Mary Oliver Taught Me That My Love For Dogs Is Infinite

Mary Oliver Taught Me That My Love For Dogs Is Infinite

"Dog Songs," a collection of poems written by Mary Oliver, is an incredible work that displays the beautiful connection between canine and human.

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Mary Oliver, an incredible poet and a lover of dogs among other incredible titles. Unfortunately, we recently lost Mary Oliver, at the age of 83, on January 17, 2019. She was one of the most beloved and respected poets of our time and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize.


Mary Oliver and her pup, Percy.https://thebark.com/content/mary-oliver-poet-and-d...

A friend of mine, coincidentally, lent me a collection of works by Oliver titled "Dog Songs" a few months before Oliver passed and also at a time when I was dealing with the loss of a beloved friend. This friend, of course, knew that anything to do with cuddly canines would help me to the other side. This is also the same friend who helped me adopt my dog, Bear. Bear has been my rock while I have been in school. As funny as it sounds, he keeps me accountable and boy has he taught me patience.

While at home one evening, I stumbled upon a poem titled "Little Dog's Rhapsody in the Night." I was brought to the brink of tears by this simple, but profound poem about the relationship between man, in my case, woman, and dog.

There is much to learn from Oliver and her intense love for canine companions. Appreciate them. Dogs love with no boundaries which is something we could all use in our lives.

LITTLE DOG'S RHAPSODY IN THE NIGHT

He puts his cheek against mine

and makes small expressive sounds.

And when I'm awake, or awake enough


he turns upside down, his four paws

in the air

and his eyes dark and fervent.


"Tell me you love me," he says.


"Tell me again."


Could there be any sweeter arrangement? Over and over

he gets to ask.

I get to tell.

Mary Oliver, Dog Songs

Love with no boundaries and appreciate your canine companions. They will never leave your side and you can never let them down—unless, of course, the supply of treats is running dry.

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5 Ways Impulsively Getting A Dog Saved My Mental Health

Those four paws are good for a lot more than just face kisses.

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Shortly before my husband and I officially moved out onto our own, he surprised me with a puppy in hand on the morning of our anniversary. Moving out, tackling college, and everything in between, I thought another huge responsibility was the last thing I needed. However, in reality, Oakley, the lab/Australian shepard/collie mix, was exactly what I needed to get back to "me."


He provides emotional support

One of the most obvious reasons is how much emotional support dogs, (and other respective animals) can provide. His paws have been accidentally stepped on, and he certainly isn't a fan of the forced flea/tick medication doses, but less than 30 seconds later, he is without fail immediately by my side again, tail wagging and ready for more kisses. Although he is not trained or certified as an ESA, it's without a doubt he has effectively (and unconsciously) combated random anxiety attacks or feelings of being alone.

He requires being cared for

You'll heavily judge every crazy fur mama, as did, I until you become one. Getting Oakley immediately got me consistently back on my feet and forced me to ask myself, "What does he need today?"Even simple, easy tasks like taking him out to run/go to the bathroom had me excited and forced me to find a motive in the day to day activities. I loved no longer having even the mere choice to be unproductive. Don't want to start your day? Well, Oakley needs his day started, so let's get moving.

He serves as protection

It's no surprise how far a dog's loyalty will go to protect their owner. For decades, specially trained dogs have had life-saving responsibilities assigned to them. Even being married, my husband and I's schedules vary significantly to where it is not uncommon for me to be alone. The slightest sound or shadow from outside our door immediately initiates barking. In the bathroom taking a shower? He's there. Knowing that Oakley is looking out, even when I get carried away with tasks like cooking dinner, always calms my nerves.

He's become something to look forward to

The nice thing about having Oakley is regardless of how my day goes, I know exactly how it is going to end. Whether I passed an exam with flying colors or got the lowest grade in the class, I know what waits for me when I open the door at home. After a long day, nothing resets my mood like walking into a face that is just as happy and excited to see me!

He encourages bonds with others

If you want your social interaction to sky rocket: get a puppy. No, I'm serious. You'll have people wanting to come over and visit "you" (let's be real… your puppy), like it's your last day on Earth. For me, this was exactly what I needed. Getting Oakley had family members constantly checking in to see how he was growing, learning, etc. Not only did this encourage more interactions with family and friends, but it also "livened" my husband and I's home life. Instead of the "normal" weekend nights consisting of Netflix and MarioKart, (which are enjoyable in their own respective ways), spending our nights playing Monkey in the Middle with our new four-legged friend has proven much more entertaining.

So ideally was it the right time to get a dog? Probably not. However, adding Oakley to my small little family combated anxiety and depression in ways I wouldn't have ever thought possible.

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10 Ways My Dog Cured My Loneliness And Became My Best Friend

I had puppies on the brain and I was determined to have a little sidekick.

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Growing up in a family of six left no room for being lonely. Always a sibling around to annoy me or a parent there to tell me to clean my room. All of that aside, it truly is the best thing in the world to have two sisters, one brother and two supporting parents constantly in my corner. Loneliness was never an option. You can imagine my excitement though when it came time to move into my own apartment. Peace and quiet, nobody to tell me to clean my room, finally some space! That was rather refreshing for the first three months out on my own. Then like a ton of bricks this new feeling in which I was very unfamiliar with set in. Coming home to nobody started to get disappointing. Cooking for just one and not six was difficult. Not getting the routine hugs goodnight from mom and dad was heartbreaking. Talking to myself was becoming a real issue. The solution; a puppy!

I was not much of an animal person and incredibly allergic to dogs. However, I had puppies on the brain, and I was determined to have a little sidekick as soon as possible. After weeks of googling hypoallergenic dog breeds and searching the humane association websites, craigslist, and tons of puppies for sale pages on Facebook. I found her; one out of eleven puppies left. A few weeks later my friend and I made the six-hour road trip to bring her home. Hands down the best impulsive decision I have ever made. I say impulsive because I had no idea what I was getting myself into I just knew it absolutely felt necessary. This beautiful Goldendoodle named Ember very easily became my best friend and instantly cured any sign of loneliness. Here is how.

1. She is always happy to see me

Coming home to the tail wagging excitement as soon as I walk in the house never gets old.

2. Leftovers never go to waste

Cooking for one is still difficult but she rarely has an issue with licking her food bowl clean.

3. She is the best cuddle buddy

Having her snuggled up next to me every night is the perfect replacement to missing my parent's goodnight hugs.

4. Talking to myself is a little less crazy

Because well she's kind of listening.

5. I still get a small dose of annoying siblings

It just comes from her instead and in the form of a headbutt to the face or stolen chicken off the counter.

6. She knows how to stop my tears

The paw on my shoulder or the gentle head nudge is exactly what I need whenever I am upset.

7. Laughter happens daily

Whether it be when she backs up into my bedroom or falls for the classic fake throw when playing fetch, she provides plenty of entertainment.

8. She is always right there

Hearing the gentle footsteps following me from bedroom to bathroom to living room to kitchen and knowing she will be right behind me when I turn around is the most comforting feeling ever.

9. Toys are everywhere

I am suddenly the one telling someone else to clean up knowing full well she never will. (I get it now Mom and Dad) Oddly enough though walking into a house with toys spread out across the floor makes it feel all the more full of life.

10. She always loves me

It doesn't matter how badly I failed at being human that day. She is the most forgiving and loving being I have ever known.

I was doubtful on that three-hour car ride back home with Ember in my lap. What did I just do? I can't raise a puppy on my own! The doubt faded though, as soon as the loneliness did.

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