It’s no secret that the past couple of months have been challenging in every way–emotionally, financially, medically, professionally. And on the heels of a few extra challenging years, I wonder sometimes when I’ll get to take a breath again. One that feels more like a restorative exhale than a sharp, anxious intake.
Today wasn’t that day.
I left the house for a late lunch because I had to get out. When the darkness pulls on me, my bed is far too alluring. Productivity often has to happen outside my door, or I can easily sleep the hours–and the days–away.
Walking back home, Taylor Swift’s “This Love” was playing a private performance in my ears, and I couldn’t hold back the tears. As I waited for the light to change before crossing the road before me, I noticed a small black lab and his owner standing on the other side. The pup and I made eye contact, and he began to wag his tail wildly.
When the light changed, the owner and her dog waited for me. “I’ve never seen him so excited to see a human he doesn’t know!” she said.
“Maybe we knew each other in another life,” I said as the dog gently jumped up and wrapped his paws around me.
“He’s a hugger,” his owner said. “He’s a trained emotional support dog. He knows when someone’s having a bad day.”
My breath caught deep in my throat as I leaned over to hug my new friend, tears falling freely into his thick, black fur.
“He knew,” I agreed. “He definitely knew.”
I wiped my snot away with the back of my hand.
“What’s his name?” I asked.
“Indiana Bones,” she replied.
I leaned down to hug him again.
“You don’t know how much I needed to meet you today, Indy,” I said. “Thank you for noticing me.”
Sometimes being seen is all we need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Thank goodness there are furry friends offering unconditional love to remind us.
We don’t deserve them, these magnificent, loyal, soulful creatures. But I wouldn’t want to live in a world without them.
Good boy, Indiana Bones. Good boy.