Love Abroad

Love Abroad

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Recently, more like yesterday, my wonderful roommate introduced me to this great site that I cannot get enough of. It had me hooked from the first picture. It is called Since I am obsessed with dogs, this site was heaven for me. I literally spent 30 minutes yesterday looking through each picture and making that "aww" noise every time. This site has also made me realize how much I miss my own dog. This summer my parents adopted a Golden-doodle puppy. We named this larger than life character Leo. We got him to entertain our other dog Titus, our Doberman, who was getting bored just having us (my family) to play with. We figured this out when he chewed up our couch one night while were out. It would have been easy to forgive him had he been a puppy, but he was 5 years old.

Titus was my dog, I picked him out of the litter and I begged my parents for him. I didn't realize how this could potentially backfire on me. Titus turned out to be bigger (physically) than we thought, a lot bigger, almost 100 pounds bigger. His bark also turned into the loudest voice heard in our house and he would bark at anything and everything. He barked at squirrels, deer, bunnies, stray cats, people, leaves falling off trees, grass blowing in the wind, and things we couldn't even see in the dark. I started to believe he just liked the sound of his own voice. When he would bark all the time and I would complain, my parents had a  saying that I learned to love. They would say "Well he is your dog" or "It's Lauren's dog she should deal with him" or when talking to the dog directly they would use "Go to Lauren you're her dog and she loves you more than we do". When I was younger I hated my parents saying this because I was only in high school, I didn't want to be responsible for a dog, he was my parents problem. But as I got older I realized that I loved these things my parents told my dog, because I could spoil him. In my last few years of high school Titus and I became very close. We cuddled on the couch, I played with him, and fed him at the dinner table when I wasn't supposed to. He had really become my dog, and when I went to college it was very hard to leave him. I always told myself he was sad when I left; and when I talked to my mom on the phone he always said hi and that he missed me. When I would come home for the weekend, Titus would literally have a freak out. He would run at me from where ever he was, then he would proceed to run in circles around me (just imagine a 100 pound dog doing this). He was always so excited to see me. I loved that feeling of knowing that my dog knew who I was, and actually missed me.

So back to this past summer. I was a counselor at a Jewish camp in Indiana and I am least 7 hours away from home. When my parents got Leo I was so excited and had to see his cute little puppy stage through pictures, my mom texted and emailed me. I told everyone I got a new dog and I couldn't wait to meet him. When the summer was finally over and I returned back to Ohio, I finally met Leo. Leo was a little much for me with the jumping and the peeing whenever someone would pet him or talk in a high voice to him. He was very cute though, which made it very hard to be mad at him for long periods of time. He was a huge fluff ball that jumped on the furniture when he got excited. Even if I tried to resist him I couldn't.

I was only home for a day or so before I was leaving to go stay with my boyfriend and his family for a week. I didn't have much time to become friends with Leo. The night I got home from camp was the night my parents told us that Titus has gotten very sick over the summer. He had gotten a cough and my mom checked him out. It turned out that he had a heart problem and if he was a human he would need a heart transplant. There was nothing my mom could do and we had no idea how long he would last. I was devastated, this was my dog and he was only 6 years old. I was mad that my parents hadn't told me earlier in the summer, but they told me they didn't want to ruin my summer. My brother and I cried together about it because Titus had been such a huge part of our lives. He was my dog, my friend. He had always been there when I was happy, cried or needed a hug. I always had a cuddle buddy on the couch even if he was too big to fit in my lap. I decided to try not to think about too much and pretend that everything was going to be ok, that his heart would just fix itself. I only had a month left before I went back to school and he seemed fine. But the night before I was going back to Columbus, he started coughing again. My mom looked worried and I was scared that going back to school was a bad choice, but the next morning I was off to OSU. Over the next few weeks things went downhill, and I returned home for Yom Kippur services. I was able to say my goodbyes before I headed back to school and this was my last weekend with my dog. That week, on the first day of classes, my mom called me with the bad news.

Now we just have Leo. Crazy, fluffy, jumpy and squeaky toy obsessed Leo. He barely remembered me when I came home, he was just excited it was someone new walking through the door (and yes he peed for a good two weeks every time I would touch/talk to him) The many times I have been home to spend time with him, I have realized that he will never be my dog. For awhile I was very anti-Leo. I didn't like anything he did and refused to be his friend. I just wanted Titus back.

It has been awhile since September and I am still not over Titus and I have warmed up to Leo (except when he ripped my pants a fews weeks ago). But Leo is my Mom's dog. The more I have thought about it I know that the next dog I have will be my own dog. A dog that I buy with my own money, that I will take care of not my parents and will miss me and only me. So I will keep looking at this site dreaming of the day when I can get a dog of my own and I am going to keep making that "aww" sound every time.

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