Friday, March 13, 2015

To the left, to the left? Not irreplaceable...?

Recently I was admitted to the hospital with a health scare. As nerve-wracking as it was, being poked and jabbed in nearly every part of my body, my biggest concern was how my Basenji was handling life without me. Or, more like, how I was handling life without her. As much as I complained about squeezing myself into a few square inches of mattress real estate because the Basenji must sleep a certain way, I found that I was unable to rest a single minute alone in that hospital bed. I worried about and pined for that dog until the day they finally let me leave the hospital.

Of course, I knew Clover Four Leaf was being well cared for. My Basenji-experienced friend spoiled Clover as if she were his own. But something kept bothering me: we had never spent a night apart since I adopted her almost 3 years ago. Is she missing me as much as I'm missing her? Will this change our human/Basenji dynamic in any way?

It's strange how you worry about these things. After I returned home, I noticed more about her, took in all her little ways more carefully. Is she more demanding? Has she put on too much weight? Does she seem a little depressed? 

I think part of this worry was rooted in the fear that Clover would become attached to my friend, and "forget" about me. Okay, yes....I felt jealous when she barooed as much for his return as for mine, when he brought me home from the hospital. And yes, it did hurt my feelings that she wanted to keep sleeping in his bed at night. Was I that bad?

I decided that I needed to look at this differently, and perhaps feel a little gratitude. While it's been a stroke to my ego that my dog has always preferred me, wasn't it good that she trusted and liked someone who could step in and take care of her without any fuss? And didn't she need the change to her environment sometimes, if it furthers her social skills?

So, maybe I'm not irreplaceable in her eyes. But I know she still loves me. I'm still the one whose arm she paws when she wants loving. It's my side she pushes against at night. I'm still "Mommy". No one else can be that.

(Clover Four Leaf, holding onto my legs and wanting some "Mommy time")

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