I couldn’t have gotten through transition without my dog. When the world looked at me with bafflement and disgust, she looked at me with pure attention and love. No judgment can pass through her gaze. She doesn’t give a shit about gender. A dog is an indispensable friend on this river.
I remember one day, back when I was desperately questioning my gender. It had been a horrible week of misperceptions by strangers and misunderstandings by family and friends. I was exhausted, almost heartbroken. I found my dog taking an afternoon nap in a patch of sun on my bed. I laid down and wrapped my arms around her and cried. She nuzzled my tears. I thanked her over and over for loving me with no thoughts at all of my haircut or my hormones.
She showed me that, whether people call me “he” or “she”,” I am myself. She showed me an acceptance that can be hard to find in human beings. Her love convinced me of my basic worth, my realness, the universe lovingly allowing me to be. Her soul shines through her eyes, and that soul is all souls.
A beautiful rescue with a scar on her face, she is intensely loyal. She seems to know that I took her in and keep her safe. She looks at me with gratitude and a little bit of awe. She has no idea that she saved me, too.