Sometimes love isn’t complicated

By Mir
September 17, 2009

It’s been many, many years since I had a pet, and unfortunately a lot of my memories of the last dog I had are bound up in accusations from my ex that I didn’t really love him (the dog, though projection is a marvelous thing), and then, of course, the end of the dog’s tenure with me and the kids, when he (the dog, again) was pretty much crazy and wanted nothing more than to tear the UPS man limb from limb.

As much as I love my favorite humans, human relationships are anything but simple; we all have emotions and then opinions and loooong memories and before you know it, a discussion about who cleans up after dinner has blossomed into how you never let anyone have any fun ever. Not that I don’t love those sorts of things, too (um, love may be a strong word for that PARTICULAR interaction…), but it’s all just so laden with meaning, history, intention, selfhood struggles, etc.

But dogs. Dogs, man. The right dog is just love covered with fur.

I worried about Licorice when we brought her home. I’m a worrier. She just looked so sad when her foster mom drove away, and even though I was assured that was a good thing (“It means she forms good attachments! Don’t worry!”), I didn’t know if she would bond to us, or see us as the horrible people who took her away from what may well have been the first nice home she’d ever had. And then that first weekend, she didn’t eat, and she slept and looked pitiful, and I worried.

And then the kids went back to school and Otto went back to work. And Licorice started spending her days laying on my office floor and wagging whenever I looked in her direction. I used to sometimes sit down to work in the morning and realize it was well past lunchtime and I’d never moved; now I take frequent breaks to feed and pet and praise and walk the dog, and the timid little creature who refused to eat the first two days now runs inside and sits next to the treat container, tail beating a steady rhythm on the floor until I get her her reward.

I jam medicine into this dog’s ears twice a day (sadly, without vodka, but with the help of a muzzle, just in case, which makes her look pitiful), and she endures it and when I take the muzzle off, she licks my face. And then I give her a piece of pepperoni and if all wasn’t forgiven already, it certainly is, then.

She thinks the yard is marvelous.


Because there’s a lot of stuff to sniff.


And she’ll come whenever I call her…


… even if she then gives me a look like, “What? What was more important than that deer poop I was trying to lick??”


We didn’t get her vet records until a couple of days ago, and to my surprise, her “estimated birthday” is listed as being the day after mine. That explains a lot, I think—clearly she sees me as a fellow Leo. Ready to take on the world! Ready to make a splash!


Or maybe she just knows I’d be chilling out on the floor most of the day, too, if I could.

I suspect this little girl is going to be teaching me a lot about love and forgiveness. I’m not at the point in my life where a piece of pepperoni and a belly rub makes everything all better, but maybe I’ll get a little closer to something like that, over time.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. Today I wish you the kind of love that takes over the moment with its simplicity. (If that comes via a face-licking, well, so much the better.)


  1. Holly

    She is truly adorable and it is so great that you’ve finally met your doggie match! Enjoy her!

  2. MomCat

    Awwww!! Just…awwwwww! *melts*

  3. Sheila

    Sigh. I miss my dog. This post almost makes me look back fondly on even the ear-cleaning days. Almost.

    So glad Licorice found you!

  4. StephLove

    Congrat.s on finding your dog.

  5. Megan

    We got our dog in march from a shelter. Now my greatest joy is going to the dog park with my husband and pup in tow. It is SO much fun. You and the kids should try it – Licorice gets socialized AND exercise, you all get fresh air, and you get to play with a bunch of other delightful dogs all for free!

  6. owlfan

    Almost sharing your birthday with a dog is MUCH easier than almost sharing a birthday with your kid. Believe me, I know. The dog won’t make you spend your birthday cleaning house and prepping for a party.

    So glad that this time the doggie is a keeper!

  7. danelle

    She’s a sweetheart. Have you checked the fence for escape routes?

  8. Beth R

    melting from cuteness overload! And so lovely to see that you both know this is the “one”!

    One quick question, though: are you feeding her human pepperoni or Pup-eroni? I ask because we discovered quite by accident that feeding a small animal human pepperoni can lead to very frightening smells emanating from said small animal. As in, large-room-clearing frightening smells.

  9. Kelly


    (We are a family of Leos – all three girls anyway. My poor husband was born in January – the nerve).

  10. Megumi

    Oh how absolutely heartwarming! I’m so happy that you found each other!

