I’m a pretty independent person. So much so, in fact, that at my wedding my dad toasted to the fact that somebody would actually put up with that aspect of my personality.
While it is true that I am perfectly happy doing my own thing, I’m very rarely actually alone.
My weimaraner, Toby, often comes with me.
In the summers we go on hikes in the Bighorns. Just the two of us and the sound of his little feet padding along the trail.
In the winters we either cuddle on the floor in front of the heater or sometimes we go snowshoeing together. His energy continues to confound me, despite the fact that he’s slowed down with age (he’s five years old).
Toby even gets to run errands with me and bark at everybody that walks by the car in the parking lot at Walmart.
So when my husband is out of town for work, I often find myself hibernating, relying mostly on the companionship of my (nonhuman) best friend.
Anyone who is a pet owner understands.
When you’re sick, they lay next to you and look at you with sympathy.
When you’re ready to play, their tails get to wagging and they bounce across the house.
Sure, there are moments when he drives me crazy. For example, he once ate a pair of shoes.
Another time he ate a bottle of fish oil pills that belonged to my roommate at the time. My idea of a good time does not typically include the need to induce vomiting in my pet.
But even then, he looked up at me with sad, sick eyes and a drooling mouth and I couldn’t help but love him.
The point is, no matter how independent, stubborn and just downright grumpy I get, my dog is always by my side, ready for the next car ride or scratch on the chin.
Kristen Czaban is the managing editor of The Sheridan Press.