How I become a dog lover

To be honest, I didn’t like dogs when I was young. It’s not that I hate them. I just really didn’t understand how other people could treat an animal as a part of the family.

First, they are scary. Dogs bark at you even though you’re not doing anything bad. They could also bite you anytime and transmit rabies to your blood.

Even just their stare is intimidating. They look straight into your eyes as if they’re telling you to back down. And when you do, they would follow you down, sniff your butt and scare the hell out of you. My phobia to dogs caused me one kilo of rice. Literally.

I was eight when my Aunt asked me to buy goods at a nearby store. On my way home, I saw our neighbor’s dog sitting near our front door. What I did was run to that door which was only a few steps way from where I was. As I was running, I didn’t notice that the plastic bag I was holding was torn by a metal wire. The next thing I knew, a kilo of uncooked rice was already scattered on the floor.

Second, they are disgusting. Some dogs don’t have a regular bath. They lick every part of their body that can be reached by their tongue. They smell other dogs’ private parts. They lie on the floor, regardless whether it’s dirty or not. There are probably millions of bacteria on their mouth. What’s more disgusting is the possibility that they have some parasites on their bodies such as fleas and ticks.

A few weeks young Pollen
Everything had changed ever since my younger brother brought a small brown puppy to our house. He said that the puppy is a mixture of Labrador Retriever and Jack Russell Terrier.

I was the first one to oppose having an animal in the family. We have a limited space in our house and I know that my brother would just let my mom clean all the mess that this canine would create.

Pollen might have felt my uneasiness with her presence so she opted to stay at the corner most of the time. Because she’s so quiet and shy, we would only notice her every time someone accidentally steps on her paw.

The first time I hurt Pollen unintentionally, she shrieked and immediately hid away from me. A few seconds later, I was already by her side trying to massage her leg. I still didn’t realize that fondness towards our little beast was starting to grow inside me.

But Pollen might have remembered that gesture so she started to show off her sweetness everytime I go home from work. She not just wiggled her tail to greet me. She also jumped to kiss me on the lips. This puppy who seemed to be a dog already at the age of three months kissed me on the lips!

I got mad at her for doing such disgusting thing. Not to mention the scratches I got on my legs and arms whenever she tries to reach me.

But she kept on repeating that every single day that I got tired of stopping her. In fact, every time I go home and it takes her a few seconds to realize my presence, I always felt scared.

Yes, I am still scared but it is no longer because of her being a beast. I am scared to lose her. I am scared that one day, she’s no longer there to greet me with her version of “I love you”. I am scared that she would suddenly leave me.

So I let her sleep on my bed. This domestic carnivorous mammal who might have a million bacteria inside her mouth and unnumbered fleas hiding on her fur is now allowed to sleep beside me. And I’m proud to say that it is one of the best decisions in my life. I don’t know how but her breathing and body warmth lull me to sleep. I also feel safer when she’s beside me.

Pollen is now three years old and we have given her a companion. Our new puppy, Momo, has a Border Collie breed in her blood (though I am not really sure).

What I am sure of is that they are my main source of happiness. Their cuteness and craziness never fail to amaze me. Their sweetness touches my heart like no other man has ever did.

So every time I get sad or upset, I have this urge to run home to my dogs. Yes, they can neither give me some advice nor lend me a shoulder as I cry. But I know, somehow, their love and kisses can ebb away the flow of anxiety from my head.

I know someday, they would eventually be gone. They would leave and never come back. But I don't want to think about that day. I just want to cherish every moment that they are with  me.

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