A few weeks ago a member of my patchwork family died. I’m in the process of moving across the country to be closer to said family and I have a hard time both waving him goodbye and not being with the ones who remain. So I thought I might just share how we met.
I first made the acquaintance of my boyfriend through the internet. We agreed to meet in the middle of our country and since he and his baby are inseparable his furry companion tagged along. (He was very good at pretending to be luggage when it came to packing the car.) We met at a train station. So there was my blind date I travelled 3 hours to meet. A very tall and bulky man with an equally tall and bulky dog at his side and another voluminous bouquet of flowers. I was most intimidated by the flowers.
So me and boyfriend gave each other a very long hug in the middle of all this busy town where everyone seemed to wear polished leather shoes. And our baby stood there. After a while he decided this won’t do. He was a Mastiff after all. Mastiffs are very very loyal to their owners. To the point of leaving them alone while working not being an option and them wanting to sleep next to you in bed. They take guarding very seriously after all. That’s what they are literally made for. And there was this stranger giving his daddy a hug. So he did what we all expect these dangerous beasts to do…
he stood on his hind legs and joined the hug! So much for scepticism. He never told me what made him choose me as his mum before i even properly set eyes on him (which mind you is not how I normally go about interacting with humans and dogs). But he did. He was very kind to me during our two weeks in this city unknown to all of us. Always tried to obey the command that made the most sense rather than the gibberish I said since I didn’t know dog lingo that well back then. Every morning he licked my feet.
One time we were fetching takeaway food from a shopping mall very late at night. Since dogs weren’t allowed in (which is ridiculous!) I was waiting outside with him while boyfriend went in. Apparently as I stood there and kept my eyes trained on my boyfriends proceedings a creepy man approached me from behind. Also apparently he was from some dubious “security” company. Again apparently he came so close to me that I should have been able to feel his breath on my shoulders. I was completely oblivious. I have a talent for missing the elephant in the room.
My son however wasn’t oblivious at all. Boyfriend also wasn’t. But the later of these two beloved men thought if he gestured to me to turn around I might scream and then our baby would have unleashed the beast for real because no one got to mommy until they acquired his approval. And boyfriend was always scared of losing his baby because while the dog was doing his job our laws only see a vicious dog once they actually educate creeps on proper manners. So boyfriend let his independent smart loyal best friend and mentor take care of it. And take care he did. He stood on my left and also faced the indoors of the restaurant. Through the reflection in the windows he saw that guy who stood to my right. Apparently at some point while leaning over my shoulders he saw the dog for the first time. How he managed to oversee a dog twice my weight in first place is beyond me but he might also have this rare talent of missing the Mastiff in the room.
The Mastiff however didn’t miss anything, he looked the guy straight in the eyes – the most common intimidation gesture among mammals – raised the hairs on his back and neck and assumed intimidation stance. Everything about him must have said MINE! Get out of here or we will thoroughly discuss this before you make another move! Of course I still managed to be oblivious somehow. That man however was now seeing that he was about to cross a Mastiff. Which you just don’t do. Its survival instinct. No one will take a chihuahua seriously in such a situation. But dog and dog are two different things. He up and ran. At least smart enough to live to kidnap another day or whatever it was he planned to do to me. There is a saying children and drunk people are always lucky. Since I am one of the few adults in countries where drinking is an accepted past time at social gatherings of all sorts who can still state without doubt that I have produced more ethanol through my own physiology than I ever drank it must conclusively proof that I truly am a child at heart, right? Right??
Speaking of childrens habits. My son and I shared a strong love for teddies. I brought one to my encounter with this internet guy who actually turned out to have stated the truth about himself or over exaggerated his bad features. I was sure this doesn’t happen on the internet. Ever. However as our time in the creepy city with the nice hotel room came to a close we all got very emotional. Yes all of us. And yes that of course included the dog. He is smarter than many humans I have had the misfortune to have to converse with. But since he neither had tears nor words at his disposal he developed more creative and dog like ways of sharing his thoughts. In this case he gently picked up my teddy which of course was one of the last things I intended to pack up. He shook my teddy, again very gently to disperse the smell of me that clung to my teddy better in the air. That way he could smell it more intensely.
Of course he didn’t know yet that we had a plan ready. We drove around in the town one last time to buy another teddy. I went to the toy store first (stupid dog rule, just punish the owner of a rampant dog the same they punish parents when their kid destroys something) and saw a teddy of a brand both boyfriend and dog had a profound love of. So profound boyfriend had already told me about this love for this type of stuffed animal a few times at that point already and so profound I have seen pictures of my baby from his puppy days with him cuddling a tinier version of the bear i picked. I emerged from the store less than 5 minutes later to tell boyfriend which present id like. Upon seeing the new teddy the dog immediately but gently stole it from me but gave it up quickly when I asked it back and told him this was my teddy. Then I gave him my old teddy to take home. That teddy held a very special place in his heart. There are many more stories to tell about that boy. He was a true hero and if I ever achieve half as much as he did despite having statistically roughly about ten times more lifespan on this planet I will be able to say I did well. More of my baby at another time. More other random stories about vegetarianism, autism and other isms and non isms as well.