This may seem like an odd post for 31 Days, but I want to introduce the Large Breed in order to share several other reuse, remake, re-love ideas this month. This post fits very under a very broad umbrella of the topic re-love.
This is the Large Breed with whom TBM and I share our lives, our food, our car, but thankfully not our bed. You can see why.
In this photo we were sharing a tent, sort of… the Large Breed slept just outside but crashed in on us in the morning. Those eyes, that furry face… a perfect start to the day! If you don’t like dogs, that might not be a perfect start to your day, but perhaps you have a pet other than a dog- a cat, a rat, a pot-bellied pig- and can imagine how you feel about them when you see them each morning.
It’s proven that owning pets is beneficial to human health. The care they require motivates us to exercise (think daily walks); relieves our stress (think face licks); creates opportunities to interact with others (think pet-centered conversations you’ve had in the past, even with no pets present!) and promotes mental health (think of a time you were sad and your pet cheered you in its own special way). But I believe the best reason to own a pet is love: they give love freely to us, and we strongly love them back- sometimes more than we love the humans in our life!
Two summers ago TBM and I “rescued” the Large Breed from a dirt lot in a hot southern state. Who’s to say he wouldn’t have carved out a happy place for himself under such conditions, but I’m glad he didn’t have to. Having him in our family has been amazing, though at times it has been a challenge: he’s stubborn, and prone to wandering. More than one opossum has met its fate in his clutches; and a neighbor once ended up with a sprained ankle when he greeted her too exuberantly. Then there was Skunk Night: I was home alone and woke to his cries and howls around one in the morning. The second I entered the hallway, I knew why. I spent the next four hours walking him to and from a Dog Wash for a bath he needed but didn’t want.
Having the Large Breed in our family has also been a joy. He is sweet and charming: he has two favorite toys- one a stuffed lion, one a plush hedgehog- and takes either of them with him when he goes to sit on the stoop or the porch. On walks, he can recognize the sound of a car just like ours and will sit and wait to see who it is, eliciting confused looks from the car’s driver. He endears himself to those who can’t resist digging their fingers into his thick fur, shimmy-ing around their legs and pressing in, then flopping belly-up for more love. At 125 pounds, he’s a big galoot, for sure.
Sometimes when I look at the Large Breed, my heart melts. Having this creature in my life to love, to entertain and be entertained by… it seems such a gift. If I’m this dotty over him, I can only imagine how parents feel about their children. The Large breed seems to know how I feel: he’s lounging on the porch as I’m on the steps writing this post, and more than once he’s wandered over to lick me full in the face. I’ve not minded at all. Now if that’s not love- real, true, two-way love- I don’t know what is.