Your narrator has a galloping case of depression, anxiety, self-hatred, and possible ADHD. In my sojourns in the dog world, I’m beginning to think mental illness is a prerequisite. A lot of us are struggling and can’t kill ourselves because the dogs won’t shit in the yard.
You know what they say about exercise: helps depression. So does positive human interaction. Shibas are a good breed for this: they need a fair amount of exercise and they have a near-hypnotic effect on the general public. Take one out on the street and the masses start shuffling towards you, uttering moans. Before long, your depression is shoved aside by the brainpower required to acknowledge the phrase, “Looks like a little fox!” for the 17th time in as many minutes.
Shibas also are effective as therapy dogs, if you want your therapy to consist of feeding, walking, and motivating the little shits. They could not give a good goddamn about your mental trauma, but they’ll exacerbate it for you if their bowls aren’t filled precisely at 2000 hours – or whenever the service at the only church they worship at begins.
Anxiety about one’s failings or life events can’t exist on the same plane as manoeuvring three Shibas through the streets. I can’t be anxious; I’m making sure Tierce isn’t going to lead a 3-Shiba charge against the loose ‘friendly’ dog. I’m making sure Jam isn’t too freaked out by passing kids and their skateboards. I’m making sure that Shimi – actually, she’s perfect. Thank Dog for one abnormal Shiba.
I can’t make any promises, but I can say that, even when I don’t want to be here, I still stay. In part, there’s my friends and family. The other is that the goddamn dogs need to be walked because they’re too good, for the most part, for the yard.
Or maybe they’re trying to keep me here, too.