13 September 2009

Falling in love is like owning a dog ::: Taylor Mali

I've been awake for 33 hours. I second shot a wedding yesterday and came home to a very sick Grover. And now I am home from the emergency vet, sans my little sidekick, who is stuck in a cage, on oxygen, antibiotics, fluids, and nebulizer treatments. He was so violently sick that he aspirated when he was throwing up, and has given himself aspiration pneumonia. Nothing I could have predicted, prevented or otherwise done anything for.

Last night, for the second time in a row(!), this poem was read as one of the ceremony readings. It moved me so much the first time that I wrote to the poet, Taylor Mali, who so graciously responded in kind. I was so touched that he took the time to reply and was giddy when it appeared in last night's ceremony.

I loved it from a marriage perspective both times I heard it. But today, it holds a significantly different meaning. My dog saved me when my marriage unexpectedly ended. I am so head over heels in love with him, I'm not quite sure what to do without him, as I shuffle around my empty quiet house tonight. I know he's in wonderful, caring hands at the 24 hour emergency vet, but he's not with ME. I don't "like being left alone for long."

Falling in love is like owning a dog

an epithalamion by Taylor Mali

First of all, it's a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you're walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain't no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn't like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don't you ever do that again!

Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you're all wound up and can't move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.


Thank you again, Taylor. Especially tonight.


  1. oh julia! i hope your puppers is home and feeling better soon! lots of hugs for you!

    and i love the poem. looooove it.

  2. HUGS! Sending love and get well soon vibes your (and Grovie's!) way!

  3. sometimes i can't sleep at night, thinking about what life would be like (and how i would survive) if (or i guess when) my dogs are no longer with me. it sounds silly, and many people look at me as if i've got a third foot sprouting from my head....
    but i have a feeling you know what it's like.
    and i have a feeling that you also know what's it's like to live through a dog's eyes - to enjoy the little things (a simple bowl filled with food - the highlight of their days!) ... the challenge falling leaves create, not to mention the pure joy found in chasing the leaves, running after squirrels and fetching that beloved ball.
    but i'm rambling.
    i know grover will help you get you through this - even though he's at the vet, he's thinking of you, and he knows that his mom is one of the strongest women he knows. :-)
    "dogs aren't our whole lives, but they make our lives whole." -unknown
    jenn (carol's friend!)

  4. Julia. Thank you so much for posting this, it really warmed my heart and made it ache as I think of you and Grover. I am sitting in a resort in British Columbia, Canada as I write this vacationing with my husband. Although we had a fabulous, relaxing day today, I have not been able to get away from my phone and computer just hoping that I will miraculously hear good new about Grover. I know he means everything to you and I couldn't understand that more. Our little Jacks, Moose and Maui mean the world to us and I will never be able to imagine life without them. They make us laugh and give us more joy than anything we've experienced in life thus far. My husband too went through a devastating, unexpected divorce years ago and I truly believe that Moose helped him heal from that hurt more than I ever could. . .he calls him "my angel". I tell you this so that you know that we truly understand your pain and our thoughts are with you as you go through this difficult time. Grover will always be a part of your life and the mark he left will never be forgotten. Lots of love.