In 2005 Diane Lane and John Cusack starred in “Must Love Dogs,” a movie about a divorced preschool teacher looking for love. Her criteria for the perfect man is simple. He must love dogs. John Cusack’s Jake shows up on the date without a dog. When Sarah (Lane) complains, John Cusack states the theme that this blog post is about. “You said you must love dogs. You didn’t say you must own them, and I do love dogs.”
How To Be A Killjoy
Today’s post was originally titled, The Fine Art of Being a Killjoy. A year and a half ago my dog Minnie was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 17. Her vet assured us she could survive the surgery. When she did, I vowed to turn over a new leaf. I would no long take my dog for granted.
You must understand Minnie is not just my dog. My best friend, my soul mate (in another life perhaps?), my shadow, my baby. I got her for my daughter when she was five, but I feel that Minnie adopted me in the year 2000 since she has been my shadow ever since. Despite her breeding, a Lhasa mix that I hear is protective, Minnie runs to me for comfort and begs to be held when a knock at the door scares her, just like a baby would. When Minnie survived cancer surgery I vowed I’d be a better “mother”. I’d spend more time with her, take more pictures, and appreciate every day I still (thankfully) had with her.
The problem is that people I am referring to as “killjoys” mar my enjoyment of our time together. Read the following conversation snippets.
Killjoys A-E: How old is your dog?
Me: Minnie is 19.
Killjoy A: She’s looking good for an old girl.
Killjoy B: Do dogs live that long?
Killjoy C: She’s still alive?
Killjoy D: Dogs don’t live that long.
Killjoy E: She’s going to die soon.
I hope readers can see why this post is critically titled, Must Love Dog Lovers. John Cusack explained that a person doesn’t have to own a dog to love them. Do people have to own dogs to be sensitive to dog owners? My husband would advise me to consider the source. Many of the comments I’ve quoted come from dog owners! To make matters worse, they are aware that I lost a dog last month. (See “I Once Had a Dog Named Nasty” and “How to Get Over the Death of the Family Dog“.)
Due to Minnie surviving cancer surgery, I feel we have been given a second chance. Readers, please advise me. How am I suppose to enjoy the last years of Minnie’s life when I am constantly reminded how old and close to death she is? I look forward to your views.