A dog and a control freak

by Alexis

Let me tell you a story about a dog and a control freak.

As I write, my dog of 4 years, a pitbull/bloodhound/mutt lays peacefully on my bed. She is peaceful because she is tired. She is tired because she got up at 2:30AM, dragged me, crazy head cold and all, out to the yard under the guise of answering nature’s call. At that time, she ran, full-tilt, Kool-Aid man style into the fence, thereby releasing herself into the neighborhood. There was a rabbit. It needed to be chased. I made some sort of noise that was an attempt at whisper-screaming, which is not effective, and will still scare your neighbors. I stomped around, looking for my coat, swearing as I shoved my bare feet into my boots. Tearing out of the front door, standing under the street light with my runny nose and my unzipped winter coat flying in the breeze, I felt the familiar feeling that I get when Daisy is a monster: I had no control. I was mad. I loved her and needed her to come back.

When I first got Daisy, I would come home to find all of the photos knocked off the wall, fruit from the bowl on the table torn to shreds, mixed in with shampoo, some glass from a make-up compact, the  combo spread all over my bed.  Ah. I had forgotten to latch the crate correctly. There’s nothing to do but clean it up. Well, first, I would usually melt into a pile of tears on the floor because this was somehow my failing. I was not good at dog. I could not dog properly.

The first time she got off her leash was when I realized that I loved her fiercely. Every time she ate a thing that I loved, I learned patience and the value in not placing too much value on material items. She collected my tears in her stinky fur, watching boyfriends come and go. She moved from one apartment to the next, and finally, she rode in the moving truck on my sister’s lap, and I drove, with tears in my eyes (dangerous, btw) out of Chicago and home to Michigan.

She makes mistakes. She gets anxious and loses it. I still love her.  Luckily, the people in my life say the exact same thing about me.

What I’m trying to say here is that Daisy is a source of comfort and frustration and in the end, I can only respond with love. I also respond with yelling, but not too much.  I have to let go of control because it’s not all me here, running things. There would be so much lost in our lives if we didn’t welcome in the things that were going to take away our tightly guarded control. Maybe for you it isn’t a dog. Maybe it’s giving in every once in a while and stepping outside of your routine. Maybe it’s falling in love even though you’ve been burned. I’m so new at this, and have so much to let go of, but Daisy is a good reminder.

Now, if you will excuse me, my sweet beam of sunshine and joy is dry heaving on my pillow. Bless her.

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