So I’ve had a couple of days to reflect on Life With Hunter, and whenever he creeps into my mind–which is often–one thing sticks up head and shoulders above the rest.
They choose you. You don’t choose them.
Hunter came to me in a past life; different personal circumstances, a different time. I had never owned a dog before, but I had always wanted one to call my own. Little did I know what kind of commitment it was — from the early morning feedings, to the overnight ER visits, to the barking-for-no-apparent-reason-at-nothing-in-particular, life as I knew it completely changed.
When he showed up, I was selfish. Life was all about me. If I wanted to go out, I went out. If I wanted to stay out late, or sleep in on the weekend, I did. If I had a 14 hour workday, I stayed at work and didn’t care much about what was going on at home.
But he changed all of that. Now I had to make arrangements for someone to let him out, make plans around his feeding and bathroom schedule, and plan to walk him –and allot the time — once or twice a day. No matter how cold or hot it was, I still had to do it, or he’d be a complete maniac in the house from all of his puppy energy.
He gave me a sense of purpose.
I like to think that it’s because I needed that sense of purpose, that reason to get up in the morning, and think about a living being other than myself. And you know what? It worked. For over 13 years, as long as I wasn’t traveling for work, I was up by 7AM at the latest. Until he got older and wasn’t able, we walked, and I threw his ball, or his toy, and he made me laugh.
He chose me. To be his guardian, to take care of him when he needed it, and to be by his side for his entire life.
It’s been strange around here for the last week. Hunter’s not scoping out what I’m eating for dinner. Or watching what I’m doing as I go into the fridge.
And he’s not snoring softly as Rebecca and I watch TV at night. But he is in a better place, with no more pain, no more struggling to get up off the floor, or difficulty navigating the step from the patio to the grass.
He’s at peace.
Miss you, bud.