By Kathleen Guthrie Woods
I can’t count how many times I’ve howled with laughter over the photos and videos posted online of puppies and dogs causing major household destruction—the shredded pillow, the half-eaten shoe, the barfed up something or other. (See hilarious examples on the Dog Shaming site.) But then I got a puppy, and let me say, karma is a bitch.
The upside of this story is that Louie (who we also call “Monster” or “Weapon of Mass Dog-struction,” depending on the circumstances) is a joy in my life. He is a cuddler and a kisser. He is smart. He beams when he masters a new trick. He entertains me with his antics. When he “wins” our tug-of-war games, he immediately brings the rope back to me for a fresh round of play. He greets me every morning like it’s been years since we were last together. He’s one of the great loves in my life.
What he is not is my baby. And while he’s no substitute for the children I’d hoped to have in my life, right now he is providing me with so much love that I am distracted from my losses.
A few pairs of shoes is a small price to pay for his therapy.
Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She is wrapping up her memoir about being a temporary single mommy and how it helped her come to terms with being childfree.