#68. Why Single Moms Need Dogs
My son returned from camp and had the best summer yet. I had him for five glorious days until he left to go with his father for the month of August. Every year the same anxieties surface. Will my ex be responsible enough to maintain my son’s safety? Will my ex actually spend the time with him?
It’s very easy and warranted to be deeply concerned about my son’s safety. These anxieties used to drive me crazy. BUT, I have learned that I have to choose to not think about them. I’ve become quite adept at compartmentalization. I have done everything in my power to ensure the health and well-being of my son and that’s all I can do. I have learned to fill my time with productivity and physical activity. Yet there are still those daily moments when my mind wanders and I wonder where my son is, what he’s doing and if he’s alright. That’s when I saddle up Fluffy-the-dog into his leash and take him for a walk.
Walking Fluffy is like taking a toddler out. Every time we exit the apartment he forces me with all of his 22 pounds to walk over to the Dollar Store. He insists that we walk up and down all the aisles so he can smell and check out the inventory. Then he drags me over to the dog section to see what’s new. This is every day. It’s a bit embarrassing. Some dogs can’t wait to go to the park. Mine wants to go shopping. When he is finished at the Dollar Store he literally drags me over to the subway. Fluffy LOVES the subway. Sometimes I acquiesce and we ride aimlessly for a ½ hour. Shopping and the subway. (I think he’s really the reincarnation of a woman from New York City.) When I am walking him it reminds me of my son when he was a toddler and we’d go to Toys R Us and spend hours looking at all the aisles. Taking Fluffy to the Dollar Store makes me feel like a mom again, which is just what I need in my son’s absence.
Fluffy likes walking around our neighbourhood because there are lots of stores to check out as we are on a main street in midtown Toronto. While walking and really observing my surroundings, I have learned a very important lesson: Never befriend or utilize any Real Estate agents who feel it necessary to superimpose their image onto bus shelters and park benches. The majority of the men who have these blown up images of themselves on the bus shelters staring at you with some smarmy expression look like raging alcoholics. The kind that if you invited over for a cocktail party, would end up sweating profusely while wearing a lampshade on his head, drinking from a bottle of Jack Daniels and yelling out, “I’m a fat guy, but I get dates!”. On the whole, the women who grace the large walls of the bus shelters look like desperate hookers. These women might as well add the tagline, ‘Free Fellatio with every showing ’. The worst thing about these Real Estate agents are the little slogans they have. Do they think they are being clever? Like, ‘Bill Ship. Don’t let the ship sail! Bill navigates the sale’. Or, ‘Gloria Seoul. She’ll sell her Seoul to get you the best price!’. I hate these people. They’re tacky and I don’t ever want any of them in my realm by choice. Thank you Fluffy!
Another life lesson that Fluffy has taught me is about instinct. He innately knows what crazy people and deranged animals to avoid. He doesn’t sit there debating if he is being paranoid. He doesn’t wonder if he’s projecting his negative baggage onto them. Nope. He feels the crazy vibe and goes in the other direction. We single moms clearly need to hone that skill. Especially when dating. If something feels off, yet you can’t quite understand why, don’t worry about it. Just walk away before you learn the hard reality of what was exactly wrong with that person. Our instinct is always right. Always. Trusting the instinct works for Fluffy.
Most importantly, Fluffy is my faithful companion. He is euphoric every time I enter a room like I have just returned from combat. He somehow knows when I am sad and snuggles right up to me and gives me kisses. He makes me laugh with his funny and quirky personality. Best of all, Fluffy lets me love him back. My son also adores Fluffy and enjoys the same benefits. In fact, Fluffy has become a sort of ‘go to’ when my son cops some ‘tude and behaves like a teenager. Rather then argue with my sharp tongued boy, I just point at the dog and say, “Look. You’re upsetting the dog.” So what if Fluffy is passed out on the floor like he’s been shot. At least it breaks the tension.
Whether my son is home or not, Fluffy is a constant source of love and happiness. He certainly completes our family and makes our apartment a home. I recommend a dog to every single mom. I’m sure your dog will teach you as much as mine has and supply you with enough love and affection to fill your heart even in the face of adversity. I love you Fluffy!