We all have the same tattoos. All three of us. That is, my husband, my dog and I.
My husband and I rescued Adelaide 12 years ago. She was an unbelievably cute tiny little puppy. She picked us, really, bounding right up to us and barking as if to say, "Hey! I’m yours! Take me home!" Who was I to disagree with the wishes of the cutest puppy ever?
When I picked her up, I cradled her like a baby and immediately noticed a tiny green "X" tattooed on her belly. The supervisor at the Humane Society said that while they were spaying and neutering the dogs, they also gave them small tattoos to see how many ended up back at the shelter. (They had yet to start microchipping back then.) So, our new puppy had a tattoo, which obviously made her cooler than her parents. Until then, the closest my husband and I got to being tattooed was having our faces painted at a child’s birthday party.
Adelaide is so important to us because we found her while we were on a trip looking for a place to get married-we didn’t find a place that trip, but we did find the Best Dog Ever, our sweet Border Collie/Shepherd mix, Adelaide. And she really felt like a gift. It’s as if she let my husband and I know we were truly right for one another.
Considering how conservative my husband is about tattoos (he told me while we were dating that piercings and tattoos were deal breakers), I can’t believe how open-minded he’d prove to be. But after I got my first tattoo and then didn’t directly go out afterwards and buy a motorcycle, I think my husband realized that getting a tattoo is all about what you make of it. My personality didn’t change, so tattoos no longer held the same negative stigma for him.
It all happened like this: I had been thinking about getting a second tattoo, and that’s when I started contemplating getting one to match Adelaide’s. On the surface it made me giggle. Our little family could all have matching tattoos! We would often chuckle about it while giving Adelaide a belly rub, and we thought, what kind of wackos would get tattoos to match their dog?
"I have a connection with this dog that goes deeper than my bond with most friends."
After the giggling stopped, I started thinking about the permanence of the tattoo and the impermanence of life, and how special Adelaide is to me, and to us. I have a connection with this dog that goes deeper than my bond with most friends. She can comfort me with one look, and make me giggle with one gentle push of her nose. I adore her, and I’m happier when we are together. I know all too well that life with a pet is just way too short, so I wanted that permanent tattoo. And I wanted my husband to do it, too. I wanted to be able to remember Adelaide and this time in our loves.
When I asked my husband, he gave a definitive "Yes!" without a moment’s hesitation. Maybe he wanted to feel that same level of connection throughout the rest of our lives, or maybe he just wanted people at the gym to ask him if the doctors messed up his surgery.
So we all got a green X on our bellies, just like Adelaide.
We haven’t told many people about our tiny tattoos, but those we have told know us and Adelaide well and think think they’re fabulously cute and funny. Both of our parents were even surprisingly on board, because, hey…it’s Adelaide!
Although, when I was pregnant my tiny green X stretched to a larger green X that almost marked the belly bump spot precisely. I’m not sure my OBGYN was totally on board with our joke. "What’s this green X for?" she asked. When I explained it, she just replied with a "huh." Her face read, "Wow, these people are weirdos!"
But then, she has never met Adelaide.
After we got them done, we came home and showed them to Adelaide. She sniffed them politely, looked at us with her big brown eyes, and promptly rolled over to show us her tattoo and her belly! I will take that as her doggie stamp of approval.
Now I wonder how old our toddler should be before he eventually gets his?