friend

My sophomore year of high school, my brother went off to college and left me as the sole member of my "school" at home. For the first time, I was alone at home, and I had no companion to accompany me through my day. While my brother and I are and were very very different people, with different personalities and interests, we still got along very well. We fought often, as brothers will do (mostly ending with him kicking the crap out of me), but we did almost everything together. Every day at lunch we would watch Wishbone on PBS and then go play soccer tennis and/or basketball, stretching what was supposed to be a 30-minute lunch break well past the hour mark. We fought all the time, but we were always together.

Then the time came for my brother to go to college and I was left by myself at home. I wasn't out of sorts, but I did truly miss having Brent around to play with. After a while, I started to get relatively lonely, so I did what seemed most logical at the time. I asked for a dog. After much pleading and case-making my parents finally agreed to let me get a dog, and I embarked upon my lengthy search for the right companion. I finally settled on a beautiful Catahoula Leopard Dog I named Reina. She became my favorite diversion. I spent hours teaching her tricks, walking her and just playing with her in general. Finally the time came for me to go off to college and I had to leave her with my parents.

Whenever I returned home, Reina would greet me as if I'd been gone for 10 years and all she had done was wait for me. As soon as she smelled/heard/saw me get out of my car she would erupt into a chorus of barks, squeals and yells until I went to greet her. As I got older and my visits grew fewer and further in between, her enthusiastic greetings never changed. Since I was gone, my parents became the primary caregiver for Reina. They often would jokingly complain to me that I left "my dog" for them to take care of, but since the death of our other, older dog around 3 or 4 years ago, Reina has become more their dog than mine. I recently asked my dad if I could bring her to our new house in Charlotte and he hastily rebuffed my inquiry, giving the fact that we don't have a fenced-in backyard as reason to leave her with them. While we don't have a fenced-in backyard, I think the main reason she's staying is because my parents love her just as much as I do.

My thoughts recently have been preoccupied with getting a dog. While I can't afford it, and it wouldn't be prudent to get a dog at this time when I haven't actually settled down geographically and work-wise, I still want a dog with all my heart. I know I'm going to eventually get one, but I want one so badly it threatens to override all normal logic. I want another best friend of the quadruped variety.

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