Your flaws are what make you, you. Why would you want to be just like someone else? Life would be boring if we all thought alike. Blah blah blah... It often feels like statements similar to these have been obnoxiously pounded into my brain over the past few months.
As much as I want to believe these statements to be true, I have a difficult time with it. During my childhood I often found myself picking out flaws and shortcomings in others as a way to fit in with a certain group of people. If I strayed from the "norm," I would quickly become the target for those harsh words and endless ridicule; or that's what I thought to be true and those beliefs have stuck with me into adulthood.
Five years ago, almost to the date, I received a phone call from my dad saying they were bringing home a dog for my brother, Larsen's, Christmas present. They felt it was necessary to give me heads up because they didn't want to give me a heart attack. In high school one of my best friend's family knew me as the "dog hater" and I was typically greeted with "what's up dog hater?" The shedding, the slober, the stink, and the endless need for attention- it drove me crazy. My parents knew bringing a dog home would be a serious adjustment for me.
After spending just ten minutes with our new dog, Muzzy, I knew my dog hating ways had been forever changed. She was the sweetest, cuddliest, and most adorable puppy ever. It was love at first sight.
As the years have gone by, Muzzy has become my dog, much more than my brother's dog. She loves me more and it's obvious. She used to get in the front seat of my car as I was packing up to drive back up north to school and I would tearfully have to pry her out of my car. She definitely put an end to my dog hating ways.
Somewhere along the way, however, Muzz has turned into the most neurotic and bizarre dog in the entire world- not exaggerating. German short hairs are supposed to be bird dogs, hunting dogs, fearless dogs; not Muzzy. Something as simple as setting a magazine down on the counter creates enough noise to startle her, sending her downstairs in a scurry, and gives her the shakes for at least hour. Sometimes we joke that she is afraid of the wind, but it's not really a joke. Getting a drink is even too frightening for her. It's routine every afternoon to sit with her while she gets a drink, just to make sure the scary drink monsters don't get her.
This picture perfectly describes her personality as she has gotten older. She's out of control.
Back the original point of this post, this dog has some serious flaws. Completely different than any other living thing on this earth and I still have more love for her than anything in the world. In fact, if it wasn't for her ridiculous routines, our bond wouldn't be nearly as strong as it is today.
After a 48 hour stay at the vet's thanks to a nasty stomach bug and a night of cleaning up after her, I am thrilled to pick her up this afternoon. I have missed having someone jump in my bed at 5:30 every morning and protecting her from the scary drink monsters. I have missed her quirkiness.
If it takes a neurotic dog for me to believe the "your flaws are what makes you unique" statements, then that's what it takes. For the first time, probably ever, I think I understand. Figuring out who I am and what makes me, me has been scary, but if this crazy dog can do it, I'm pretty sure I can figure it out, too.