This past week and a half I had a bitter-sweet treat in the form of a furry house guest. His name is Mosby, and he is my estranged dog child.
I used to live with my ex, who had asked for a dog the entire time we were together. I always resisted like a stern parent until one day, toward the end of our relationship, we met this puggle. He was sitting in a boutique dog store that also acts as a rescue. We were both pretty taken with the guy, and after consideration, I conceded to adopting him.
That’s what you do when you are young and stupid right? Move in with your musician boyfriend because you’re in love. Oh then get a dog. Early twenties man…they’re a lot to deal with.
However, our relationship had been strained at that point, and while we were trying to work it out, I was afraid. I insisted that Mosby was his dog, suggesting that he make the monetary investment. Every document was put in his name. As long as we were together, Mosby was ours, but if we broke up, he would no longer be mine. I just knew I never wanted to fight over the dog; he’s a not a couch.
Well, about four months later we did break up. My ex and I walked around the apartment deciding who would take what, truly one of the saddest moments of my life, and then he and Mosby left.
I’d see my pup soon; my ex and I had decided to have joint custody. It just made sense, with him being a touring musician. We didn’t need to sort out schedules; I would take the dog when my ex was gone. It worked for about six months, until I decided to start my second break up of the year.
It was hard to take care of the dog by myself, and honestly even though my ex and I were friendly, Mosby kept us connected in a way I knew we shouldn’t have been. So, I ended things with him and was relegated to occasional visits.
You can tell yourself it’s ok, even when it isn’t.
The next few months were hard; it’s still hard. I thought that knowing he was going to leave from the beginning would make it easier, but that solace never came. Social media allowed me to see pictures of Mosby posed with various pretty girls, and I wanted to scream. THAT’S MY DOG!! But he wasn’t my dog, he never really was. That’s what I wanted right?
Some days I really question myself, and that decision. I miss him so much. And even though I have an open door policy to visit or take him whenever I want, I don’t really take it. It would be selfish of me, and rude to his new girlfriend who will be his new surrogate mommy soon. I don’t think I can ever not think of myself as his “birth” mother.
However, because I can’t stand the thought of him not being with someone who loves him, I have stepped up as an emergency contact, which was how he and I ended up spending time together.
I treasure all the time I get to spend with him, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard for me when he left. Even though I have to keep him off the kitchen counter, pull dirty tissues out of his mouth, and pick up his poop multiple times a day, I still take him because I just can’t help myself.
Heather is a contributing editor at the-dah. She is a Los Angeles based writer, improviser, snacker, social media mistress, and aspiring adult. Read more of her food-stained stories about growing up weird at Terrible-Twenties.com, or follow her digital alter ego @MissHezah on Twitter.
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