I’m Not a Crazy Dog Lady, But I Do Love My Dog

by Kee Kee on January 29, 2012

in Cowgirl,Inspiration,Texas,Yoda

Kee Kee & Yoda

“Your dog is in your mate space.”  These were some of the first words out of the mouth of the Curandera whom I serendipitously met on my road trip in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  She said this before I even told her that I had a dog not so patiently waiting for me outside in Princess Leia the Prius.  I laughed politely, but inside I felt a swell of panic.  The back of my throat burned and my heart raced.  What if this were true?  Was I destined to live a life alone, just me and Yoda?  Was I becoming the modern day equivalent of the stereotypical spinster cat lady?

Well here’s the thing, if there is such a thing as a mate space, then at that time Yoda was most definitely in it.  When I landed in Hot Springs, I was in the midst of the deepest existential crisis I had ever known.  At that point Yoda and I had already been driving aimlessly around the country for 3 months.  I didn’t have a job, a boyfriend, a home, or a plan.  The only constant in my life was Yoda.  When everything else in my life had failed me, my dog hadn’t.   He seemed to understand what I needed when my panic attacks would begin.   When my heart would start racing and I found my mind whirling into a place of complete terror about the state of my life, Yoda would nuzzle his forehead into my chest, snuggle in my lap, or demand a hike, somehow knowing that the crisp air and brisk walk would help me snap out of it.  He’d press his back against mine in bed, providing me with a sense of security as I drifted off to sleep.  When the tears were flowing, he’d tease me with his stuffed coati toy and make me laugh.  My Yoda really does have the Force, and he used it well on our road trip.

I was recently dating a guy named “Brian.”  On one of our first dates, Brian had made a comment about not wanting to date any crazy dog ladies.  Was he thinking I might be one?  The Curandera’s prophecy about Yoda in my mate space was haunting me yet again.  I decided in that moment that I would downplay the significance Yoda has in my life.   Brian briefly met Yoda 2 times.  Although he had claimed he’s a dog person, he shrunk away from Yoda and wouldn’t pet him out of concern that Yoda’s hair might trigger allergies.  He called Yoda “Hey Dog” instead of using his name.  Due to Yoda’s severe separation anxiety, I have a unique situation of not being able to leave him home alone.  So Yoda’s second home in Austin has been a couple blocks away at a dog-sitter’s house.  I made sure Yoda was there whenever Brian would pick me up for dates, ensuring they wouldn’t have to encounter each other.  The couple of times that Brian asked about Yoda, I gave a short answer and then quickly changed the subject.  I saw a lot of potential in Brian, and I didn’t want to blow it by him discovering how important Yoda really is to me.

When my mom and I landed in Paris a couple weeks ago I found my jet lag was giving me delirious dreams.  One of those dreams was so visceral, so crazy, and so embarrassing that I find myself still thinking about it.  I dreamt that I had a conversation with Yoda and that he was telling me that he is a man trapped in a dog’s body.  He begged me to help him escape.  In the dream I went to the Curandera in Arkansas and begged her to release him so that I could be with my soul mate.  I woke up mortified – the Curandera must be right – I’d be alone forever because I had put my dog in my mate space.  But then, as I digested the dream a bit more, I realized that wasn’t the case at all.  Dreams sometimes carry important messages, and I think I know what this was telling me.  I’ve been so worried about Yoda being in my mate space, that I was willing to almost deny his existence to demonstrate to Brian that I’m not a crazy dog lady.   It’s not surprising that last night Brian and I realized that things weren’t working out between us.  From my end, by pretending Yoda wasn’t significant, I wasn’t being authentically me.  When one isn’t authentically oneself, a relationship is doomed to failure.  My God, I’ve been writing about the importance of embracing my inner-cowgirl, but last night I realized that by not being authentic with Brian, I wasn’t practicing what I’ve been preaching.

I realize this morning that what I have learned from the Curandera, the dream and Brian, is that I’m not a crazy dog lady.  I just happen to love my dog.  And anyone who is a true animal lover can understand that dogs really are members of one’s family.   Yoda and I are a package deal.  He’s not in my mate space, but he definitely has a huge chunk of my heart.  And I’m never again going to hide that fact from a man.

Read me on The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christine-buckley/


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Beth January 29, 2012 at 11:03 am

Your next boyfriend needs to be a dog lover. End of discussion.

Mom January 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm

and sometimes the simplest of comments can be the most deep. Well said, Beth.

Friend January 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Kee Kee, Shame on you. You cannot deny how important Yoda is to you, nor how important you are to Yoda. You just have to find that guy that can love you both and accept the love that you have for one another. He’s out there. And you will find him.

Kee Kee January 31, 2012 at 7:46 am

You are clearly a dog lover yourself…that’s very good advice that I’m taking to heart!

Linda January 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Have you read The Art of Racing in the Rain? Your point about Yoda telling you he was a man trapped in a dog reminded me of it, when the main character, the sweet, loveable and old dog Enzo, tells us that dogs (when they die) come back as people! Anyway, bravo to you for being true to you and Yoda.

Kee Kee January 31, 2012 at 7:44 am

I just read the first chapter on Amazon and it made me cry…I’m so ordering this book!

Ben January 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm

yes Yoda is in your mate space, but a mate does not make you complete. YOU make you complete with all your beauty and idiosyncrasies. You are on that journey. With every blog, facebook and twitter post I see you getting closer to where you sould be (although sometimes you may take two steps forward and one step back).

I think you need to accept that Yoda is your soul mate as long as he is here. You need to accept that your soul mate is the most important thing. That is what feeds and sustains you despite what you may think your paradigm of society says.

I see life everyday. I am especially lucky to see it as it ends and what the results of a life really are. What I see out of life is that it is being true to yourself and to those you love and the ones who love you unconditionally as well as the memories you create in the process. Be true to that. I do think you are well on your way.

I simply adore you and want the best for you. Hopefully, I am not being too presumptuous with my unsolicited thoughts, but I think they will make you truly okay with your package deal.

Kee Kee January 31, 2012 at 7:51 am

Ben, this is exactly why I count you as forever one of the more special people in my life. Your perspective on both dogs and on the ending of life (human and otherwise) gives me so much comfort.

Deb January 30, 2012 at 6:09 am

I broke up with 2 boyfriends because they didn’t like Max. Then I fell in love & married Eric because he not only loved me but respected and shared my love for dogs……

Kee Kee January 31, 2012 at 7:55 am

Your story, as you so know, really does inspire me.

jdinbrooklyn January 30, 2012 at 7:46 am

Society has a problem with single people. It’s assumed you’re doing something wrong. People think — and sometimes say — stuff like, maybe you’re too picky, maybe you are too damaged from former relationships, maybe you’ve become so independent you don’t need a man and men need to be needed. This is a new one: Your dog is in your “mate space.” Please.

You, like millions of people, simply love your dog and Yoda is a high-maintenance dog. The right guy will be cool with that. Just as the right guy will be cool with a woman who’s missing a breast from breast cancer or a single mom raising an Asperger’s kid. One falls in love with a person, not their situation. And you are more lovable because of your devotion to Yoda. Not loving Yoda is a deal-breaker in a guy in my opinion. Just as for me, not wanting kids or dogs is a deal-breaker.

The secret is owning your life with confidence. Yoda is part of the package just as the missing breast is on the cancer survivor or the Asperger’s kid is for the mom. Good luck! I love following your adventures….

Kee Kee January 31, 2012 at 7:49 am

I feel completely empowered after reading what you wrote…ready to take on the world, or at the very least to take Yoda on a very long hike today! Thanks so much.

Yoda January 31, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Hey, I took one for the team this time, but next time I get to date the girl dog who doesn’t like people, oh yeah!


ps: I gave the Curandera $10 buckaroos to tell you I was in your mate space thing when we got into Hot Springs, sorry it got out of hand – my bad

Wendee Nicole October 9, 2012 at 10:37 pm

OMG I laughed out loud when I read the first line of this. I AM SO THERE with my cat!! LOL!!! I have to say with one dog you can scarcely be a crazy dog lady. Now your dear dog-watching friend…I’m not so sure about! He he. Just kidding! I definitely need a man who likes cats, bc I cant imagine parting from my dear Pippin!!!

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