Waking Up with My Dogs

I have realized that Gus and Georgie are the two sides of my personality. Georgie, spending 6 years in Auschwitz, then turned over to Dr. Mengela, tattooed, poked, prodded, experimented upon. 

She is a scared little girl.

Gus, the big rottie-lab with the enormous head that has no awareness of its size and power. He bares a scar that starts in between his shoulder blades, shooting down his back and branching down his sides, deciding to stop just before his tail. He is fearless, playful, exuberant. He has never met a stranger. 

Gus acts first and thinks later. 

Georgie is timid and shy and needs a lot from me in order to feel safe. She jumps and pulls at me for attention: so much so, that I have begun dressing in the bathroom before work, or else I'd be left with marks down my legs, arms, chest from her clawing me, needing me.

Meanwhile, Gus is licking the lotion off of my legs and trying to push his sister out of the way to monopolize my attention.

I had always said I would never adopt any of them, for that would detract from the time I have to help the others.

How many times did I fall in love and not want to say goodbye?

Abe was the first. He looked much like Gus: a big, black lab. Why am I drawn to the big, black labs? 

I think it's because of Molly.

Molly, our lab growing up. The one who I didn't hold because I didn't want her cancer drool stench on my clothes. Molly, whose jaw was removed piece by piece, as it rotted away until the end.

I never said a real goodbye to Molly. 

So, when I hear Gus barrelling about the house, I can smile and revel in his joy. 

And when I hear Georgie's nails clicking across the wood floor, or feel her paw on my leg, I can be satisfied with the two lives for which I am now responsible, and have peace with the one I let go.


Richmond, VA

I have two middle names. They are: Yes and Fun.