I have the most endearing, most lovable, and most loyal daughter. I love her with all my being. She completes me as I am sure I complete her.
Always by my side.
Generous giver of kisses.
Easy to entertain.
My pawfect best friend.
Six years ago, Myla came into my life when I least expected it, but most definitely needed a gift like her. At the time, I was gaining teaching experience while living in South Korea. I had just moved to a new city, Yongin, after having lived in the country for nearly two years. I needed a fresh start as just a few months prior, I had lost my mother. As a way of dealing with my grief, I used my work as a distraction. I also started graduate school via online. Still, with all of what I was filling my life with, I hated coming to an empty apartment. Exploring Yongin, I quickly gleaned there was an abundance of veterinarian clinics and individuals carrying four-legged animals in their arms, in tote bags, or walking small dogs in the park. That is it! I need a dog. Having a dog will help me get out of bed, give me motivation, and have something to look forward to. Upon inception, I got permission from my employer, researched requirements to taking a dog into the United States, and most importantly searched for a dog to have as a companion.
Fozzy Bear, as she was formerly known, was the first and only dog I looked at on the animal rescue website. I knew right away that she would be mine. I contacted the person placing the ad, and within in a week, the nine-week-old puppy made the bus ride trip from the middle of South Korea to Yongin.
Since that eventful day on December 9th, 2011, Myla and I have been inseparable. Our bond is so strong that even when I am away from her for just a few hours, I get anxious to get home to be with her.
It goes without saying that once Myla jumped into my life, soon everything I did evolved around anything “dog.” I would watch dog movies, watch YouTube clips of dogs doing funny antics for a good laugh, participate in online chat forums asking questions about training dogs. Everything in my life was Myla and dog centered. It was calming, and I soon learned having Myla gave me a different purpose. I became fascinated with how much a dog can influence humans.
Now, I am back in the States, finished my first masters, and now nearing the end of my second master’s. In one of my writing courses, the instructor informed the class that we could not write from a dog’s perspective. I never questioned it, but now I don’t think writing from a perspective of a dog is such a bad idea.
The reason for that is because I just finished reading Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain. The story of Denny, his wife Eve, their daughter Zoe, and Eve’s parents, known as the “evil twins” is told through the perspective of Enzo, a mix breed dog which Denny plucked from a litter from a farm near Seattle, Washington. What struck me about this fictional story is the idea that a dog can understand more about humans that we can perceive it can comprehend. Enzo was able to understand, have empathy for Denny and his struggles to keep his family together, but, because he cannot communicate with the words and mannerisms that humans do, he can only hint at his level of understanding with a look, a twist of the head, or a bark or two.
In the middle of this, I turned to Myla and I asked her, “If you could talk, what would you say to me?” I sing to Myla and talk to Myla at any given opportunity during our daily routines. Myla has licked my tears away when I have been sad. I would like to think that I can be a comfort to her as she has been a great source of comfort for me so far. If talking to me in some way would bring us closer, I would be game for it.
Some might say that it is not possible for a dog to have such capabilities to take on human characteristics. But for the sake of fiction, and just for a moment, it does not hurt to throw all expectations out. Being open to such possibilities in which dogs can be more than just a pet, will allow any human paw parent to appreciate the time shared with an animal. Human and animal can find their own way to communicate. I believe Myla rescued me, and I rescued her. And for that, I know we are grateful for each other.