For the record, I resisted getting a dog. I knew full well that despite a certain child’s claims that she would walk, feed and take are of said dog, that wouldn’t be the case. I had already taken care of a fish and two guinea pigs that weren’t mine.

But I have to say, like baby fever, once we started looking at breeds and pictures of puppies, I got excited. Darren thought having a dog would be therapeutic for me, almost like a service dog. It would ease my depression and anxiety if I had a furry creature to cuddle.

The ad for Milo had THEE CUTEST PICTURES! The current owners had a change in job and wouldn’t have the time to dedicate to the puppy, wouldn’t be able to come home at noon to let him out. After getting to know Milo better, we came to realize that there was probably more to the story than that.

We had been researching breeds but were limited to those that were hypoallergenic because of Darren’s son. Milo was a mini schnauzer so it seemed like fate. We probably should have learned a bit more about the breed in hindsight.

Mini Schnauzers are stubborn and extremely vocal, ear piercing vocal. About everything. A man with sunglasses? Cause to bark. Kids with skateboards? Definitely losing his mind. A leaf falls from a tree six blocks down? Heinous crime, must bark. A stranger at the door? All out panic and chaos, barking at a whole new level.

When we got him he was teething. Let me correct that. He was a demon shark, ready to shred you, the couch, the carpet, the door jams. The floor was lava and we stayed on the couch out of his reach. Darren would come home from shift and I would be at my wits end, frustrated and crying. This was not the cute, lovable, soothing pet that I had been promised.

He was a bastard to walk. To this day he pulls like he’s a draft horse pulling a wagon. He doesn’t care that his collar is choking him. We’ve tried the vests but he refuses to walk. He doesn’t care for clothing of any sort. He won’t move even if it means being able to go out for a walk in cold temperatures. Definitely no booties, no thank you.

He’s tempermental, only doing what he wants when he wants to. He’s spicy and saucy. He will intentionally destroy things and get into trouble to try and get your attention. He’s smart. Too smart.

For the longest time I had no attachment to him, I thought he was a vile little demon dog. And somehow he chose me as his human, god only knows why. He is my velcro dog, my shadow. I’m the one he runs to when everyone gets home.

It’s only within the last year or so where he has calmed down a bit that the ‘therapy’ effects have taken hold. He still barks like a bastard at everything that moves, anything he deems a threat. Everyone is a sniper, criminal, villain. But he is getting cuddlier and that’s what my depression needs. It’s good for my soul when he crawls up to me on the bed and lays on my chest. I love it when I can feel him pressed up against my legs at night (although this usually means I can’t move for the entire night for fear of disturbing him).

He makes these cute little sounds of contentment (as close to a purr as a dog can get) and when he’s being really sweet he folds back his ears like a bunny. So while he’s far from the dog we were looking for, he’s ours and we love him. Here’s hoping that the older he gets, the less he barks, but I won’t hold my breath. Good thing he’s cute…

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