Hi, My Name Is Jenn, And I’m A Dogaholic
Admitting the problem is the first step, right?
I love dogs. Love them. I think I was about 5 or so when my parents surprised me with our first dog, a Scottish Terrier we appropriately named Taggart. He was my buddy, and an incredibly important part of my sanity through the many move from state to state we had. He was 14 when he passed away, and we took it so hard we didn’t get another dog for 3 years. We’ve kept to the terrier family and have a 5 year old West Highland and a 4 year old Cairn. I still call them “my puppies” even though they are obviously no longer puppies, but I did that with Taggart too. They’re always puppies to me!
Long ago I made sure it was very, very clear to Geoff that I would not tolerate a life without dogs. If he wasn’t a dog person, then we were just going to have to call it quits right there. Despite not coming from a dog family, he was good with it, and so began the saga of “so can we get a dog now?”
Dogs are family. I do not own dogs. I have dogs, much the same way I’d say I have a sister. The way some women my age are clamoring for babies, I do so for dogs. To me, that is the first step in adding to our family. Nevermind the fact that they’re less apt to throw up in your mouth when you play with them.
Because I take my dogs so “seriously” (for lack of a better word), it’s not that I’m looking for just any dog. I fully believe you do not choose a dog, a dog chooses you. When we finally are in a position where we can handle a 4 legged friend (the house is supposedly coming soon!), I very much doubt it will be a quick process to find one. I think this is something Geoff does not yet realize.
I am not out for a particular breed. I know a good bit about various breeds, enough to know which breeds would not be a good fit for us, but I would never decide on a particular breed and force myself to find a dog of that particular variety (with one exception, but that will be a discussion for another day). I look for a personality in a breed that isn’t on my no-go list.
Most puppies are going to be excited to play with you. They like to play. They’ll play with a rock if you leave them alone long enough (there’s about a 50% chance they’ll try to eat it though). But sometimes, sometimes there’s a connection. Something that goes a little deeper. There’s almost an immediate bond, and you can tell that something is different. I was out with my mom last weekend and there was an adoption event going on at the Petsmart we had to stop by. I made the mistake of playing with a few of the dogs. They were all sweet of course, but there was a 3 month old puppy in particular that stood out. He ran straight to me, ignored the people who had been playing with him, and promptly planted himself in my lap. If I tried to put him down, he’d turn around and climb back on. At one point he settled for sitting next to me, leaning heavily against my arm, and if I shifted a little away from him he adjusted accordingly. There were other people around, and he didn’t want anything to do with them anymore. When I got up to leave, he cried.
That is a connection. That is a dog choosing you.
So I felt like an awful person for having to leave him, but somebody had to go and throw logic around and insist we couldn’t have a dog yet since we’re still not in our house. It was kind of heart breaking. I can only hope he found a good home anyways, and that I can find that kind of connection again.
Maybe I’m silly or over sensitive, but I truly believe that finding a dog is alot like finding your spouse. It’s your soulmate, but you get to have more than one, and they don’t secretly judge you for that extra 10 pounds you put on at Christmas.