January 31, 2012

“It’s Me or the Dog…” ~ Lisa Avebury

Photo: Stacy Pierre








I saw the writing on the wall the first day we were alone together.

You asked “How many dogs do you have?” and my reply, “Just one, one is enough.”

Our mutual friends that were out with us that day had just finished talking about how I had spent five hours on the eve of Thanksgiving driving a dog from the shelter to a new home. Only two days prior the dog was saved from euthanasia with minutes to spare. Then things lined up and a home was found for him in 36 hours. It was my Thanksgiving miracle demonstration. I couldn’t imagine a more symbolic thing to do as a way of giving thanks. I felt blessed.

So, we began the ritual of flirting and dating. I never hid who I was when it came to animals. I have been called Snow White by some. But, a good part of what I like to see as my Karma Yoga practice is participating in dog rescue. I even dedicated a page on my website to it. It doesn’t invade my life. I am not a crazy dog lady. It’s very balanced, along with other volunteer work I do. I really do believe what Yogananda said “Your life should be chiefly service”. And the more I align my life with this ideal, the happier and more balanced I feel.

As our relationship began to unfold we had long phone conversations, witty text repartee, detailed emails, beautiful dinner dates and things moved along—but it was the early days.

And then you came to my home for a visit and to meet my beloved dog. He was very happy to meet you, but I sensed a general lack of interest on your end. That’s ok, not everyone is an animal person. I don’t expect the person I am with to share all of my passions, but I was a little concerned.

I decided to take those concerns and wait and see. We were growing closer and I imagined if there was any real problem it would have been expressed upfront. Especially since this was such an obvious part of my life.

Our communication increased and our sense of closeness was building. I told friends and family that someone new had come into my life. We were still in dating mode, yet all ships seemed to be steered in the direction of calm waters.

Little did I know an iceberg was directly in front of me.

Photo: Melissa Wiese

On my way out of town for a long weekend, you asked that we make a date for the first available time I had open upon my return. And hooray, you suggested a hike and dinner and to bring my dog. My heart leaped!

When the day arrived I packed up my dog’s things—blanket, food, bowls etc. Since we would be going to your home I wanted to make sure he had all his stuff. I didn’t want you to feel as if he was going to use your dishes or jump on your furniture. I wanted to respect your pace and your space.

Upon descending from our hike you asked me if it would be ok if my dog stayed on the porch while we had dinner inside. Oh my God, did I just hear this correctly? Um no, he’s an indoor dog, he’ll cry if we leave him on the doorstep and we’re inside.

Why didn’t you tell me this in advance?

I could have left him at home. Plus, you live in Canyon—there are coyotes there. Needless to say I was freaked.

Your response; I must have assumed it was ok that my dog come inside the house. I then found out he doesn’t like dogs in his house. He once had a girlfriend who had a dog and it wasn’t well trained. My dog is well trained. And why am I getting compared to someone from your past? Now I am just upset, but I tried to step back and recall peace from meditation! We were both upset. I decided, in keeping that peace, my dog could stay out in my car while we had dinner. He likes the car and he had all his stuff. But I never relaxed the entire night. I couldn’t shake the feeling I was just tested.

We talked and things seemed to be ok. It was still early days, bumps in the road are bound to appear. You find ways to smooth over those bumps if the relationship is worth it. I was willing to see how we could do that together. We made a date for a few days later. You took me to meet your friends and we had a wonderful night. You were the most attentive I had ever experienced. You even brought me a gift. I thought maybe you wanted to make up for the other night’s bumps. Again my heart leaped.

And then you disappeared.

When we finally really talked you told me you could NEVER imagine yourself living in a house with a dog. Dogs smell, dogs are hairy—the list goes on. Dogs are also probably the most unconditionally loving creatures placed on this earth. It’s no accident that dog spelled backwards is….

In any relationship we are looking for unconditional love, a meeting of the minds and respect. I sit here writing this with my dog next to me. Needless to say, we aren’t dating anymore.


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