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VALENTINE'S DAY: For the dog lover

This is the second of five articles to be published in The Post's Valentine's Day Series. A new article will publish everyday Feb. 7-11.

Megan and Peewee

Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love, and those with a love as big as Everest for their four-legged best friend should be no stranger to this celebration. Meet Megan Burns, a local single dog mom.

Burns, 34, has lived with a love for her mean chihuahua mix, Peewee, for seven years. This feisty "old man" is guessed to be 10 years-old, and came into Burns's life from her then-husband's grandmother.

"Back when I was married in 2015, my then-husband's grandparents, he (Peewee) just wandered up on their property and his grandmother fell in love with him immediately," Burns said. "... Over the next couple of years her health progressively got very, very bad and she had to live in an assisted living home ... and so when that happened we adopted him.

"He has no training, he doesn't know any commands, he really is just a very ornery old man, but Nana — Lois — loved him so much, and she was one of the best people I've ever met in my whole life, so having him, even though he's very annoying a lot of the time, I'm in love with him because she was so in love with him."

Her ex-husband's grandparents were like her own, and now that they have both passed she said having Peewee is like having a little piece of Lois still with her.

"They were just inseperable, even though they weren't together for very long," Burns said. "They were best friends."

And despite being small and old, Peewee has a big personality.

"He is the boss, which I think is pretty standard when it comes to smaller breeds," Burns said. "They very much feel like they're in charge, no matter what. I have another dog and she's a medium-size mutt, and she's very elderly; she will be 16 this year. ... So even though she's older and she's been with me longer, as soon as he came into the house, he was like this is my house, I'm the boss of this house, no matter what.

"... He comes off as very ornery and very cantankerous, just like most old men, but he's actually very sweet."

Burns's favorite thing about Peewee is the memories she has with him and Lois.

"Because he is loud, and he is my favorite doorbell and absolutely sounds the alarm for every other dog in the neighborhood," she said. "But I think just having that history with him, and someone who was really, really important to me, is my favorite thing about him, because he's kind of a brat, but Lois was in love with him."

And despite being a "brat," Burns said he is a dedicated companion. And while she lives the single life right now, she enjoys Peewee's company, but also her own company.

"I've had some really terrible breakups, I had a really hard one last year that kind of led me to the understanding that I need to cultivate and develop healthier relationships with men," she said.

"And, taking time to really do that, and focusing on mental health, and ... taking advantage of that time to have a relationship with myself.

"I'm 34 and I'm still learning that — which I think is good, even just having the gumption to do that is good — but it's been a really healthy development to just kind of be able to ... (be) myself.

"I've always really yearned for having a relationship — being a hopeless romantic and really loving love and loving being in relationships — but (I'm) taking this time, taking the opportunity in this time to be more in-tune with myself and taking that opportunity to have better relationships with men platonically before kind of taking that next step.

"... But I don't really see it as a downfall or like being alone as a failure; it's just ... taking it as an opportunity t0 understand myself better."

And there are some things she simply likes better about being single.

Photo by Artfully Bound Photography

"Even when I've been in relationships, I've always been, again, like a very strong personality and I've always had things that I've done by myself," Burns said. "Burlesque is one of them. I've never really had a partner that was super supportive of that, so that's always been my jam.

I go to a lot of shows, not that we've had a lot during the pandemic, but I go to a lot of live music shows, and I'm totally fine with doing those things by myself. I love going to restaurants by myself; I think I appreciate solitude a lot. ... Even when I was in relationships, I still had a very separate sense of that, so not a lot has really changed in that regard. I take myself out on dates, I take myself to the movies. I don't really feel a strong sense of needing that partnership to define who I am."

In fact, she said a lot of the attempts she has had at dating have been "almost comically bad," which is good for her career in the performance industry.

"Right now I do a lot of hosting and emceeing, so I've just turned it into jokes. Like a lot of, some of the most horrible things, especially on social media, that men have said to me, I'm just kind of able to put it into this really hilarious delivery, so it's kind of nice — but also not at all."

As for Valentine's Day, Burns herself is not a big fan, and currently has no plans.

"I'll preface this, not a big fan of commercial holidays in general," she said. "I think it's beautiful. ... As much as I come off as an angry feminist, I love 'love' so much, and I think you can find love in literally anything. I think I fall in love everyday; with a thing or a moment, or like a sunrise.

"I do (like Valentine's Day) for other people. I'm not going to rain on anyone's parade on any day for any reason. I think people should celebrate whatever they want, so if a couple or if people find some meaning in Valentine's Day specifically, by all means go crazy and have the best time.

"As far as me personally, I probably won't celebrate it. I know a lot of people do, like, 'galentines' and that's super cute; I've never done anything like that. So I probably won't specifically do anything, or who knows? I might. I might take myself to go get a pedicure or for ice cream or something."

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