he’s beautiful, energetic, fairly smart, uplifting, excellent at keeping me from a solid nights’ sleep, furry and four-legged.
i have thought about getting a pet many times before. my thoughts always started with the overambitious idea of a puppy but ultimately ended at the actual, yet pathetic scene of me standing at the wall of “pet fish” in walmart. with a round fishbowl in one hand, those colorful little rocks for the bottom of the bowl and awful smelling fish-food in the other hand, i always put the supplies back on the shelf and walked away with no fish and the realization that i couldn’t nurture a pet, even if it was just a fish.
i live in a huge two-bedroom apartment, by myself, too much time to reflect on embarrassing moments in my life, (like when i farted on my stunt group at cheer practice, or when i searched girls.com on my fathers computer when i was 7 years old because my neighbor told me it was a sight for girls to gossip on and learn about “girl things”) too much spare time to sit around and be unproductive (even though i work six days a week) no boyfriend and no desire consider a beta fish or even a chinchilla “my pet.”
after a really rough day of work, no returned phone calls that i had dialed out earlier, and nobody at home to say, “hey, how was your day today,” when i walked in the door, i took to the internet to find a dog.
i was dead-set on it this time. i’m almost 20 years old, i’ve babysat for the past 6 years of my life and i can cook a mean chicken-parmesan so, i can definitely raise a dog.
18 hours later, i was in the car on my way to buy a black lab/retriever mix, sight-unseen. (except for the heart-breakingly adorable online photo of him.) my best friend accompanied me on this incontestably life-altering decision. the drive was short and long all at the same time. the inner-diologue i had with myself is what made it weird;
me #1: doooood, i’m getting a fucking dog.
me #2: that’s a fifteen year commitment
me #1: yeah but i’m buying unconditional love for 15 years, dude. right on.
me #2: i shouldn’t have to pay for unconditional love. i’m basically having a child. i’ll be like a teen-mom.
me #1: it’s nothing like a child. it’s a puppy. tons of young adults get puppies. this is so exciting.
me #2: this dog is going to drive me nuts. i don’t even like dogs that much. what the ass am i doing? should i turn the car around? holy shit, i cannot do this.
me #1: simmer down. remember how it felt to have dogs at home after i came home from a “ruff” day at school or work? good pun, snarl. still funny as fuck in a mind-boggling situation.
me #2: dumb ass. you could use this $300 for so many other things right now. not cool. make an adult decision about this.
me #1: ….but his picture online…… *smiles a goofy smile to thyself
this continued for the entire 45-minute drive and when we pulled up the house, my heart was in my asshole and i was sweating and my heartbeat was through the roof and we were greeted by the sweetest smile of a woman who said, in a very bubbly-yet-calming tone, “are you here for a puppy,” and i said, “yesssssss,” (drew out the ending of the yes, just like that) and she said, “which one would you like,” and i was confused because i didn’t think i was going to have to choose between souls, so my burden felt heavier and i don’t know why, but i said “the smallest one,” (because what was i supposed to say to that?) and she lightheartedly laughed and took my best friend and i out to the huge, grassy, all-inclusive backyard with a rope and tire swing, a huge picnic table, a volleyball net, linen-drying lines with white sheets hanging, a barn off in the distance and the ever-so-eye catching crate with an exhausted looking mother who was surrounded by four of the warmest and happy looking puppy-souls i had ever seen.
still awestruck with an unparalleled mix of nerves and excitement, something i often refer to as “being nervited,” i stood there as this lady opened up the crate and let the puppies burst through to the open yard. three of which were boys, all marked with collars of various shades of blue, and one little girl with a pink collar, of course. the bitch, (the actual and only bitch, aka: the female puppy) stayed in the crate and licked herself and that was that. the three little boys ran out, two of which hustled and bustled with each other and i just watched with wide eyes. while distracted by the action of the two boys, i felt the sensation of a tongue on my toes and a wagging tail hitting my shin. all doubts and negative thoughts i previously had about owning and raising a puppy shattered and fell to the ground where the third boy pup in a teal collar sat and shed its’ love.
me #1: he came to me. he chose me.
i’ve been a dog owner for two full days now but it only took two seconds to fall in love with him.
every time we go on walks, no matter what kind of distractions may intrigue his head that’s too big for his body right now, he quickly locates me and with his huge paws runs to me and showers me with actual puppy love. every time i am walking around in my not-so-empty-apartment, he matches my steps, or watches me from his inquisitive and interested eyes with undivided attention from afar. when i have to put him in his crate for any amount of time, those same eyes become heavy and despairing and he makes it impossible to have to put my foot down. when i make a kissy-face, he acknowledges it. when he pisses on my carpet or he wakes me up every two hours during the night, i am pissed and he acknowledges that too. (he hasn’t learned yet, but i know he will)
i’m happy. i’m really thrilled to have something to nurture. and i absolutely cannot complain about calling this four-legged, fuzzball with a wagging tail….. mine.
i can assure you though, that for the next couple of days, my social media will be flooded with this dude.