Who wouldn’t want to be Daenerys Targaryen, beautiful Mother of Dragons, soaring on the back of an incredible creature capable of annihilating enemies with one whisper of “dracarys”? I, for one, would. I think humans have always had a longing to forge close connections with wild animals. We seek their companionship and are enthralled by those who are able to seemingly be one with their wild creature. It is not just that Daenerys’ dragons obey her; they trust her and have an emotional bond with her. They are her children and she is their mother.
I would like to think I have this same connection with my dogs. I am the dog mother to an eleven-year-old golden retriever and a ten-month-old boxer puppy. While I am a devoted dog mother and try my best to raise good canine citizens, I would be deluding myself if I thought I could be as regal and commanding as Daenerys with her “children”.
I occasionally get this omnipotent feeling in the two minutes of our daily walk when my dogs are walking calmly side-by-side and I am feeling dignified and in control. Invariably, this comes to a miserable end when one decides it’s time to do his business, the other wants to chase a squirrel, I am bending to pick up the poop, and we inevitably become entangled. This is usually the moment when some other dog mom comes towards us, nicely dressed, easily walking a 15 pound dog, and looking slightly superior and somewhat disapproving of my current situation. “Where were you two minutes ago I think?!” as I try to disentangle myself without stepping in poop. Today, I actually got a sympathetic “you look like you have a lot to handle there” remark from a very nice woman.
It’s true. Sometimes my dogs are a bit too much for me, but they have brought me much joy and comfort during some of my most painful times. My boxer, in particular, is both my grief dog and my almost-empty-nest dog. Having lost both of my parents in recent years, I was feeling blue. I was also afraid of losing Lucky, my golden, just as my real children were heading off to college. Enter Rory (as in Rory Gilmore). I wasn’t planning on a puppy but she fell into our laps and lives shortly after Christmas. Other family members already had adopted her brother and knew Rory needed a home. It was an impulsive move but one I do not regret. Rory starts each and every day with boundless enthusiasm, which has rubbed off on Lucky and me. It is impossible to be in anything but a good mood with an adorable pup licking your face.
So, if we are an unwieldy trio coming your way on a neighborhood path, please don’t judge us too harshly or feel too sorry for me. I love my wild beasts and we will get better at this. My fortune cookie last night aptly stated “you have a lively family”. Dogs to me are family and yes, they are quite lively, but I would not have it any other way. I am sure Daenerys would agree.