So I’m sitting at my desk trying to write this essay. Instead, I’m allowing my mind to wander and my attention to be distracted. My eyes should be focused on the screen while my fingers fly over the keyboard. But every few minutes I swivel my chair to the right and stare at what may turn out to be one of the worst decisions we’ve ever made, or our personal Fountain of Youth.
We have a new dog!
I know there are those who will immediately conclude that we have finally lost what remained of our marbles. But you pet lovers will be supportive. Won’t you?
This action was not part of our long range plan. We are capable of rational thought. Having recently lost our second dog, we had decided it would be sensible to wait a while, to exist in a state of doglessness and see how we felt.
But I caved to an impulse. You’d think I’d learn. Last time I succumbed to an impulse I dyed my hair purple, a decision which left me completely miserable as the color coordinated with nothing in my wardrobe.
(Pause. I’m going to pet the dog now.)
If there is blame to be laid, then it must certainly land on my dear spouse. He never should have left me alone last Saturday when I was feeling particularly sad and depressed over the loss of our beloved Davis, the Lab. Of course, I never told him I was feeling particularly sad and depressed as I watch him go off to his golf game. But after all these years of marriage, is it too much to expect that he just know?
After he left, I thought about going shopping to cope with my grief. My favorite boutique was having a designer trunk show, something that normally would arouse my endorphins. But I couldn’t muster enthusiasm, which really caused me a good deal of concern. When a woman can’t get energized by the prospect of a shopping trip, you know she’s ready for latest psychotropic cocktail.
(Pause. I’m going to play with the dog now.)
I’m back. Where was I? But not being a big fan of drugs, I did the only other thing that would ease my pain. I contacted The Dog Lady.
The Dog Lady was a name, phone number, and email address that was sitting in a folder for such time, if ever, that we would be ready for our next pooch.
We, that is, myself, and he who can’t read minds, had already discussed the type of dog we would get if we were ever to get another dog. And this particular Dog Lady was a source.
I told myself it was a harmless email, merely exploratory. Probably there would be no dogs to our liking for a long, long time. Probably our names had to be placed on a waiting list. Probably she would immediately determine we were too old to be doing this. Probably all of the above would be true, so it was perfectly safe to send the email.
(Pause. He’s looking at me. I need to hold him.)
Probably, I was wrong. No, definitely I was wrong. Dog Lady responded within 10 minutes, stating that, after reading my requirements, she just happened to have the perfect dog for us. Perhaps if she hadn’t sent the photo, I could have let it go. As I went twirling around the house, it was clear that my spirits had lifted.
When he finally arrived home, I shared the photo with he who can’t read minds, and it was quite something to see a grown man melt!
We met Sam on a Tuesday. He’s an 11-month-old Jack Russell, who liked to be held and drenched us with kisses. He was every bit as cute as his picture, with personality to match, and we were smitten.
Once we made the commitment, I had to prepare for Sam’s arrival, which meant buying what was necessary to keep him, and our home, safe. Although he was almost a year old, it would be a while before he outgrew his puppyish ways. After my fourth trip to the store, I realized I should have thrown myself a baby shower, and registered at Petco.
(Pause. Sam needs more water.)
We have now had Sam with us for a grand total of 4 days, and we have become fast friends. He truly is the dog of our dreams, had we been dreaming about a dog.
We look at each other, that is, he who can’t and me, and wonder what we’ve done, as Sam bounds back and forth from one to the other. But truth is we haven’t stopped smiling.
Perhaps Sam will wear us out. Or perhaps he will keep us young. My money is on the latter.
And, yes, there is a chance that Sam will outlive us. In which case, we are considering a codicil to our will. Our kids will have to deal with sharing six ways, instead of five. Just look at that face. Tell me, wouldn’t you?
(Okay, Sam. I’m all yours now.)