Emma. Black chow mixed with other breed(s). I lived with Emma for 13 months. September ’04-October ’05.

For the first 7 months I lived in a house type duplex thing. It was me, Emma, Emma’s owner (E.o) and Emma’s owner’s bf (E.o.bf). E.o was away for work a lot lot. He’d be gone for weeks at a time. When E.o was on tour E.o’s bf would stay somewhere else. That left me and Emma. I’d made it clear that I wouldn’t take care of her. Not my dog. I was just renting a room. I was in a fragile, psychological/emotional state. I was on state disability and barely able to take care of myself. (That’s another story) I was recuperating. Because E.o was gone so much, Emma was very very needy and doggie depressed. Our neighbors would come over and feed her and play with her. One of my other friends would come over and walk her. I did my best to ignore her. Not my dog. I felt because she was so so needy that I’d never be able to give enough. She would always want more. She’d drain me. (Mother issues) I also didn’t want to be responsible for anything or anyone other than myself. Not my dog.

April ’05. Our Emma lovin’ neighbors, E.o, E.o’s bf, and I moved into a house. We had a backyard with a doggie door. Emma would traipse thru the kitchen, laundry area, and out the doogie door. This was great because she could go and come in at her will. No more letting her out or in (which I actually did do before ’cause I had to you know..she had to do the whole relieving herself thing). Shortly after we moved into the house, the cool Emma lovin’ neighbors got a dog and named her Kayla. Our household was now two gay couples, two female dogs, and me. At some point, shortly after we got Kayla my heart slowly started opening up. I started letting Emma hang out with me in my room. I began to take Emma & Kayla for walks. First thing when I woke up (630am-7am), I’d put on my shoes (I slept in sweats and a t-shirt), go pee, get two plastic bags and go to where the leashes hung. As soon as I touched the leash, Emma would come running and Kayla would paw paw paw and bang into the door to be let out of her owner’s bedroom where she slept. I’d leash them up. Emma would be so so excited but if I told her to relax, she’d sit and let me leash her. Kayla was tougher. I’d have to saddle her basically and hold her between my knees. She was very wiggly. Then we’d be off. Walking around our beautiful neighborhood. Meeting other dogs and dog walkers. I’d sometimes sing or rap to them. They were a very good audience. Mostly indifferent. Emma would mainly lead and try to pull me and Kayla would keep criss crossing all over the place sniffing at everything. There was a lot of pulling back on the leashes, stopping, going forward, and letting them wander about a bit, untangling the leashes, and picking up their poop. Emma was very friendly and proud and people that we met while we were out and about really thought she was beautiful. Kayla was beautiful too. But very very shy. At night, when I’d get home from work (usually around 6p) I’d change and then take them out again.

Emma would hang out in my room sometimes and sleep and just chill out. Then she’d go off and do her doggie things. We became good friends. My heart grew big. I learned that it was okay to open up and take care of her. Loving her and giving her attention was never a drain. She gave me so much in return. It was a joy. My days were better. My life was better. No matter what was going on I could always look forward to the walks with the dogs.

A year or so later, after the guys and I had stopped living together, Emma had to be put down. I will always remember her and our time together. I try not to regret those first 7 months. I wouldn’t be as kind hearted as I sometimes am, if I hadn’t known her. The thing is, when you have (a) dog(s) or live with dogs and then you don’t…well you’re dogless. People who have never had a dog or lived with a dog can’t quite know this feeling. Lucky (and) unlucky them.

This is dedicated in loving memory to Emma and Clay (a friend of a friend).


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