There's a running joke around my house that the dog is the love of my life. He is the love of my life. I mean, what's not to love about those big brown eyes and the softest doggie ears on the planet?
Two years ago, on January 31, 2009, my dearest husband called me shortly after leaving the house for a Saturday of work at the car lot to inform me he had picked up a dog off the interstate. My outward exclamation was, "WHAT?!?!?!??!??!!!!?!??!" I won't share the words that were spewing on the inside; they were not pure and lovely and Godly by any means. At this juncture, I had no desire to have a four legged friend ~ we had a cat (who is still kicking), an old lady cat, that has a littler box and yaks up hair balls and long globs of undigested cat food at least once a month, so the notion of having any other living creature to take care of on top of the two children, a pool, household, and pile of bills... well, to say the very least, I was uninterested.
If there's anything I have learned about life in my humble 34 years is that when you least want waves or different or more to take care of, that's when it (whatever the it of the moment might be) plops right into your lap while you're trying to enjoy your morning coffee.
Take, for instance, the moment I felt that first little bubble in my soul for my husband. It was the last thing I wanted to feel. Only months fresh off a painful divorce and the emotionally abusive relationship that went with it, I had no desire to feel much of anything. And in waltzes this charismatic car man who kept popping up everywhere I went. I tried my darnedest to avoid him, but literally our paths crossed at the most random and unexpected times. We dated for several months before I felt any real emotion welling up inside. I remember the moment - the exact moment - I felt that love was beginning to brew. Where I was, the simplicity of the moment, the way that if someone had been looking in on my life they would never in a billion years thought that was the moment I'd look back as the instant I fell in love. And I won't share the details; they are mine, not this blog's.
Anywho. The moment was the first real drop of tenderness that I felt from my future husband, a glimpse into the possibility of a man who would protect me to his death if need be. That's what I long for deep inside my inner self - someone who will protect me from the ugliness of this world, from all the things that are far removed from love, than take me to a place in my heart that makes the hurt of yesterday seem far away. And in that moment, I felt it in Scott. And I fell in love. And that's the same man that stopped on the interstate two years ago to pick up a dog that most (including myself) would have left for dead and not thought twice. That's the man that brought me the very love of my life, in doggie form, that loves to lick toes (even when told no) and play with half of an old bicycle tire. He's furry and stinks if not bathed at least once every few weeks. He wags his tail incessantly. He's the most joyful creature of the earth I've ever experienced. Of course, who or what wouldn't be joyful for the remainder of their days if they were saved by a car man on the way to work on the last day of the month? Even Buddy appreciates the unlikelihood of the scenario, thus making his salvation even more valuable.
So, Buddy is the love of my life... I don't hesitate to say it. But beyond that, he's truly a physical manifestation of the best part of my husband's heart. Deep down below the manly man stuff, the testosterone, the love of Auburn football, the busy hardworking car guy, there's a softy there. Oh, it's there. Whether he likes to show it or not, it's there. And I saw it so many years ago. The love. The real love inside him. And like most men, he doesn't have the how-to-show-it part down pat, but he's working on that, so I can deal. Because I know it's there. And any time I doubt it, all I have to do is got get a big doggie kiss from Buddy Love and be reminded.