I hate being an adult. If I was ten again, my mother would shoot this idea down with the skill of John Wayne. The answer would be no, absolutely not.
As an adult, I have to do my own laying of the smack down. I had just returned from lunch when I spotted a long whip like tail with a white ‘flag’ on the end. She was being toted through the treatment area by a coworker. Before I saw her face, I knew I was in trouble. And, I was. Look at that damn face.
Most women plan out their wedding, their future children, and other various sappy crap. Me? In the back of my head, I have a plan. I’d already told myself until the new house was built, there were to be no more dogs. The death of Presleigh was traumatizing. It is undeniable that a great deal of recovery time is order before moving on.
I adored Presleigh, but one of the top reasons I adopted her was that I felt she had nowhere else to go. Next time will be different. It will be a good match between me and the canine. A dog similar to the dogs I’ve owned before. Good natured. Sociable. Willing to go for car rides and visit friends. I also thought that I’d want the next one to be a medium to large dog. That’s what I’ve always had. Again, I loved Presleigh, but it seems my better luck has come with the fifty pound and up kind of dogs. My mind created the next dog, spun out of the critter fairy tales that exist in a brain like mine. The next dog would be a tall hound or perhaps something of the pointer variation. Short of hair for little upkeep. Long tail with a white tip to flag when it smelled something in the breeze. A sweet face of obedience and respect.
You can see why I was torn when I saw this puppy. An animal control officer had brought her in for an exam. She had a broken foot and would need to be hospitalized to have a splint applied. This was bad news because I now would have to look dreamily at her for a while. If she was whisked back to animal control, I would be able to push her out of my mind. The puppy stayed for the weekend, pulling on my heart strings every time I saw her. When the new week started, I prepared for her to leave. The morning of her planned departure, she became febrile. Her condition continued to deteriorate until she could no longer control her limbs. Then the cough started. In the end, she fought off pneumonia and encephalitis. Each day was an ugly battle to watch until she started to turn the corner. We all sighed with relief as she began to recover, all of us becoming insanely attached to her.
Occasionally, I would look at her and say, “Do you know me?”
Have you read A Dog’s Purpose by W Bruce Cameron?
Dear God, I’m crying just posting that link. That book really set a record for how many tissues a single person could go through. Ugh! I read that book a few months after Get Low died. It just fueled those inner thoughts I’d had all along. In the book, this dog goes through several life times. He loves the people in each of the lives, but he really wants to be reunited with one owner in particular.
Sadly, I can’t convince myself this puppy does know me from somewhere else. She’s a social butterfly. One minute she is sitting at my feet while I’m wrapping surgery packs, the next minute I hear the receptionist squeal in delight as she rounds the corner with her splint thud, thud, thudding as she trots.
It has become apparent to coworkers I have a soft spot for her. I really want her. I can make a strong case about all the reasons she should come home with me. Cody must be lonely during the day. Wouldn’t he love to have a friend? I want to be someone’s special person. Right now, our dog and cats gravitate towards the beau. They all adore him, leaving me to be the food lady. I’m a hot item at breakfast time, but after that they have better things to do. Couldn’t I be the person she is sweet on?
Then, my rational side comes out. I’m working a full time job with five to ten hours of overtime a week. I’m scrambling to write my third book. I can hope that my first two will start flying off the shelves, but no one can predict that. In the end, if it is just a glorified hobby it will be just that. Which will buy no free time for petting and loving a puppy who needs hours and hours of attention and training. She’s so bright. She needs someone who has the time to teach her how to be a good dog. Maybe she needs a house full of little kids to play with. An older gentleman who wants a hunting companion. A widow who is lonely and afraid at night. She needs more than I can give her right now. I have to own up and be a responsible human and say, “Not this puppy, not this time.”
This morning, I will have the receptionist call the animal control officer. Tell her that she has a clean bill of health and she’s free to go. There’s a rescue group waiting for her arrival at the end of the week. I have to have faith that they will find this puppy a home with someone who has the time that I don’t.
This was so much easier when it was my mom laying down the rules instead of me.