My husband has long suspected it. Quite frankly, I’ve been in denial for the past two years. It’s time for the truth to come out: I love my dog more than I love my husband. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not “in love” with my dog — that’s just darn creepy. I simply love my dog. A lot. I love my husband, too, but he certainly couldn’t get away with destroying my favorite designer heels or pooping on my beige carpet.
No matter how long I have been gone, Axle (my dog) is happy to see me. I can be snappy with him, and he’ll still wag his tail and nuzzle my face as though nothing has happened. He’s happy to be subjected to my photo-taking addiction and will even tolerate being dressed up on occasion. He snuggles with me when I’m cold. He listens intently to all of my rants, regardless of how silly they may be. He even thinks I’m a great singer!
My husband will listen to me, yes, but he has his limits. Axle can listen to me all day, and he’ll continue to give me that intense, understanding look that says, “It’s okay, I’m still listening.” He knows all of my secrets, and he loves me just the same. He would forgive me any trespass, and I’m pretty sure I’d forgive him anything, as well. He’s certainly tried my patience a time or two, but then he gives me that look — head low, forehead creased, ears drooping — and it’s all I can do not to hug him and tell him I’m sorry for getting on him!
Axle has been with me for two years, one-third as long as my husband and I have been together. During these two years, he has taught me so much about life and love. When he paws at the door just to go out and sun on the deck, he reminds me that it’s important to just take some time to relax.
When he pounces after a bouncing tennis ball like a little puppy, he reminds me that we’re all still capable of losing ourselves in childlike play. When he snuggles up to the cats and our other dog on the couch, he reminds me that friends are a wonderful and rewarding thing to have. When he gets excited when I get home, or he discovers a long-lost toy in between the couch cushions, he reminds me that it’s the simple things in life that are best.
I take care of Axle. I make sure he has food and fresh water. I check his eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and paws daily for any potential problems and subject him to routine vet visits. I make sure we have all of his favorite chews in the house, and he sleeps on an over-size orthopedic pet bed.
He, in turn, offers unconditional love and hugs (yes, he knows how to hug). He also has the uncanny ability to detect when I’m having a nightmare (I had night terrors as a child and still have similar experiences on occasion). He will nuzzle my face until I wake up, then he’ll curl up next to me on the bed until I fall back asleep. Now that’s love!
So all things considered, it’s not hard to believe why I love this tail-wagging, tongue-lolling, happy smiling boy more than my husband … or anyone else, for that matter!
Meghan Lodge is an animal advocate who dedicates her spare time to a local animal shelter. She also authors the blog, Oh My Pibbles, which focuses on animal advocacy. She lives in Cairo, GA, with her husband and their motley crew: Axle and Remi (dogs) and Fry, Leela, and Lord Nibbler (cats).