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There exist strange bonds between we humans and our pets
January 22, 2013

We just had to put down our family dog of 12 years.  It seems silly, but I find myself grieving as much as I have over the loss of actual family members.  Of course, Macy was indeed a family member.

Macy was my sister’s 18th birthday present (Sorry for revealing your age, Sis).  She was the runt of the litter, and she melted our hearts instantly.  My mom and I got her some time before my sister’s actual birthday, so we kept her a secret at my grandma’s house.  I spent most of my time there, so although she was technically my sister’s dog, Macy and I developed a very special kinship early on.

She had an undeniably distinctive personality and an abundance of idiosyncrasies to say the least.  She bore an affinity for women’s underwear and a disdain for balloons.  It was perplexing and enchanting to watch her problem-solve with a seeming logic that canines shouldn’t possess, and that was only when we were fortunate enough to catch her in the midst of her mischief.  She could silently remove a pack of gum from the bottom of a full purse which was sitting atop a stack of papers on our kitchen table without disturbing any surroundings.  By the time we located the pack of gum, usually under our loveseat, all that was left was the sleeve and empty wrappers.  That’s right – she unwrapped each individual piece of gum before indulging!

She also had a bizarre self-awareness.  If she attempted to jump onto an object, and it was apparent mid-leap that she wasn’t going to clear it, she would push off of said object, propelling herself into a light jog in the opposite direction and continue on as if it were the plan all along.  “While I was in the air, I changed my mind about joining you on the couch; if you need me, I’ll be in the other room, sleeping with a pillow clasped between my teeth.”  Yes, she did that too.

Macy exhibited a common possessiveness with her toys.  If anyone were to indicate interest in one, she would promptly retrieve it.  But during the first few years of my nephew’s life, anytime he would cry, she would bring him one of her toys.  That is an astonishing maternal instinct that supersedes species.

Some suggest that a dog’s affection for a person is based solely on provision.  Anyone who ever witnessed Macy’s reaction to my returning home can speak to the contrary.  She lived at my mom’s house for the entirety of her life.  She knew me as “Bubba.”  If my mom even mentioned me, she would often go to my room and wait for me.  I have made my living traveling the world.  I was definitely not her provider, yet I was greeted with an almost panicked enthusiasm and a flood of kisses.  A certain couple of my friends were as well.  However, they were also treated to urine.  As my visits drew to an end, she would protest upon my luggage, and after I left, she would enter into a noted funk that could last for days.

If a pet can indeed love a human, then I submit that due to the utter absence of pretense or expectation, it is in fact the purest, most honest love on the planet.

I don’t profess the slightest knowledge as to what happens after this life, but if we do end up somewhere else, I sure hope Macy is there waiting for her Bubba.

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