As I chased Chewy down the hallway of my home, I saw a trail of dirt follow us. At the top of the stairs, he stared at me with a playful grin as I leaped forward to grab the bird out of his mouth. I missed. He bolted to the bedroom, and I fell to the floor in defeat.
I whispered to myself, “This is not a dog. This is a demon.”
I have always loved animals much more than they loved me. So when my siblings moved out of the house, my dad figured it was time to get “me” a dog.
But I knew it was just an excuse for him to have a new dog. Not to say I wasn’t excited; I just never had one that truly loved me.
My dad found a labradoodle breeder online who lived close by, and he filled out an application to own one of the puppies. In the questionnaire of what he wanted in a dog, he simply answered,
That first night, the puppy cried nonstop until I went downstairs to his crate with a pillow and blanket in hand. I laid down next to him and put my hand through his crate. As he snuggled up to it, he became quiet. I didn’t sleep that night, but he did.
The next day, my dad came up with names for him. We all decided on a Star Wars name since we brought him home the day “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” came out in theaters.
We named him Chewbarka, Chewy for short.
Today he lives up to his name. Not only does he rip apart dog toys, but he also rips apart my childhood toys. He even tries to eat the inedible items he finds in the house, including tampons, pads, walls, headphones and razors. He’s never been hurt. To this day, we don’t know how.
He greets everyone he meets by jumping onto their lap. Then I pull him away and apologize as he whines. He buries his toys and bones outside and then comes inside to lick your face with dirt.
One time, Chewy jumped out of my car as I was parked at an intersection so he could greet a dog that was on the opposite side of the road. It took me 20 minutes to get him back into the car and I blocked the entire intersection.
Although Chewy is not perfect and has gotten me into trouble more times than I can count, he reminds me daily that life is as simple as running through the yard just for fun.
When my grandfather was very sick in the hospital and we knew he was going to pass away, I would sit in my room and cry quietly. Chewy would pop his head through the crack in my door and watch me cry. Then he would lean into me and lick the tears streaming down my face.
While I was in high school, Chewy would wait at the top of the banister every day for my car to pull into the driveway. At night he would scan the house and the yard for any potential threats. Then he would go to my parent’s room to lick my dad’s face.
Chewy is the first dog who loved me. He was the first to let me see past the storms in my life. He helps my dad come home happier. He keeps my mom company.
Chewy brings light into our lives from the chaos he brings. Through the years, I learned that a dog’s love can be healing, and it can bring you out of the darkest of pits.