  11. Randi

    Awww, super sweet! I think that animals are an essential part of any family home!

  12. Sharon

    Awesome. Glad you found each other.

  13. Katie in MA

    What if we offered you a cupcake instead of a piece of pepperoni?

  14. Burgh Baby

    Told you little dogs weren’t all bad. ;-)

  15. Traci

    I’ve always said I hate little dogs…I’m a golden retriever, malamute, german long-haired retriever kind-of-girl. BUT, I have to admit, your Licorice pics have won me over. That face! Looks like you have a keeper. Congrats!

  16. Susan

    What a lucky dog! She’s adorable.

  17. Jean

    She’s so adorable. That’s why I love my dog…no one is happier to see me at the end of the day than my dog…husband and child included :)

  18. Anna Marie

    Sweet doggie! I want doggie kisses from Licorice!

  19. Tracy

    I knew it had to be. We, Leo’s, ROCK! She is too sweet…there is no better feeling than the feeling of unconditional love. Here’s something to make you laugh….
    Do you know why dogs are man’s best friend? Because they are the only thing you can undress in front of that won’t point and laugh.
    See, I knew I could make ya laugh!

    Happy Love Thursday, everyone!

  20. ChristieNY

    Aaaaaaaaw what a sweetie she is! Sounds like you’re enjoying one another, perfect! =)

  21. feefifoto

    We have been trying to acclimate a rescue puppy for the past few months. She’s very attached to me — follows me everywhere and doesn’t even run away if she gets out of the house, which I cannot say about her big sister. She’s still trying to adjust to my son and making some progress, but I’m secretly flattered that I’m her number one. Just wish she’d stop barking at him so much…

  22. RuthWells

    “Love covered with fur” pretty much says it all!

  23. Melissa

    Cute, cute, cute!

  24. Melissa

    We have a male shih tzu mix. Tanner is gray and has a slightly more squishy face (technical vet term), but he looks very similar to Licorice and it sounds like they have the same sunny disposition. They also share a hatred of the thermometer indignity, but I have to imagine that is pretty common.

  25. elaine

    “The right dog is just love covered with fur. ”

    truer words have never been written.

    congratulations to you and licorice for finding each other…

  26. pharmgirl

    babbling baby talk through puckered lips at pictures of someone else’s dog…

    Now see what you’ve reduced me to?

  27. Asea

    This is worth de-lurking for.

    I am SO glad you finally got a dog you deserve! HOORAY!

  28. Karen

    Oh Mir, I love this post! I think the whole thing is just SUPER. Uh, no maybe not that.

  29. Suzy Voices

    I just recently got a dog too, and you’re so right. They’re just so easy to love!

  30. Lori Lutze

    My little guy is wanting a dog sooooo badly! I don’t know–yours is pretty darn cute.

  31. kath

    This is so beautiful. She is gorgeous, congratulations on waiting and being patient and getting the RIGHT dog!

  32. Nicki

    Oh, so good. Dogs teach us a lot of love lessons.

    Enjoy him as I know you will. Licorice was a long time in coming. Love is worth the wait.

  33. Nicki


    We have the him. :)

  34. Fiona

    Wishing you lots of the human equivalent to pepperoni and belly rubs!!! Glad Licorice is fitting in well.

  35. Brigitte

    Now I’m picturing assuaging various people’s imaginarily hurt feelings with belly rubs and pepperoni. The world would be a better place!

  36. Frank

    So glad you seem to have found a winner.

    I also am in the camp that says… I hope its not ‘human’ pepperoni… you do not want to deal with the consequences of that… trust me. :)

  37. Aimee

    She is just so SWEET! I’m so glad you’ve found your doggy match.

  38. Andrea

    I am so happy things are going well with Licorice. She is intensely cute. It just proves the point – the good ones are always worth the wait.

  39. Paulla

    “The right dog is just love covered with fur.” I love this line. So true. I’m so glad you’ve found a precious little dog to love. We lost our German Shepherd to cancer nearly 2 years ago and it still hurts. They really can steal your heart. Enjoy!

  40. pam

    My dogs saved my life after my husband died. Love covered with fur.

  41. Cele

    Personally I don’t want to live life (too long) with out a dog. They are awesome companions.

  42. Paula

    “The right dog is just love covered with fur. ”

    Truer words have never been spoken…

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest