This I Believe

Yessika - El Paso, Texas
Entered on May 4, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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The best love is unconditional

I believe love can be unconditional. I never used to think this was true though. Except maybe a parent’s love, the men in my life and even friends have always wanted something in return. Then last May I courageously adopted Emma, my small, light Terrier Mix, from the humane society. I remember she caught my eye; she seemed distant and fragile, too scared to come close to me. Emma was hurt. I did not know how or who had hurt her but she needed a home and profound care.

It took a couple of weeks for Emma to adjust to her new home. She constantly covered her food by pretending to throw dirt over it like she had done in the streets. Then soon she realized she did not have to compete for food or that it was not necessary for her to hide it from other animals. Finally, she was safe. Slowly she began to play with her toys more often and her favorite time of the day was her visit to the park. The hardest thing for both of us was potty training. She was stubborn but I was firm. I had to hit her every time she broke the house rules and I told her many times she was a bad doggy for doing so. A couple of hundred “bad doggy’s” later and she learned that school books are not food, that trash bags are not dessert and that opening my backpack to find my chewing gum is forbidden. But of all the times I yelled at her and threatened to send her back to the humane society she never showed any sign of resentment towards me. Instead, she would wait for the right time and lie next to me until I would hold her again.

Emma eventually learned the rules and now she limits the chewing to her toys. Sometimes she still opens my backpack to see what goodies I keep from her and I still tell her she is a bad doggy. My family says I have Emma too spoiled. I always deny it even though I let her sleep with me every night and have to fight her for the pillow. I don’t tell them either that when I leave Emma alone for an hour, when I come home she cries like it has been a whole day. This month is exactly a year Emma was adopted. She has brought immense joy to my life and I do believe her love for me has always been unconditional because she never asks for anything in return; she only waits patiently to be loved.