"If you get a dog, I swear I'm filing for divorce."
These were the words uttered in a moment of rage a few weeks before Henry came into our lives. They were, I'm ashamed to admit, my words.
My husband had been wanting a mastiff. I had just started my first permanent teaching job and we had just bought a house; thus, I wanted absolutely no dogs.
Chad was insistent, though. He wanted a mastiff puppy, and a litter was just born. We screamed at each other, we fought, and I threatened to leave because it was just so ridiculous of him to be so selfish.
Now, I know I was the ridiculous one.
A few weeks later, I scowled and glowered as a floppy, twenty-two pound mastiff came ambling into our house. I hadn't even driven to Ohio to get him, refusing to be a part of the puppy coming into our home.
Seeing his squishy face, I decided to give him a chance...and then he peed on me. All over me. I hated him.
I continued to hate him for weeks. I hated the way he cried in the middle of the night or chewed on my sweatpants when I was trying to do schoolwork. I hated how he barked, how he needed out to pee every four seconds. I hated how he would sleep all day while my husband was home with him and be crazy all night once I got home.
But then, out of the clear blue sky, something happened.
I don't even know when or how it happened. Slowly, that mastiff puppy breath wormed its way into my heart, melted away the layer of ice I had constructed. Those floppy ears, those huge paws, they started to walk all over me.
Eventually, I fell in love with that crazy mastiff we named Henry.
Now, I don't know how I could have ever disliked him. That mastiff is my absolute best friend. When I'm having a terrible day or frustrated or just tired of it all, I go home to his happy face and feel better. Our nights on the couch cuddling and watching Reign, our movie nights, our days lounging in the sun...my moments with him are my favorite of all.
Some people say he's just a dog (although a rather big one). They look at me like I'm crazy when I worry about him being bored or sad or lonely. People would judge me to know I've passed on plans just so I can spend time with him.
But I don't care.
Sometimes in life, the things we dread the most turn out to be the best things of all. The best thing in my life came against my will in the form of a wrinkly, floppy, clumsy puppy named Henry. He showed me that compromise can lead to great things.
He showed me that sometimes, just sometimes, my husband is right. Just don't tell him.