When I first started dating again, I was guarded. I was ready to date rather quickly, but not quite ready to fully trust or to completely open up to another. I viewed dating as a fun pastime, an opportunity to do things, get to meet new people, and learn more about myself. I had no expectations, no goals, and no objectives. I kept myself at a safe distance by telling my story early (just imagine hearing about a bigamist soon-to-be-ex-husband on a first date!) and informing my date that I was planning on moving to Seattle in a few months. I let myself be attracted, but I kept my heart in reserve, hiding my vulnerabilities and projecting an aura of self-sufficiency. I didn’t make it easy to get to know me and I was happy that way.
Until I met this guy.
I had gone out with his owner a couple times. We had an attraction, but I had (foolishly) chosen to focus on another guy over him. We kept in touch over the next few weeks, and when he rescued the world’s most adorable pit bull puppy, he sent me a picture of Tiger via email. I didn’t think I could fall in love with a dog again after the pain of losing mine. I was wrong. That little guy (okay, maybe little isn’t quite the right word!) held nothing in reserve when we met. He greeted me as though I was his long lost buddy. He didn’t care what baggage I brought or that I was still learning to trust. He fully accepted me as I was at that moment. I didn’t have to protect myself or worry about getting hurt. I didn’t have to consider if he was truthful or hiding ulterior motives. All things that would go through my mind on a date.
Tiger wormed his way into my heart over the next few weeks. I found myself softening, trust building both towards the dog and towards his daddy. I’m not sure I would be where I am today without Tiger; he was my guide back into love.