People I barely know at a party will inform me that my love for animals is my way of compensating for not being a mother. They think it’s okay to analyze and condescend because I’ve made the conscious choice to be childless, and that makes me crazy. If they thought I miscarried or my child died, no one would peep about my misplaced maternal affection. I’m well aware that my funeral will be at the dog park.
The animals teach me how to live freely, love and prioritize. With my [dog] friends at the lagoon trail, I learned that we don’t have to behave a specific way just because people expect us to. Zoe the black poodle is usually prim and proper, more of a chess player than a scavenger, but at the lagoon she found simple pleasures in carrying a stick between her teeth for a mile. She didn’t think it through, she just did what felt right. Next time I want to wear a dress or heels but don’t feel like facing, “Whaat?!?! YOU are dressed up?,” I’ll think of Zoe and I’ll do it anyway.