Girl's Best Friend
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It's not about diamonds
When you hear this statement; “A girls best friend”, what is the first image that comes to your mind?
If you're like most people, diamonds would probably take first dibs. But in the world of single living and women who are taking over more manly roles than ever before, the answer, for the purpose of this article, is the dog. There are many reasons a single woman should have a dog, not only for safety, of course depending on the type of dog you get but also for company. And it is no secret that dogs lower blood pressure, so not only are they helpful in keeping us company, they are beneficial to our health.
Let's face it, living alone is a choice for some of us but not for everybody. Going through a divorce and having to start your life all over again in your late 40s is no piece of cake. Right now, it's more like a movie than a reality show. I am entering my third year of separation and with the inevitable end in sight, I can't imagine a more faithful and extraordinary companion than my little Coco, the most adorable Shichon.
Factoid: A Shichon is a mix between a Bichon Frise and a Shih Tzu.
When I was raising my two children alone as a single mother some years ago, we took in a cat and named him Chewy, short for Chewbaca because that's what his meowing sounded like. He was a gray Tabby and he brought us years of great joy. He wore hats and was very unique because every time you said something to him, he would reply immediately as if answering. Sometimes he was my Magic 8 Ball when I needed answers to questions no one could really answer. Will he call me tonight? Is he seeing someone else? Yes, Chewy was my confidante.
Some years later I remarried and Chewy was part of the family, which changed when my daughter brought home a dog she named Coco Puff. If I hadn't seen her big brown eyes and round black nose, I would have thought she was a cotton ball with a pink bow on it. She was the cutest thing I had ever seen and it didn't take me long to fall in love with her. Chewy liked her too and they soon became brother and sister.
But as with every divorce, things get separated. My daughter had soon moved out on her own and couldn't care for Coco, so I adopted her and when it came time for me to move out, I took Coco with me and my ex kept Chewy. It couldn't have worked out better for everyone. We both had pets we loved and cared for. Coco was perfect for a single woman living alone. She could hear things long before they got close to the door, let me know if there was someone she didn't like by growling, which always made people laugh. How can something so cute be dangerous?
My little Coco Puff is 4 years old. She weighs 14 lbs and I believe 10 of those pounds is made up of fur. She probably won't scare anyone but she may kill them with kindness or doggie kisses.
When a woman lives alone, it's only sad if she wants it to be. I choose to live alone but I am not really alone, am I? Sometimes I get scared imagining what it would be like without Coco. I have gotten so used to her being here. There is great comfort knowing someone is home with you even if you never see them or hear them. She can't talk and say “Good morning” or “Goodnight”, not even an “I love you”. But she doesn't have to say it. I know she does.
It's in the way she licks my tears when I feel like the whole world is going away and I'm spiraling out of control into a depression I can't control. It happens. I am human. It's when I crawl into bed and hold her closely against my chest and feel her trying to wiggle away but putting up with it a little longer because she knows I'll let her go eventually. It's when she does all her crazy tricks she's learned for nothing more than a tiny treat and when I've run out, she does them anyway, just to hear me say, “YAY COCO!” It's when she sees me dancing to music I make up and she wants to join me by standing on her back paws, jumping like those French poodles in a circus. And she puts up with my singing from the shower, sits right there on the mat. When I hit the high notes and my voice cracks, she's usually gone but I give her credit for sitting there longer than the first 2 minutes of any song.
I see it in how she looks at me and licks my nose when I get really close to her face and tell her I love her, even when I am coming in with no treats in my hands. She will sit here all day long as she is right now right by my feet and listen to me type the day away, sometimes walking slowly from me, looking back a couple of times to make sure I'm still typing, hoping I would be done already so she can sit next to me on the sofa. And when it's time for Halloween, she lets me dress her in the most outrageous outfits for pet contest awards she usually wins. She doesn't know she's won anything, she only likes it when I'm happy. And when I go anywhere, she's right behind me like a duckling after its mother. And she does all of this for what; a bowl of water and some kibble.
I am a Brooklyn girl, raised in the city but I have never been one for jewelry or diamonds. The only diamond I own now is the engagement ring I kept from my failed marriage. I do not plan to keep it. I never understood why the diamond was ever placed in the category of love. I just never saw the cohesion. People are so materialistic, they lose sight of those things that really matter.
There is no greater love than when it's given unconditionally and for our pets, the pureness of their hearts, their instincts, is all they know. They don't understand television reality shows or celebrities, money or cars or houses. They have no interest in the news or politics, never heard of racism or hate. All they know is what they naturally are; creatures that we have taken home with us, to make them a part of our families, our lives, to love and take care of as one of our own children.
In many ways, Coco is my adopted daughter. I know there are people out there who say dogs are dogs and not people. I understand the difference. But the truth is, I have met some humans who have behaved more like animals you don't want to keep as a pet, who have hurt me far more than any animal ever has or could. And with that said, I sure hope that when I do meet someone special enough to share my life with, that he loves dogs as much as I do.
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