Note: Ask Cody is a regular opinion feature that Cody Keith Charles writes for The Lawrence Times. Community Voices pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Times staff.
Read previous editions of Ask Cody here.
Q: Dear Cody, can you introduce your dog, Monét?
A: I thought you’d never ask!
For context, Monét is my first doggy ever — well, my first pet ever, if we don’t include Goldie the goldfish. I got Goldie at church one Sunday, and Goldie died the following Sunday. We were poor and barely had enough food to feed our intergenerational family at the time. Grandma Bertha had me feed Goldie tiny pieces of bread every day. I’m surprised Goldie lived seven days.
Monét is a border-collie lab mix. She’s Black with a white belly and white paws. She’s so pretty and regal. I partnered with Monét a few months before the pandemic.
The day I got Monét from the Lawrence Humane Society, on a discounted adoption weekend (that’s important), I was with a few of my besties. Turns out these besties planned to sabotage me from the very conception of the idea — I was only going to look around, get good energy flowing, but they had other plans.
I left with Monét the same day. My good sis named her Monét after Wyandotte’s own Janelle Monáe and drag legend Monét X. Change.
In the building, Monét was so calm and our energies seemed to match; however, it was a lil different once we walked out into the parking lot. She instantly jerked me around, pulling me like a Yugo in a ditch.
As I drove away, Monét morphed into a different dog. She was jumping everywhere, threatening to leap out of the car window and gifted me little (aggressive) barks every few miles. In my head, I’m thinking, “I’ve been set up! Help.“
Monét is a very active dog, and I’m … just … not there yet.
Changes had to be made to both of our lifestyles to meet somewhere in the middle: Strategically, using daycare as an outlet, and every few weeks letting her play an evening with her sister, Lexi (my best friend’s dog), in addition to our walks around the neighborhood.
During this pandemic, Monét has been my friend (even though she mostly just wants snacks and balcony time), my sounding board and my reason to get out of bed most days. I lost my job in December, and my depression and anxiety took further root. Monét helped. I’m not sure I could have survived the winter without her.
I refer to Monét as the neighborhood watch dog. She sits on our balcony watching the rabbits, the squirrels and silly humans doing weird things everyday. It calms her. I think she gets the nosiness from me; however, I like to call it curiosity.
We have a lot of curiosity in my household!
At the core, Monét is a sweet dog. We may not be a perfect match, but at the end of the day, I’m her human and she’s my dog.
– Cody Keith Charles (all pronouns) is the Founder and Executive Director of Haus of McCoy, a queer and trans community center in Lawrence, Kansas. Moreover, Cody is a writer, facilitator, cultural critic and dreamer who critiques pop culture at the intersection of liberation. Cody enjoys trash TV, spending time with beautiful queer people and loving on their dog, Monét.