We Adopted a Dog. And Here’s That Story…
I did not want a dog. What a stupid idea. First of all, as much as we want to say that it’s for the kids, it really is just going to be my dog. I’m the stay at home parent. I’m the one who will take him on walks, play with him, pick up his poop (I’ve already done my time on poop detail!). Oh sure, the kids will play with him too, and they will feed him when I remind them. But the reality of the situation is that agreeing to get a dog is agreeing to take on 15 years of commitment. It’s not like getting a fish. So I said “no.” Inside my head I was saying “Heeeeelllllllll NO!”
Gayle got annoyed with me. Noble was sad about it. Alistair continued asking to play Wii Dance. (That was Alistair’s two year old way of saying, “You’re a jerk!”)
Then, and I don’t know who’s bright idea this was, but we decided to go to the animal shelter to see a dog that Noble saw online. Here’s a word of advice for anyone who really isn’t interested in getting a dog: DON’T GO TO THE SHELTER! If you have any ounce of a heart in your chest, these dogs will shred it into pieces with their eyes and their physical pleas for attention. We found our dog in Kennel number 26. His name, according to the Burbank Animal Shelter was 043959. He was a cute little Border Terrier mix (as they told us). It was rainy and wet so we couldn’t go outside to the big play yard. Instead, we were taken to a private little room where 043959 sniffed and licked and instantly cuddled up next to me. Almost as if he knew I was the one to win over. Gayle’s a pushover for cuteness, so she was sold right away. The dog was extremely friendly to Noble, and so he fell in love. And me, I agreed that he was cute, and said we could talk about it.
And because 043959 had already been neutered and microchipped from a previous owner, they said that if somebody comes in to adopt him, he will go right out the door…so we might not want to talk about it too long. Nice car salesman technique. I wasn’t buying it. If we decided to get 043959, and he was already out the door, then he wasn’t meant to be our dog. I’ve always found that fate is the easiest thing to blame when things don’t go our way. Or is it destiny? I don’t know, you pick.
On the way home we all talked about what we’d name him. I was coming up with some greats: Buddy, Truman, Milo. Noble came up with Plus. And Lula. Alistair was too busy singing something about an itsy spider. We finally all agreed that if we got him, we’d name him Milo.
At home, Gayle and I discussed. She was feeling the urgency of acting quickly in case he was purchased. We looked up border terrier mix, online, to see if the dog has any issues that might affect our decision. The first page we found was a blog. The title of the blog post about the terrier was “MILO.” Was this a sign?? Nope! I don’t believe in attaching destiny to blog posts….or fate, or whatever. Entertainingly coincidental? Sure! That’s a good way to brush it off because I really didn’t think we were ready to get a dog.
Gayle and I continued to debate, argue, and discuss getting the dog. Finally, the next morning, I voiced every one of my fears to Gayle; What if he’s a barker? What if he pees and craps on our floor? What if he eats our couch? Bites the kids? Murders our cats? Has a massively costly medical condition? I voiced them all. And then literally, as I was out the door driving down the street, I said “Oh F**k it! We’re getting the dog.” (sorry about crudeness, but I’m just being perfectly accurate) I find that when faced with a big commitment decision, there comes a time when you have to look at every angle of why it’s “not the right time” and then say “F**k it” and go for it.
Faced with my newly strong pro-dog conviction, Gayle got cold feet and began her very own surprise campaign of fear. “IS this the right thing for us? Maybe we SHOULD wait a year or two? Are we making a huge mistake?” I definitely did a bit of text yelling. I do this by swearing and using all caps. It’s hard to convey emotion through text messages, but all caps and curse words definitely set a tone. Oh and I toned it. I toned it good. It took me so much to come around to being FOR getting a dog, and now she switched sides?! No way!
I had already gone to the Petco and purchased all kinds of stuff to prepare for our new dog. Our new determination was that we would meet back at the shelter after the kids get out of school and we’d surprise them with the dog. That, or we would hang out with 043959 and then I would drop a hammer on the situation, effectively becoming known as “the meanest daddy ever.” We hung out with the little guy, got to play with him in the play yard and see his spunk. Really cool dog. Gayle and I sat and talked and talked. They had to take 043959 back to his “room” so we hung out in the cat area and discussed what to do. We were at a stalemate. Gayle was way too scared and couldn’t pull the trigger. So we just got up to leave. Gayle thought it would be good to see 043959 once last time before we left, so we made sure that we walked past his kennel. It only took Gayle a millisecond of seeing him back in the kennel and looking at us with his innocent little eyes before she said, “Ok let’s get him.”
Now we have a dog. He’s awesome. He’s great with the kids. He sleeps all night without barking. No costly medical issues. So far we’ve been very lucky with him. And I do not regret our decision. In fact, there has been quite the positive effect on me. As I sit here typing this post, Milo is laying beside me at my feet. Oh yes, he is quite attached to me. I am his master, you see. I FINALLY have somebody in this house that listens to me! I am in heaven! It’s such a validation to know that when I speak, there is actually sound coming out of my mouth. Because I’ve been living the past 5 years wondering why I say something 20 times and there is no response. Not Milo. Milo yearns to listen to me. Milo and I are gonna be just fine.
So we’re “dog people” now. I’m not sure what that means yet, as I’m still waiting for the informational brochure to arrive. I think it means that all dog owners are forced to embrace me into their secret society and give me advice. Time will tell. I do hope they have coupons, though, because dog stuff is expensive!