One of my GSP groups blew up this week with the story of a young woman and her GSP. As is the case with 95% of people who join multiple GSP online groups (yes, present company is included), our dogs mean the world to us. They’re like children or additional fur children, if tiny humans are present. Some folks share pics and stories of their granddogs.
Yes, that’s a thing. Yes, it’s normal. Yes, Marilyn sends Christmas presents for Joey because she’s her granddog.
But the point is, our dogs are a part of our lives and with an active dog like a GSP, being part of the family means running, hiking, hunting, or any variety of outdoor activities. It means trips to the park and car rides, which brings me back to the story of the young woman.
She was young and attractive, I’m guessing in her 20s, and she posted a story about choosing her dog over a man.
The response from the group was overwhelmingly in her favor, with other folks recounting similar tales—one woman even gave up a pet for a man and said she messed up because she ended up divorcing him anyway. It was pretty awesome. Hell, once I decided to quit dating someone because the dog was always kept in the basement, even when he was home.
The straw that broke the camel’s back for this particular young woman was when she planned a hike with the fella she was dating and like any other GSP owner, assumed the dog was coming along on the hike.
Obviously the dog would come along! It’s a hike. Duh.
Except said dude had a new vehicle and couldn’t imagine the dog in the car.
That’s fine. Really, it is. It’s your car, dude.
But to the GSP lover, the dog comes before the car.
So she unplanned the date and decided that this wasn’t the right fella to pursue a relationship with.
And of course there were a few people who thought she should have offered to drive if she had a car or maybe planned another date. And then there were a few guys who had to start in with the “Only (insert negative term) guys drive Mustangs,” Ford Mustang being the new car in question.
Coincidentally, my Man Friend drives a Ford Mustang and lets Joey ride along. Just another reason he’s the best.
And then of course someone had to hit on the attractive young woman who started the thread.
But it was kind of awesome. She stood her ground. She didn’t owe anyone an explanation, but as social media goes, when you put something out there, the world may respond. She was very blunt about what she was looking for in a relationship and that she didn’t need to be in a relationship to feel whole.
All that. All of that.
It gives me hope.
Knowing what you want and not settling for less is a BFD.
I should know—I was terrible at it for years. I thought I was a giant screw-up and was getting was I deserved, which was probably a combination of Calvinism in my early years and generally shitty self-esteem. The thing is, you don’t need some checklist where the perfect mate has to check every box.
You need a friend and you need to compliment each other’s lifestyles, like what has more value to you, a dog or a car?
You should also want to make sexy times with that person, unless you’re asexual, but that really goes back to the lifestyle, so you’ll sort that out.
But sexy times thinking gets me off topic and the point here is knowing what you want and not settling. And maybe our dogs are helping with that. Maybe the companionship and support of a fur baby, the right fur baby, helps us figure out who we are, which helps us figure out what we want?
Alli and Joey made me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it until my last breath. There may be other dogs along the way—I’m only 39, after all. Alli and Joey helped me find balance and healthy structure in my life, because they needed balance and healthy structure. If they had never fought, I would have never gone back to therapy. If would have never gone back to therapy, I don’t think I would have moved. If I had not moved, I wouldn’t be as happy or met my Man Friend. It’s all weirdly connected.