I’m writing this on Monday, the 16th. Today is the five-year anniversary of bringing Nala home from the shelter.
Here are the two of us on that happy day:
Anyone who has seen the two of us together knows how devoted we are to each other. And Nala is great at bringing out my inherent silliness. My quirky relationship with her has inspired much gentle teasing over the years…and then it began to rub off. I am no longer the only person who tells Nala she is only six. (I remind her of her age because I feel her grasp of numbers and time isn’t the strongest. And because it entertains me every single time.)
Sometimes I call Nala my Wisdom Dog. Her life is relatively simple, and it’s all about love. She is sad when I leave, and she is beside herself with joy when I come home. She is enthusiastic about making new human friends. She gets so much happiness from rolling around on the carpet and chasing her cow around the room and licking her already completely clean Kong. She takes pride in her fierce barking that protects our apartment from strange noises. She is a happy little dog, and watching her be happy reminds me of all the things I have to be happy about too.
Nala is my best friend. I don’t mean that in a sad, isolated kind of way; I have so many lovely people in my life, and they are each special to me. But I spend the most time with Nala; she is here all day while I work, she is here at night when I go to bed. She is here when I write, here when I’m bouncing up and down with excitement, here when I cry. She is a dog, which means there are so many parts of me she can never really understand. But she knows some essential part of me better than anyone else.
I have often said that adopting Nala is one of the best decisions I’ve made. Every decision in life has its tradeoffs, and this is no exception. But when it comes down to having an easier time finding a place to live versus having Nala in my life, I don’t hesitate. She enriches my life beyond calculation with her presence.
Nala teaches me how to love every day, and that is a beautiful thing.