Every morning I peek to see what search terms brought people to Something Wagging This Way Comes the day before.
There’s the usual mix of funny and disturbing queries about dogs and sex. I always have a few people searching on poop, because, really, it’s all about the poop. And then there are the boring searches for dog food reviews.
But a recent phrase, although it has only come up once, sticks in my mind. It’s “My boyfriend doesn’t understand why I’m mourning my dog.”
I wish I could meet this visitor. Tell her that if her boyfriend doesn’t understand, millions of people who have known the love of a dog do. But even more, I want to ask her a question: Even if your boyfriend doesn’t understand, does he care that you’re mourning your dog?
I’ve been married 24 years. The list of things my boyfriend doesn’t understand about me is endless (liking opera, watching John Waters movies, being a Mac user, my inability to be spontaneous…). Heck, he wouldn’t even have a dog if he wasn’t married to me.
But whether he understands or not, my hus-friend cares that I care. And he has made room in his life (and on his couch) for things that are important to me.
Yesterday, I got a day off from dog care. My husband walked the dogs, fed them both meals, and took them outside for potty breaks. My only responsibility the entire day was doing physical therapy with our foster dog, Ginny.
Mike might not understand why I need to have dogs in my life, why I get up at 5 a.m. to write about them, and why I keep bringing lovable foster dogs into our home just to say goodbye to them in a few weeks. But he cares that I care. And he supports everything I do.
So to the person searching for the phrase, “My boyfriend doesn’t understand why I’m mourning my dog,” I’d say it might not matter if he understands. As long as he cares for you and supports you while you’re mourning your dog.
But if he doesn’t understand your grief with his head or with his heart, dump him. Dump him now.
Because the last thing you need is a jerk who makes you feel worse when you already feel bad enough.
Your Turn: Do you feel supported for the things that are important to you even if the people in your life don’t understand? Where do you go for understanding of your dog craziness?