I look at this puppy, sweet independent thing snoozing on my stomach and I can't help but wonder at all the expectations that I've heaped upon her. I expect her to read my mind, to behave, to alieve my own anxieties about existing. To teach me how to be. I have so many expectations of this small Other.
I judge her. She's slept too much today. She's too clingy. She's disobedient. She didn't eat enough, she drank too much, she barked too many times on our walk.
She stopped to smell the roses. She pooped on my rug last week.
I have her but I don't love her.
Yet here she is, any way. Twitching in her sleep, pushing at me with both her paws as she stretches and changes positions.
Here she is. In the flesh. Real, whether I am or not.