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I See You

I See You

I See You

My brother Matt always greets Gavin by saying softly, “I see you,” as he pets him. And, every time I watch Gavin’s subsequent nuzzling and oozing, my heart feels lighter and my soul warmer. That’s what we all want. To be seen and loved for exactly who we are, right? It’s even one of Oprah Winfrey’s famous phrases, “I see you. I hear you. What you say matters to me.” 

I often think that’s why social media is so popular. Likes and hearts are symbols of love, an affirmation that someone, even a stranger, approves or appreciates the part of ourselves we’re putting out into the world.

Dogs give us the gift of being seen and revered, don’t they? Dogs look at us with admiration, despite the grey roots in our hair or the jeans that always seem to be snugger than we’d like. Dogs remind us that our mere presence is enough by smashing close to us with no indication of distraction or wanting to be elsewhere. And, dogs love, with their whole hearts, every moment they share with us.

I’m in the process of looking for a place for Gavin and me to move. It’s increasingly challenging to honor my clutter-free, neatnik ways in our 600-square foot apartment. And, when I remember that I used to make pouches in my two-people-are-a-crowd kitchen, I’m even more grateful for the space we now rock out 700+ pouches per week.

I forgot about the emotional component when looking for a new abode. Two weeks ago, I met with a potential landlord who was beyond lovely. And, everything about the apartment was perfect. It wasn’t too big. I like a speedy deep clean day. Plus, I’d have more than three cabinets for storage in the kitchen. I gave Mike my deposit and started thinking of all the upcoming to-dos to make the move as seamless as possible for Gavin and me.

Because Gavin and I were attacked by two dogs years ago, I asked Mike if he would mind triple-checking with the neighbor that she wasn’t planning on getting a dog who’d share the yard with us. I’m glad I asked and even more thankful that Mike obliged. It would have been difficult for Gavin because the neighbor’s boyfriend’s dog frequently visits and likes lots of backyard time.

It wasn’t meant to be, but phew, the aftermath of excitement then disappointment repeatedly after seeing a perfect place but oh, wait, way out of my price range. Or, yay, the apartment’s exactly what we need but, darn, not in a safe area. Or, super cute home but, boo, no dogs allowed or breed restrictions. The other night I was tired and spending my energy trying to stay positive and hopeful when I went to the kitchen to refill my water bottle. And, when I came back, all ten feet from Gavin, he stretched and flip-flopped his tail against the pillow, reminding me how amazing he thinks I am. And, it gave me permission to stop my search for the night and relax. It’s not the first time, nor the last Gavin will give me the gift of peace, calm, and presence just by being his sweet and perfect-for-me self.

As I continue my search and get my hopes up, then have to let them go again, I’ll keep reminding myself that despite the June deadline, I’ll find a place that allows Gavin and welcomes him. Our current neighbors love his wiggly, ball-in-mouth greetings. I trust that our new neighbors will love him too. 

And, until I find our perfect next home, I’ll look into his big, beautiful adoring eyes when it’s time to rest because, somehow, he sees the best parts of me and the better version of myself I know I can be tomorrow.