Sunday, August 21, 2011

Walk This Way

I have a confession to make.

No one ever expects something like this to happen to them, but when it does, we tend to make excuses. The usual suspects are: I wasn’t loved enough; they don’t understand me; they don’t listen to me; they don’t give me what I need. But all of these excuses are just that: excuses.

The truth is, I am loved plenty. I am given everything I need and want. I couldn’t ask for a better friend. This is my best friend, who gives me all the attention I need, who never criticizes me or points out my shortcomings, who is always ready to play and who goes out of the way to make me feel better when I am down in the dumps. But I betrayed that friendship.

I took another dog for a walk.

Twice.

The first time, I tried to tell myself that, "this is no big deal. We're just friends. This is what friends do." But the second time all I felt was guilt. I knew I was doing the wrong thing. But we were together, he was looking at me with those eyes, a leash was hanging on the wall next to me…sure, I used protection and brought a plastic bag, but I still knew I was cheating. I tried to rationalize that my dog doesn’t let me take him for walks, but that’s just a lie and I knew it. I tried to get the smell off me, but my dog knew. I could tell. He sniffed and sniffed me and I knew he smelled the other dog.

To his credit, he didn’t say anything. He pretends that it doesn’t bother him; that it was no big deal. But I know better. And I feel awful.

I wish I could go back and erase what I did but I know that’s impossible. So now we go on our walks and we play tug-of-war and we maintain this dance of “let’s see who can ignore the elephant in the room the longest,” even though both of us know the elephant is actually a 120-pound lab named Harley.

I think the worst part about this is that now I fantasize about walking them together.

What is wrong with me?!

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