My therapist. Is a dog.

I tried therapy with humans. The first therapist asked whether I wanted to get married to the man I was living with at the time and I told her that I don’t want to get married full stop. She was so flabbergasted that I think she actually shit her pants. Then she drowned us in lectures about ‘living in sin’. People are out there in the world being blown up, dying of starvation and avoidable illnesses, being raped and murdered … yet she was on my case about living in sin? Don’t think I need to say that was the last time we saw her. WWJD?

Then the second therapist told me that my boyfriend cheating on me was my fault because I knew what he was like and still got with him…haha. So she basically told me I was stupid. Which isn’t false. But in my eyes (back then) I saw it as giving people a chance, giving them the benefit of the doubt – I thought that’s what people did for each other. Needless to say, I will never be giving anyone the benefit of the doubt again, lesson learned. This one didn’t try to force us to get married but she also didn’t help our situation whatsoever. Or my own personal situation. She just made me feel like more shit. More insecure. Less worthy of better.

My dog is a much, much better therapist.

Because when I feel like the entire world is full of shitty people. When I feel like everything is just too much to bear. When my son is screaming uncontrollably. When I have not slept in days. When my bank account is empty. When I feel jiggly and gross. When I can’t even talk about any of these things because reliving it is too much so all I can do is cry. When I wonder whether I will be able to trust or love anyone again. My dog is there. He finds me. He comes and he finds me and he puts his paw on my leg and his head in my lap and loves me. And he lets me cry. And he doesn’t tell me I’m stupid and that everything is all my fault (even though it is). He doesn’t call me names or make me feel like I’m not capable of doing absolutely whatever the hell it is that I want to do. He doesn’t judge me for wanting more. For not settling. He just loves me. And sometimes you just need a little love.

And I wonder how people with no pets get by. Worse yet, people with no therapist and no pet. I suppose nature would be the next best thing. Going for walks. Feeling the peace that it brings. Or you can borrow my dog. Or you can message me and we can cry together lol. If you don’t have a pet, consider getting one. Life becomes better.

Before Skyler came into my life there was Hobbes.

Hobbes was a total badass cat. Showed Pestex who is boss as he single handedly obliterated the rat population from Fairways. Also likely contributed to a plummet in the bird, iguana, lizard and agouti populations but his defence… natural selection (ish). He brought unimaginable amounts of joy with the little black spot on his little pink nose and beautiful long fluff which somehow even after his kills, was always pristine. Not his mouth though, his mouth was vile. I got him when a resident came walking around Victoria gardens one random day with a box of kittens to give away (you know who you are, thank you for giving my such an amazing pet). Obviously I took the cutest, sweetest one and snuck him into the downstairs bathroom at home. He was so small and so CUTE. As per usual, the father of the house refused to have a pet but we insisted and validated our points as to why he had to stay forever, why we needed to save him because look at his little nose, how much we love him already and how we would die if we couldn’t have him. And he gave in. Just moments later from said dad, we would hear that all too familiar high pitch pet voice which at first is frightening, shocking and mind exploding as to how he can go higher pitch than his young girl child lol but then SO CUTE and exciting because you knew when that voice was out that he too, was in love. And that your goal was achieved. The cat was now a member of the family. The best one in fact.

And as the years went by, Hobbes got into all sorts of trouble. He would shit wherever he pleased which led to many phone calls from angry neighbours. One actually threw his poop on my front step and said that she would poison him. I won’t type what I said to her after that but ‘fuck off’ pretty much sums it up. How could people be so sick? These people are particularly horrible though, yucky ew. And he stole food from the counters and I would wake up and he would be sitting on my chest staring at me creepily, but I loved every moment of his existence.

Late last year he was put to sleep and I can’t type what that felt like because I haven’t come to terms with it as yet. When I come home and he isn’t there and there aren’t 1000 things to do every day I will sit down and think about him and about all of our moments and I will hug his ashes. And I will deal with it.

And for now I will love my Skyler and appreciate all of our moments because they are irreplaceable and inconceivably special. Even though sometimes I shout at him because he stares at me and cries all day for attention when I am trying to write an essay, or steals pizza off my plate, or tries to herd children like sheep. Love him.

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