Apprehensive Dog Lover

As a stubborn only child, I begged and pleaded with my father to get a dog for as long as I can remember. My convincing tactics ranged from logically deduced reasons scribbled onto scrap paper and shoved under his bedroom door, to hysterical crying, to the full-blown silent treatment.

On the morning of my 7th birthday my mom outfitted me in a vibrant red dress detailed with delicate white flowers and fastened a red bow on the top of my half-ponytail. As a child of amicably divorced parents, I knew that the day would involve two separate celebrations; the first of which was with my dad. As I arrived at my Papa’s house, the intoxicating smell of homemade birthday cake led me into the dining room. I claimed the large chair at the head of the table as my official birthday throne. Knowing that my dad always saves the best gift for last, I sprang to my knees in my giant chair and braced myself as he calmly instructed me to close my eyes while he got my last gift. As my dad told me to open my eyes he placed an old, worn stuffed dog (that I had previously named Fetch) into my hands. My emotion could only be described as annoyed and confusion. Why was I being given a stuffed animal I already owned? What I didn’t immediately see was the brand new collar placed around Fetch’s neck with a shiny silver tag in the shape of a bone that read Jazz. Upon my realization I was informed the collar belonged to my brand new yellow Labrador puppy. I immediately burst into tears.

Later that day my dad, aunt, and myself all went to the breeders’ home where, as the official birthday girl, I was appointed the job of picking a puppy. What I was unprepared for was how absolutely and completely terrified I was of the dogs. Panicked, I choose the only dog that didn’t jump, lick, or attack me. Despite the fact that my dad had brought his camera for the occasion, fear prevailed and I was unable to hold the puppy while he took a picture.

14 years later I am an avid dog lover, unable to pass up the opportunity to spend a week dogsledding. Regretful of my inability to capture the moment when I first laid eyes on Jazz, I am hoping that course is able to teach me how to seize and express valuable moments in life. Despite my fears and apprehensions towards creative writing and spending 3 nights outdoor winter camping, it’s imperative to capture the anticipated, yet unimaginable beauty and turmoil of the expedition.

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