This Week, Be the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are

In January, my dog Romina died when I was away on vacation. Her health declined very quickly (seizures, blindness, etc.) and over a matter of hours, there wasn’t anything that could be done for her. Mercifully, my parents didn’t break the news until I was back from my trip. To this day, we’re not sure what happened to Romina.

Losing my dog was, to put it briefly, painful. Even now, something will remind me of Romina and the grief will feel fresh. I’ve had a few feline friends pass away over the years, and it was sad, but it wasn’t shattering like losing my dog.

I don’t think anybody, with the exception of my parents (they sort of don’t count because they have to love me), has been happier to see me than Romina. I wish I could be as good a person as she thought I was, because, honestly I probably fall far below that great imaginary person.

If I could be the human equivalent of a dog, I’m pretty sure that I would be a saint by now. I would be a living miracle and altars would be raised in my honor. People might even comment on how much I look like Romina (except I don’t, but there definitely are people who look like their dogs).

When I look into a dog’s eyes, I want to be a better person. They think I’m so great, when in reality, I’m really not that great. I’m full of flaws and have sh**ty, petty thoughts about people. I dabble in fantasizing about the specific ways in which I’m going to wreak my vengeance upon those who have wronged me (‘Carmina Burana’ being the soundtrack). I’m not particularly good at empathizing with people (if you’re being stupid, I’m sorry, but I can’t bring myself to feel for you). I could go on, but I wont because there’s no point in listing all my issues.

Can you get any more all-around wonderful than a dog? No. They’re our best friends and they don’t judge us when we act crazy around them.  They also let us dress them up in ridiculous outfits. 

The World would be so much better if we were the people dogs think we are:

1. The amount of earnestness would be on the verge of being appalling.

2. I’d, and you too, probably spend a lot more time volunteering and being an overall better person.

3. Maybe we’d all be a little more empathetic towards other people.

4. We’d all basically be out saving the World.

Right?! It’s not necessarily that dogs think (or maybe they do, I don’t know if dogs think) that we have all these great qualities. Dogs think that we’re great, and I’d like to actually earn that admiration. For me, at least, that’s what a dog’s love feels like: admiration. Maybe it’s a God-complex, and that’s why I discern it as admiration, but it’s like: Here you are, thinking I’m so fantastic, and I know that’s not the case.

Basically, I want to be the wonderful person my dog thinks I am (I’m still buddies with a pug named Camila, pictured above) so that I’m not such a fraud.

I want to hear about the special dog in your life, comment below!

Image via Maria A. Hernandez

  • Courtney McInvale

    Maria, Thank you so much for writing this post. For me It could not have been more perfect timing. I grew up with a golden named Jake who passed away when I was 13 going on 14. That was one of the hardest things to get used to, but we got two siberian husky puppies who took quite a bit of our attention and helped ease the pain. We grew to love them soo much. Now I’m 25, and just this past weekend, we lost one of the huskies, Seamus. He experienced something very similar to Romina. I’ve been crying off and on for a few days. I have a dog now too, at my own apt, Danny Boy, who looks at me with those eyes you speak of, the eyes of admiration. I think you’re right on trying to be who our dog/s want us to be, who we should be perhaps. The world would be better (even if those people being stupid don’t deserve it, that will take some reminding from me too lol), Thanks again for the post, it hit’s home -Courtney

  • Courtney Hosny

    Very true–dogs are the sweetest :)

    Courtney Hosny

  • Courtney Hosny

    Wow, sorry, the smiley face above is not supposed to look that creepy Haha

  • Maria A. Hernandez-Venegas

    Courtney, Im so sorry to hear about your puppy! It gets better with time. I never really thought that I would get quite as attached as I did to my Romina. I hope that you feel better soon!

  • Courtney McInvale

    Thanks Maria! I hear you, when my family got the huskies I thought they were nothing but trouble, sure enough they won my heart!

  • Alle Connell

    About four months ago, as my brother was being diagnosed with bipolar disorder & spending the first of several stays in a psych ward, I adopted a dog. In retrospect, it probably wasn’t the best time: I was so, so stressed out by everything, I was worn down by work and life, and basically everything was terrible.

    Oliver is a two year old Chihuahua-Manchester terrier mix. He was thrown out of a van onto a major road like he was garbage, and that’s how he came to the shelter. He hadn’t been neutered, acted like he’d never been on grass before, was aggressive with other dogs and wasn’t housebroken. I brought him home anyway, because he looked at me and I looked at him and I knew right then that there was no way I could NOT.

    The first night he was at my house, he was so scared. He wouldn’t let me go anywhere unattended, just in case I disappeared on him. He wouldn’t get near his crate (which was understandable) so he spent the whole night whimpering and cuddling on my chest. That night I promised him that I’d never leave him, and that nothing would hurt him as long as I was around.

    Every day, I try to live up to that promise and every day, he rewards me for it. Even though sometimes it can be challenging, I think I got the better part of the deal. I love him so much. It sounds weird to say, but it took a dog to make me a better person.

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