When I was little (who am I kidding? I still do this) I had a security blanket that I call(ed) Lovey. Lovey was with me constantly, and if Lovey got lost, it was a major crisis. Once, on Thanksgiving 1981, I hid him in a ceramic turkey that my mother just loves. I was most definitely not allowed to play with the ceramic turkey. We looked for hours upon hours for Lovey. When I remembered where I put my blanket (Lovey is really much, much more than a blanket, although physically he is more like a mass of knotted string that fits in the palm of your hand right now) I ran over and rescued him from the turkey, the top of which I promptly dropped to the floor in my excitement. It shattered into hundreds of pieces, which my dad painstakingly glued back together over the course of three days. We still put the ceramic turkey out every year, but I have not touched it in the last twenty years.
Anyway, I was playing with my beloved dog today, and I decided that she is like the incarnation of all the love I ever gave Lovey and my stuffed animals (I have hundreds, literally) as a child. It's like all the love I put out there formed my guardian angel dog who scampered into my life just when I was on the cusp of a very difficult time in my life. My family, friends and especially roommates, boyfriend and college professors who saw me every day, really revealed themselves to by remarkable, generous people as they supported me through my last semester of college. I went through a phase where I did not feel any pleasure from the things I used to glean pleasure from, including Bella. It was all I could do to keep my commitment to feeding and walking her at my assigned times. At this point I was sharing her with my roommates/actresses/doglovers extraordinaire Jo and Erika, and they often took care of care of her when I was supposed to, but couldn't. Best Girl Photo Friend and Roommate Jillian also helped a bunch. (Thank you guys!)
All of that aside, I was petting Bella and thinking about how I found her in the rose bushes behind my house in Syracuse almost a year ago. She was so little. I really think she embodies all the love of the people who took care of me and all the love I bestowed on things like Lovey throughout my life. Animal companions are cool like that.