At the beginning of my last pregnancy, I experienced an unusual symptom, whenever I saw a dog I felt like bursting into tears. I’d look at their cute faces and feel this overwhelming need to love and protect all the dogs. To be fair I think many people feel this without pregnancy hormones swimming around their bodies.
I’ve always been a cat person – since I was nine years old I’ve always known I’ve wanted a cat in my life. I loved the mystery about them whereas I found dogs a bit needy. Our cat Margot has brought us so much joy over the years from her daily snuggles to the weird little habits she has such as always having to walk under the coffee table when she checks in on me during the day – there’s absolutely no need for her to walk under the coffee table but she does it anyway.
But as lovely as they are, cats aren’t always the best grief companions. After our second miscarriage Margot threw up in the hallway and then ran off for the night.
I’m now at a stage in my life where I need the neediness of a dog. I need a companion that will not only make me leave the house to go for a walk but will also make me enjoy going for a walk. I want a little dog to hug and cry into when grief feels overwhelming; poor Margot tends to get a bit freaked out by hugs. A dog would be there when I’m sad but without expecting any coherent conversation from me.
Do I just want a dog as a replacement for the baby I lost? Absolutely, 100%. The thing is when you’ve been making space in your heart for a new life, that need to nurture has to go somewhere. I have no eye for interior design and gardening depresses me because I always lose the war against the weeds.
I want a dog to dress up in bandanas in the same way I dreamt of dressing up our baby in cat onesies. I want to be the most important person in a dog’s life just like I’d be the most important person in my baby’s (well if I’m honest probably second most important as Kyle would lobby hard to be the first). Heck, I’m even prepared to pick up poo.
We’ve always talked about getting a dog at some point in our lives. The time would be when we no longer felt the urge to travel and were ready for a quieter lifestyle. Kyle still talks about how we would get a dog to teach our child about responsibility. But what if we don’t have a child? I’ve already lost my desire to go out and see the world. To me exploring the world no longer has the appeal it once did when the adventure I really want is to have a child.
What I need now is a dog to protect our home and protect my heart.
I guess my plea to you is if you see Kyle please tell him we need to get a dog.