Friday, March 19, 2010

What am I to Buffy?

There are many different ways that people describe relationships with dogs. We call ourselves masters, pack leaders, parents, owners, family members, companions and friends. Some of these titles have rang more true than others but none of them really describe the relationship I have with Buffy.

I don’t want to live my life being under master’s servitude, nor do I want to be a master myself. Buffy is not a creature for me to order around, an animal whose sole purpose is to be loyal and serve my own needs. Rarely do I order Buffy what to do. More often than not I invite her to follow my directions and most of the time she does. The moments when I do order Buffy it is for her own good because she is chewing on something that is harmful to her health.

This idea of a pack leader is completely irrelevant in my opinion. Do I do things based on her animal insticts? All the time, like training her with food. However, do I care if she walks through a doorway before her? No, of course not. Buffy may be a dog, but I’m not. The way I relate to her is the same way that I relate to all the people in my life and there is not one instinct in my body that tells me to be a “pack leader,” so why should I fake this with my dog?

I guess, I am kind of a parent with Buffy. Diana and I have taught her manners, give her baths and feed her. As much as all of these things are stuff that parents do, for myself I don’t really think of it that way. We are asking Buffy to live in a human world. She doesn’t have the tools and capabilities to survive among humans.

I'S HIDIN!!!!!!!

I don’t talk to her or think of Buffy like she’s my kid. I feel I approach her like someone visiting from a foreign control. I explain and teach her things that help her understand the world. We have breed dogs to the point when they need human which is not so much of a parental role but a responsibility as a owner.

Legally, we own Buffy, but that’s where that label stops because her soul and her spirit is something that I can never possess.

Buffy definitely is part of our family. I wrote about this feeling in an earlier post reflecting on how my parents welcomed her into our family with open arms. Only when Buffy, Diana and I are together does our family feel complete.

They say that dogs are a man’s best friend and I got to admit that Buffy is a great friend. She thinks of us, wants to be around us and does all that she can to take care of us. Buffy becomes very concerned when one of us is behind a door like in the bathroom and is only truly relaxed when she’s sure that we are all okay.

It's a friendship like no other. There’s something deeper, unconditional and indescribable in the bond we share. Without words there’s a different understanding that bonds us. When I look into her eyes, there aren’t any words that come to mind but rather emotions and experiences. It’s through these feelings that we share each other’s lives.

I often wonder how Buffy views me. Does she think of me as her master, pack leader, parent, companion or friend? I’ll never know for sure but I don’t think Buffy gets wrapped up in all of those labels. The definitions and connotations of these words are irrelevant to her.

None of those terms defines our relationship. Only how we feel about each other is important. Buffy knows that I love her and I know that she loves me and like the songs says maybe that’s all I need to know.

1 comment:

  1. I'm the cookie-giver and play buddy to Roxy. She doesn't listen to my commands nearly as often as Megan so I have no illusions of being her master. I know how my dog views me though, the creature absolutely adores me, you can tell from her reactions. Ask Megan if you don't believe me. ;)