My Sister’s Dog is My Sister

Copyright © 2015 by Sara Varela

My sister is loud.
My sister is talkative.

My sister walks with a confidence and attitude that makes grown men cower.
Her energy is intoxicating and best in moderation.
She makes me question everything and leaves nothing to the imagination.
She will play with you. She will fight you. You just won’t know which is which.
She lives to love.
And she loves everything.

My sister’s dog is my sister.

It’s the most beautiful thing. From her random dancing to her ‘fuck you’ face. The 120-pound American Pit Bull Terrier does it all. My favorite is the deep sigh they belt when you tell them no.

They sleep the same way. They are messy eaters. They are drama — if not the king and queen. They don’t judge me for having System of a Down and The Pussycat Dolls on the same playlist. I love them.

My sister’s dog is her baby. She bought him with her ex-boyfriend (I didn’t really know him, but he was less than pleasant). He would leave her and the dog locked in his room for hours as he did as he pleased. In that room, all they had was each other. They needed each other. She was all he knew.

He lives to love. And he loves her. In an odd, he thinks he is a human, kind of way. She hasn’t been able to keep him with her at school so he lives with my parents. Since graduating college this May, I also live with my parents. I spent three years away from my sister. We kept in-touch, but not as much as we should have. Then we both got too low to properly function without the other. I needed my sister, and she needed me. It wasn’t until a few weeks after moving back to Los Angeles, I realized I needed my sister’s dog too.

Depression likes routine. It makes it feel safe. Walking the dog, feeding the dog, putting my energy into caring for him helped my depression find routine.

My sister and her dog are spontaneous. It makes me nervous. It makes my depressed mind want to run away, but I can never leave them. They are able to push past my depression and pull me out. The best part is they don’t try.

They just love.

They both smile at me big in the morning, kiss my face when I don’t expect it, and look at me with their soft eyes when they do something bad. Now that my sister is away at school, I am left with her dog. I am a happy aunt. I love my sister, and I will miss her while she is away, but having her in dog form is pretty cool too.

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