I am not a dog lover, nor have I ever been (my first puppy ran away, and a few years later, a neighbor’s dog bit a younger sister). But I married a man who grew up with black Labrador retrievers, all named Libby, and I have four kids. So, in 2012, I capitulated, and Libby III (or is it IV?) came into my life. We’ve had a love-dislike relationship, to be sure. She loves me unconditionally (why, I’ll never know), and I generally dislike her, or rather the idea of her. To me, she’s a fifth child who can never be left alone and will never move out of the house. Also, she sheds.
Summers are the hardest because I don’t have a classroom to which to escape. Libby constantly follows me around the house (like a lost puppy!), looks at me with her big brown (puppy dog) eyes and begs me to engage. When I try to ignore her, she barks and jumps and, by sheer force of will, coerces me into giving her a bone or throwing a ball. Last week, I cracked and began taking her for morning walks. I thought the activity might wear her out and buy me some downtime, but it has totally backfired. She’s now sleeping by my side of the bed.
The thing is, I still don’t like dogs. I honestly am looking forward to the day she moves in with our oldest or on to the afterlife. But I know enough about myself to realize that Libby and I share a “thing” and that I will be devastated when that day comes.