Props: My Dogg.
Most of us have basic human needs, seeing as most of us are humans. I say most of us because I’m almost certain that there are extraterrestrial beings living among us in human hosts, but I won’t point any fingers at Dennis Rodman or Lady Gaga. Surviving an eminent alien infiltration is surely the most basic of these needs, however, it should not be understated the need we all share to feel needed and appreciated. Whether you’re getting in from a long flight back home or a study session in the undergraduate library, there is nothing like having that special someone to come home to that you know has been missing you all day. For me, that special someone is of the four-legged canine variety. He is a black lab named Riggs.
Every day that I return to mi casa my anticipation builds as I climb the steps to my front door and pull the keys from my pocket. Through the glass panes on the right I can barely make out a large portion of the dark form squirming in excitement to see me. I prepare myself for a frontal assault as I ease the key into the lock and prop the door open with my knee, protecting the items I’ve returned with by turning my shoulder. Riggs springs to eye-level and flings himself onto me before he retreats for a moment to allow me time to place my baggage on the table and shove my feet into my running shoes. Our daily routine of going for a jog together soon after I come back from work has become the cornerstone of the day for us both, but secretly it is not the running I am excited about, and I’m pretty sure it’s not all that he looks forward to either.
There is something truly special about knowing that somewhere there is someone looking forward to the moment that you will be there with them. The thought is always in the back of my mind, even when I am handling complaints from a client that is determined to form a dark cloud over my one-thirty to two-fifteen p.m. Having my Suzuki Forenza serviced seems less like a task to be checked from my to-do list and more like another step toward the special time of day when I will be mauled (in a good way) by my best friend. I am blessed to realize that the negative elements of the working world will melt away with every stride I take alongside Riggs later that day.
As we run along the side of the road with the dense green to our right and the zoom of passing vehicles to our left, I wonder if Riggs feels the same way. I imagine him lounging by the sliding glass door earlier that day, a squirrel taunting him from the other side of the frame. I wonder if in that moment he also has the comfort of knowing that later that day he will run free with his best friend once he comes back from wherever it is that humans go all the time. Whether this is the case or not I have to give major props to my dog for always being there and being ready, tail wagging.