The Puppy Diaries
She has also, recently, been my saviour.
You see, in December I said to my best friend, Hunter, I said "Let's do something fun this week" and he said "Do you want to go to the humane society and pet puppies? " I didn't know that was something you could do and it excited me, a LOT. So on a snowy day, Hunter and I walked to the East Side and met Pat at a place Hunter found online. Unfortunatley, we were not allowed to play with the puppies there -- but they sent us to a place where we could. Once there, we looked at a lot of dogs and, after much consideration, we asked to play with one of the dalmation-beagle pups they had. The worker said we should take out all three, which he did; and we took them to a room on the fourth floor and spent an hour playing with these three beautiful dogs from the same litter (there had been six but three had already been adopted). We all three thought they all three were wonderful but when I saw Hunter and one of the dogs (her name escapes me at this moment) playing in the window, I knew the honeymoon was on. And Pat was definately attached to Marco Polo. And I was having a love affair of my own with Fiesta. After half an hour, I just had to have that dog.
Well, it just wasn't to be. The beagle dalmations were going to grow to be fifty pound dogs. Our apartment would never accomodate a fifty pound dog. When we got home I was quietly doing my housework and, after a bit of time, Pat came to me, wondering what was wrong. Nothing. Are you thinking about Fiesta? Yes. Do you want that dog? Yes. But conversation would follow and, within twenty minutes, it was clear we could not get that dog. The thing is, before that conversation, I was cool. I had it in my head that we couldnt' get a dog and I would learn to deal with it. Then came the conversation that opened the door to the idea that a dog might actually be possible. Then came the end of the conversation, in which I sacrificed the chance of having Fiesta come live with us. I was so sick about it that I went to bed at eight o'clock at night. I was sad for about a week.
But Rhoda is the dog of one of my best friends and, so, we see her a lot. After all, they live around the corner. Her owner and I speak almost every day and we all see each other at least four times a week. It really saved me, seeing Rhoda so much.
It came to my attention that my next door neighbour had a friend with two pure bred ShihTzu puppies, desperate for homes. They were being given away. I expressed an interest and was emailed photos of the puppies and, promptly, fell in love. I talked to Pat about it and we were justthisclose to getting one of those dogs.
We had some friends over for lunch. Excitedly, I announced that we were going to get our dog the next day. What happened next was like some slow motion surreality from a movie. Four people in the room began talking about their pets. They said they loved them.. and then some of them launched into speeches about how much work, how much time, how much money it meant, having a pet. In six minutes flat, my dog was gone. I was foolish and brought up this subject of conversation in a room filled with my family and they took my dog away from me. I don't think I will ever forget that day. I am, in fact, not sure I have recovered from it - or if I ever will. I sat there and watched my husband's face turn from a comedy mask to a tragedy mask; and I knew -- I would not be getting that dog.
I have the unique ability of being able to see inside of people. I can see what they are thinking, what they are feeling, what they are hiding; this is, especially, true of my close friends - to say nothing of my husband. I knew he didn't want to incur that work and that expense. He is, always has been, always will be my first priority. My job in this life is to make his life easier. So when the topic of the dog, next, came up, I said we probably shouldn't get the puppy. His reply: "we are THIS close to being completely out of debt -- and we have the wedding in 14 months; we really shouldn't get the dog." I replied. Ok. And that was that.
A friend, told this story, said "maybe later... after the debt is cleared out and the wedding is over...." But I said no. I won't do this again. In the time span of four weeks I had two dogs in my metaphorical hands and I had them taken away from me. It cannot come close to what a woman experiences when she miscarries or what a couple feels when their proposed adoption doesn't go through; but to me, that is what this felt like. I won't do that again, ever.