Mine

I want to go home. Not because I really dislike school, or because I really love home. But every time I call my dad, I ask about my bird and my dog. It's a ritual I never miss. And the answer, every single time for the last few months, has been, "Your bird is great, your dog... well, she's old." "Old."

How is "old" the best possible adjective to describe my dog? She's playful and loving and wonderful and mine. Hell, white would be a better word than "old." Because I want to see her again. It is exactly two weeks today until I see my little girl, but I'm terrified that after 2 or 3 years of "she's getting old" and several months of officially BEING "old", she won't make it those two weeks.

As much as I love college life and my friends and my boyfriend, I resent every moment that I am not with my aging best friend, because I would never forgive myself if I ran around Chicago for spring break instead of visiting my dog. She misses me, and she loves me, and I chose my friends. But she's the one who's in pain, who won't live for too much longer. How is that fair?

And even if she keeps it together until May 5th, I'll be busy working for most of the summer, and I'll be at Mom's house for half of it. And then I leave her, again. Because even though I miss her so much I could (and occasionally do) cry, I have my priorities, and she is not number one.

But the second I walk through the door, I become the most important, exciting thing in her life. I understand that her love is really just an anciently inherited pack mentality and her excitement is partially because her little dog brain cannot comprehend more, but that doesn't mean that it isn't real. And I can only return that devotion for a limited time.

There are hundreds of cute quotes about how dogs are, in all ways that matter, better than humans. I've always kind of believed it, but I've never felt it as acutely as right now. If I could trade her places, I would. Because in the end, she deserves nothing but rawhide bones, a squirrel to chase, and infinite attention and belly rubs.

Thank you God, for giving me the gift of this wonderful dog who shaped my life so dramatically, and please, please, please let me see her again and prove that I am worthy of her love. Her love is as big of a piece of your unconditional love that I can actually even begin to understand, and I want so desperately to be worthy of it. She is my best friend, and I am her person, and I don't know what I'll do without her.

Regardless, my life will never be the same, and for that, my little white dog, I love you.

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