Puppy love and a lack thereof
I grew up an only child. The makeup of my immediate family ended up being much more complicated than that, but I’ll write about that another time.
Growing up as an only child in a single-parent household could be lonely at times, but I had a tight-knit group of friends and took to The Internet like a dog to a bone. Still, I wanted a little buddy to hang with every day. Calvin and Hobbes was my favorite comic, and since it didn’t seem likely that I would ever get a tiger, a dog was the next best thing. However, living in a small condo with no yard before the days of apps that were first pitched as like Uber, but for dog walking, it wasn’t gonna happen.
While I was still living in California, I had put the idea of having a dog out of my head, because in my mind, you needed a yard to have a dog, and you needed a house to have a yard. Since owning any home with a sizable yard seemed like a fantasy, I put my doggy dreams on the shelf for the future.
Laura and I had talked about getting a dog eventually. We said, once we have a house, once we have a yard. Then I went through some medical stuff including a surgery that had a three month recovery time (more on that in a future post).
Towards the end of my recovery, we were sitting on the couch talking when it happened. What if we got a puppy? Suddenly I was looking up adoption centers in Dallas, just to see…Then I found some adorable cattle dog puppies that were at an adoption event that very day.
Before we had time to think, we were in the car headed towards our destiny. We made our way towards the back of the pet store and saw the puppies scurrying around in their pens. We spotted the cattle dog pup we had come to see, but to my chagrin a couple and small child were inside of the pen with him and I just knew they had already developed an unbreakable bond. Before I could lament the loss of the impossibly perfect pup I had convinced myself that dog would be, another one was jumping on his hind-legs to capture our attention. He was tiny but a little stocky with floppy ears, a white snout and white paws. It was like he had called us right to him. We picked him up and held him for the next hour while we filled out the paperwork and picked out everything we needed on the spot. We never stood a chance.
We had absolutely no idea what we were getting into.
He was two months old when we took him home, which I now know is close to the youngest puppy you can get. It’s been so much harder than I ever expected. There have been late nights and very early mornings. Messes and biting and destruction. Walks and adventures and belly rubs. It’s been worth it.
He’s almost five months old now and has already amassed a list of ludicrous nicknames (The Shanger, Buster T. Chang, and Doggo being among my favorites). He’s a part of our little family and I can’t imagine life without him. He’s my lil buddy, my friend, my loyal companion.
It’s no surprise that there is much amazing writing about animal companionship, and dogs in particular. Animals are free of the burdens humanity places on us. They see us without judgment.
What did we do to deserve dogs?
This question has recently become a popular meme. I know the answer — we didn’t do a damn thing to deserve them, but I sure am glad they let us get away with it anyway. It’s just the kind of thing a dog would do.
I’m a long-time aspiring writer that’s making an effort to realize those aspirations through daily blogging.
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