About 6 hours later, I had the worst stomach flu I've ever had. I writhed in pain until around 8pm Sunday night, and finally fell asleep to the sounds of Antiques Roadshow. I got up every hour, and then at around 7, I woke up and started getting ready for work.
I had to stop and start a few times, unsure if I was really going to make myself do this. We have a mountain-load of work with a hard deadline in my department, and not coming in seemed like a bad idea. But I was not finding that deeper level to make me keep going.
Until Dan let in the puppy (who, yes, has officially been named Reverend Trask, or The Rev, as I like to call him).
I know we project a lot of stuff on pets, but dude, I'm not exaggerating when I say this dog was darn happy to see me. I literally never saw him at all on Sunday, and it's like he NOTICED. The money, the effort, the extra care that it takes to have a dog is entirely worth it the moment that fuzzball climbs in your lap and looks like they are going to die of excitement because you exist. That's it. You don't have to be the best, you don't have to kill yourself with millions of tasks on their behalf, you don't have to meet any expectations. You just have to exist, and they will jump around like you just won the Nobel Peace Prize.
For everything I've had on my plate lately, it was nice to be unconditionally loved for no reason at all.
And it got me to put on a dress and get my butt to work today, which is nothing short of a miracle. Good dog.