To my dogs

In the pursuit of full transparency, this article’s purpose is to detract a certain level of guilt from my parents, who, on multiple occasions, denied my requests to temporarily move my dogs to Boston. Not only did this decision crush my dreams of not having to leave my dogs at home, but it also refused my pups their dream of being city dogs. Mom, Dad — I hope you understand the consequences of your choices.

Connie Dai / DFP Staff

As the weather warms and spring in Boston is in full bloom, two things emerge from the brownstone apartments: babies and puppies. Strollers are suddenly lining the Charles River Esplanade. Dogs are drinking from the water bowls that have magically shown up outside of every storefront. Playgrounds are filled to the brim. And my personal favorite — Amory Park seemingly becomes the designated puppy meet-up spot.

Whenever I find myself in Amory Park — having a picnic with friends, finishing the book I’ve been reading or walking through my shortcut to the Whole Foods on Beacon Street — it is a dog paradise. They are playing fetch! They are on leash, taking a walk! They are chasing each other around the park! It is utterly wonderful and almost perfect.

I say almost perfect as the high mark is missed due to one thing: my dogs are not there to partake in the dog wonderland that is Amory Park in the spring.

I have two dogs.

First came Joy, a small, hypoallergenic Havanese. About 14 years ago my family took our yearly trip to New York City during the holidays. My parents planned an exciting visit to Santa in the Macy’s Santaland. My brothers and I were assured this was most definitely the real Santa and all the other so-called “Santas” were just his helpers.

When our time came to tell Santa what topped our Christmas list that year, I believe six-year-old me mentioned some type of charm bracelet, obviously not understanding the power this Santa had. Although I blew my chance, my brother followed me up with the request for a dog.

A few days before Christmas, there was a letter from Santa awaiting my brothers and me in our mailbox. He explained how he had a puppy waiting for us and we hopped in the car to go pick up Joy — whose name stems from the Christmas classic “Joy to the World.”

Years later it was my turn to initiate the dog-wanting. I took my new skills as a sixth grader and wrote a very compelling five paragraph essay with the intention of explaining to my parents why we should get another dog. I believe the subtopics focused on getting Joy a friend, teaching me responsibility and promises to actually walk this dog. If my memory serves correctly, my dad read it and immediately agreed. Thus we were on the search for our second pup!

After a drive to Maryland and a confusing interaction in a Sheetz parking lot, which we were originally told was the breeder’s address, I fell in love with the caramel-colored puppy, and he joined us on the drive home. I graced him with the name Brady, which was inspired by Ross Lynch’s character in Disney Channel’s original movie “Teen Beach Movie.”

Now we have Joy and Brady. Brady loves Joy and Joy sometimes likes Brady. I love them both.

Brady loves a walk but needs to investigate every tree we stop by, so Joy typically will accompany me around the park by my house. Joy will constantly want to be held and brought to the human eye level, especially if a meal is being made. Brady is a cuddle-bug and will quickly jump at the chance to be curled up at my feet as I read or watch TV. Joy loves having her head out the window when driving, but if the windows are not down, she will cry the whole way. Brady enjoys running laps around the pool at an unprecedented speed, which we call his “zoomiez.”

Both dogs have an extensive list of nicknames that evolve with the years. From the basics of Joy-Joy and Brady boo to the newly crowned Josh and Beans, they will respond to anything if you say it in a high-pitched voice.

Leaving these pups every time I venture back to school always causes a wave of sadness and reuniting with them upon my homecoming is so joyful — pun intended. Those who do not consider themselves a “dog-person” have never owned a dog, as loving your dog is not a choice you get to make, but rather an instant connection that never fades.

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