Anything Lime

Everything but diapers

I’m five months away from celebrating an anniversary – a five-year anniversary marking the date I met Kya. This relationship is the longest relationship I’ve had with a creature that’s not blood-related to me, and it’s one that I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of. It’s a relationship that has in nearly every way, shape and form prepared me for motherhood.

What’s that? You don’t think so? I didn’t either, at first. In fact I hated when people would get dogs “as practice for parenthood.” Well, now I know differently.

I’ve dealt with all of it: bed wetting, toy stealing, wrestling matches during bathtime, fighting, pouting, sneaking treats when I’m not looking, the works. I’ve even heard people offer unsoliciticed advice about my dog-raising skills, such as, “You shouldn’t have your dog’s collar so tight, you’re going to strangle her.” Which, in my mind, is hardly different than going to the park and hearing an old woman say, “You really should put a hat on that baby.”

After having boarded Kya for a week while we were out of town planning our wedding (read about the trip on our engagement blog), she had a bright red, oozing eye. I recognized and diagnosed the problem right away, but scheduled an appointment with her vet just in case. Suspicion confirmed – conjunctivitis. It’s like having a kindergartener – I dropped off a perfectly clean, healthy dog and by the time I picked her up her fur was clumped and matted down by a drool mixture belonging to her and all of her new friends. Who knows what kind of snot-nosed brats were hanging around and infecting my dog. When I called to check in on her, they explained to me that she not only made a bunch of new friends, but she had gotten herself a boyfriend. And pink eye. I guess it could be worse – she could have gotten herself a boyfriend and chlamydia. We’re luckily not at that stage yet, but I guess this is preparation for the time I pick her up and she’s wearing a face full of makeup and a pink halter top I told her she absolutely couldn’t buy.

We got home that night and unpacked her things – toys, food, her blanket – and found an extra little surprise. It was a plush bear toy with shakers in all the limbs, and Kya went nuts for it as soon as I pulled it out of the bag. I tried to explain that she can’t steal a toy and keep it, so it had to be returned.

The kennel employees were surprised that such a maneuver was even possible for Kya, because the dogs are well supervised and are only allowed to have toys in their own respective rooms. Which means that sometime during the day when the dogs were all making a trip to the outdoor play area was Kya cunning enough to sneak into a neighboring room and do a bit of shopping.

I called ahead to the kennel to let them know I was coming to return the contraband, and when I got there I felt like I was doing the walk of shame – like a mother walking into the principal’s office at an elementary school after her kid just punched another kid. Then bit him. Then destroyed his art project made specially for his sweet, old grandmother.

They were kind and understanding about it, I was humiliated, Kya was bummed out that she lost her new favorite thing that she found all by herself. That is, until I got home from work and she slathered my face with kisses. Had she been a child of the human variety, she would have stormed off to her room, slamming the door behind her. Follow this with months of little to no interaction aside from muttering hateful things under her breath. Fast forward further to her adult life where she’d spend countless hours of therapy determining that all of her life’s problems stem from me and this very incident. Then she’d harbor endless amounts of resentment until I was old and decrepit, and she’d finally get her revenge by putting me in a home. And stealing my favorite sweater. Then she’d wag her back end on the way out and turn back only to scream, “IT WAS ONLY A FUCKING RATTLE BEAR, GOSH!”

So here’s to nearly five years with my best girl who has made me laugh more, play more and has shown me that unconditional love is the greatest thing you could ever give another soul. May all of the relationships in my life be this easy.


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