I’ve reached a decision people, and no, it has nothing to do with plastic surgery. I will from this point on, unto death do us part, pretend to love our dog Libby. Because in reality, unless I want to get creative with a shovel and some lime, she’s here to stay (I’m kidding of course! I would never use lime). And if I don’t make peace with that, I’m going to endure a miserable 11 to 13 years. Here’s my line of thinking:
She’s family. Whether I like it or not (and I really don’t), my children and my husband love her. And since I love them, the transitive property of canine ownership says I must in turn love the dog. Therefore, I shall accept my role as one of the primary caregivers and start pulling my weight when it comes to feeding, walking, and yes, even playing with Libby. To that end, I have begun taking her out for trips around the neighborhood. I get some exercise, she gets some “Danielle” time, and my kids think I’m awesome because they didn’t have to go outside in freezing temperatures.
Fortunately for you, my avid fans, loving the dog doesn’t mean I can’t continue to complain about her. You only have to read my previous 300 columns to see that the people I love most provide the best venting fodder. So don’t worry, you can expect many more sordid tales of Labrador retrievers gone awry. Hopefully what you won’t be hearing are stories about how I blame Doo for carpet stains, midnight awakenings and weaponized dog hair clogging the air vents. He was a pretty good husband in the early years with kids, putting in his fair share of diaper changes, Spagettios clean-ups, and pacifier retrievals; I can do the same for him now that he has the baby.
So I’m adding to my New Year’s resolutions list “Pretend to love Libby until I actually do.” And I will eventually. I’m not so cold that I can’t look into those big brown eyes and feel nothing; it’s just that I’ve resisted because once I admit that I like her, I’m all in. I’ll have to cry when she’s hurt and mourn when she eventually leaves us. I bawled like a baby when my son’s gecko of four years died. A gecko! Imagine how I’ll be when my children’s eighty-pound dog passes! Look, I’m not promising to become a dog person, but I am promising to try loving Libby.