It was one of those things you do in a marriage. You love someone and you even tend to love their crazy dreams and versions of themselves – in spite of yourself. So one day I came home to find a little surprise waiting for me. A tiny, cuddly forever-ready-to-pee puppy.
We called him Dexter. He was precious but I found myself constantly watching out for poop almost anywhere and newborn puppy pee. Oh how many times a day did I step on a puddle of pee.
Things got really tough as Dexter grew. The cuteness was short-lived. He was a terror pretty soon. Little puddles converted into mighty waterfalls and there were many a tired chase that made me rethink all the decisions I had taken in life. I’m pretty sure I questioned life, marriage, the concept of food in general.
Dexter had one clear alpha – he still does. When the husband was out-of-sight, the dog would play. I was just one among his pack, someone he didn’t remotely fear, someone he could have his way with. Suddenly, ‘sit!’ meant jumping on the bed or running amock; ‘stay!’ meant bite my ankles; ‘no bitey’ meant growl at me.
Then there were those moments – when you came home from work to a jumpy pup who missed you so dearly, he couldn’t contain himself. I wasn’t used to such happy expressions of love and affection. I thought, well that was nice. Then he’d place his paw on my thigh, as we sat on the bed drinking our morning tea, as if to remind me he were there (all the while I’d be internally hyperventilating – he was on our bed!), and he could use a biscuit too.
I’m not sure when it happened, but much to my surprise, I fell for my dog. Maybe it was one of those many nights we spent missing the main man in our lives. Maybe we bonded over moments spent in the kitchen, where he quietly sat at my feet as I made rotis for him. Maybe it was during one of the loud arguments between the husband and I where he had to pick sides and inevitably chose me. Or the morning routine when he sensed I was getting ready to leave and would lie at my feet as if to stop me – or run away with my socks so that I would stay just for that extra couple of minutes.
Sure, he still listens to his ‘master’. He forgets me for a while when he meets his friends at boarding. He probably waits outside the kitchen door because he loves food more than he loves me. He’s a little crazy and still has little “accidents” on our bed sometimes. But he’s Dexter Morgan and he found a place in my heart. A place I was surprised to find – and there was suddenly room for all the doggies in the world!