1) I’d sleep through the night with only Scott’s snoring to wake me up periodically, instead of the addition of sleep barking and even the occasional sleep howling to startle me awake with a smile.
2) Walks would be a lot less frequent and a lot more boring. I’d never take new routes and never stop to think about what’s so darned interesting about that sign post or that particular patch of grass.
3) We’d be snuggle-deprived. Sure, human companionship is great, but there’s something extra soothing about a warm animal curled up beside you, their unconditional love and admiration oozing out across your lap, as you read on the couch each night.
4) I’d work a lot more hours. If getting home to let out your pet who’s been in a crate all day isn’t enough motivation to leave work on time, experiencing their ever-predictable excitement over your homecoming is. Who doesn’t enjoy being greeted by kisses, intense tail-wagging, and a victory lap around the apartment every single day?
5) Last, and perhaps most importantly, I don’t know if I would ever want to be a mother. I realize that dog ownership can’t compare to human parenthood, but it’s sure been a good warm-up for us. We’ve had to take on responsibility for something other than ourselves, sacrifice sleep on weekend mornings, and clean up poop and pee like experts. But more than anything, having Izzy around brought to the surface some mothering instincts I didn’t know I had. As lame as it may sound, she was one of the reasons I wanted to finally start a family.
I could go on, but I’m sure you get the gist: Over the past year, Izzy has brought more joy, laughter, and warmth into our lives than we thought possible. To some people, a dog is a dog is a dog, and reading this may cause them to roll their eyes and think, “Good grief. What’s the big deal?” But I’m sure others can relate to how a pet can become not just a companion, but a member of the family. In fact, we joke that Izzy is our first child, but there’s some truth to it. The little charmer has captured our hearts in a very unexpected way, a way often described by parents. If an animal can do that, what the heck is a human child gonna do?
Today, my heart is full as I think about the many blessings from this past year—Izzy definitely included—and the many that are coming soon. Today, I am so very thankful.