worth it.

Yesterday was a big day for a certain little ball of fur.

For the first time since February, the little ball of fur spent the entire day home alone, medication-free.

Around 3 pm I panicked that maybe I had made a huge mistake. I had visions of my apartment destroyed and a manic dog. But eventually I realized that if a mistake had been made the damage was long-done.

But lo and behold, when I pulled into the parking lot after work I looked up & saw the ball of fur sitting there, surveying the parking lot quietly, which has rapidly become her favorite home-alone activity. Not a peep did the ball of fur make. Well, until she spotted me walking to the door. Then she made a lot of noise.

You know what? I'm okay with that. Excited greetings are a-okay in my book and since they last only about two minutes tops, I think the neighbors can deal with it too.

If we're being honest with each other, it's been quite the roller coaster ride. And if we're being even more honest, it was a ride I thought about getting off repeatedly. Yes there were days where I wondered if maybe I should have gotten a cat, days where I swore I would never get another dog. I wouldn't get rid of this one but I wouldn't repeat the experience.

But I would repeat the experience. In a heartbeat.

You see having a dog has brought the absolute best out of me. I learned to manage my money better. I confronted my anxiety. I started exercising more. I suddenly found myself wanting to live up to my potential and being unwilling to settle.

There's something about the greeting you get when you walk in the door. It's magic, really.

If I have a good day at work, eat properly, and don't overspend the ball of fur greets me with the same enthusiasm as if I had been short with someone unnecessarily, felt guilty, and remedied the guilt by buying and eating a bunch of junk food.

Not that I've done that or anything.

But even if I do, I'm greeted at the door with an explosion of love and joy that doesn't really end even if it does lose it's explosiveness. I've got a companion curled up next to me on the sofa and snuggled into my back when I sleep, a companion who's curious about what I'm doing no matter how mundane the task. I'm never really alone, even when no other humans are present.

And that's okay.

Every day I look into the ball of fur's bug eyes and want to live up to even a fraction of what she seems to see in me.

So if you're thinking about getting a dog know this: it will be exceptionally difficult at first. If you get a puppy you have to raise and train them. If you get an adult rescue you have to emotionally and mentally rehab them. Know that "at first" is much longer than 2 weeks or a month even. I'm fortunate that my ball of fur settled down after only 7 months. Know that your money and time will go predominantly to them.

Know too that it will be worth it. Every penny and every tear will be worth it. Know that the love and loyalty they give you will be worth it. Know that the personal growth you'll go through will be worth it.

Don't give up on them.

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