I am a dog owner.

Let me begin by saying - I do not like the idea of dogs (or children for that matter). They are messy, time consuming, frustrating, and all-around hard work. I rarely like hard work, unless it involves money or food at the end.

That being said - I find, against my better judgement, I am hopelessly a fan of both children and dogs. Every time a little critter actually comes in to my life - I find myself involved and invested. Their joy, sense of wonder and innocence are just too much for my hardened heart.

So three weeks when my husband (as a newlywed I try and throw this phrase in any conversation possible) told me he was getting me a puppy for my birthday - I groaned. I am learning how to be all sorts of things right now - a homemaker, an employee, a wife and a cook - I just did not feel like adding "pet-owner" in to the mix. But I should have know as soon as his baby blue eyes looked at mine - I would be hooked. (What can I say, I have a soft spot for the blue eyed, gray haired)

And I am. This dog runs most of my thoughts, worries and time at home. We intentionally picked the saddest, laziest and all-around most pitiful of the litter (we wanted him to feel like he fit in). Little did we know these traits would also include the phrase "separation anxiety" - in short, we have a scared-y dog. What, Rio? You don't want me to just feed you, play with you and house you? I need to be by your side at all times? The kennel on the other side of the house won't cut it? Dang.

See? I hate even having to write it down -it sounds outrageous. But here I am setting my alarm for every two hours during the night to make sure our Rio Burrito hasn't passed out from fear in the dark of our guest room.

Why am I like this? Why do I love when I know it would be easier to ignore or push aside? Because I am a bleeding heart. My feeble attempts to harden it through sharp wit and "tough love" just can't cover the fact that people (and pets) effect me deeply.

I am a pet owner. I am a bleeding heart. I am tired from waking up four times last night.

And by waking up, I mean waking my husband up to check the dog for me. Like I said, if there's no money or food - I'm pretty useless.

picture: Say hello to Rio Burrito Armstrong

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