It’s not even 9 a.m. and I’ve been up for over three hours. That’s probably nothing for those of you who have to go into work every morning but I work from home so 6 a.m. is early for me. Actually, I should say WAS early for me. For the last two weeks I’ve been up at 6 a.m. every day, yes, even weekends.
A little over two weeks ago I had what Oprah* would call an “ah-ha moment.” My roommate had a dog when we moved in together a year and a half ago it just made the house feel so homey! It was very sad when Rio had to be put down. In the time since my roommate has talked a few times about getting a new dog. Most recently she was all set to bring home a miniature poodle we had decided to name “Winston” but that adoption fell through. I realized I was really sad about it, sadder than I expected to be. My roommate thought maybe it was sign she wasn’t meant to have a dog right now. She wants to go back to school, is playing in a volleyball league, and is working late hours, she’s right; she probably wasn’t meant to have a dog. But I was sad.
I wanted a dog around the house and found myself checking out shelter webpages and my mind wondering to what it would be like to have a dog around again. Then it occurred to me, my roommate didn’t have to get a dog, I COULD GET A DOG!
My ah-ha moment- I’m a grown up, people my age have children, like multiple kids. I didn’t need my roommate to get a dog I could get my own.
But could I really? I mean I’ve never had a dog of my own before. Maybe there was a good reason for that. Would my parents think I was crazy for getting a dog? Was it totally irresponsible of me?
The answers: yes, there was before (I traveled for work) but not any more, probably not and even so, who cares I’m 32 years old!, and no, I work from home, I make enough money and am willing to change up my life to be home enough at night to take care of a dog.
It was a Thursday when I finally decided I was going to do it; I was going to get a dog. The next day I had lunch with a woman I consider my mentor and good friend of my parents, I didn’t need her approval but I wanted it. I wanted someone to agree with me that I wasn’t crazy, that I could do this. She gave me an enthusiastic go ahead.
The next day, May 31, I went to a local shelter to visit a dog I had seen online. “Preston the tiny terrier” was listed as a 20 lb., house broken, mix breed terrier that was looking for a chill house where he could get lots of love. It was exactly what I was looking for a in a dog! But he was also exactly what someone else was looking for in a dog because he had been adopted by the time I got there to see him. The shelter staff brought out a different dog though; one they said reminded them of Preston.
It was the first day Ace was available for adoption and for me, it was love at first sight. After an hour-long “getting to know you” walk, I had renamed him to Scout and was ready to brig him home. (He was a shelter pup his whole life so while his name was Ace, that simply for documentation purposes, he was never really called that so don’t think I was being mean by changing his name.)
Scout fills a void in my life I didn’t even know existed. Seeing his wagging tail when I walk in a room, the way he sleeps on my feet while I work after our morning walk, and those big brown puppy dog eyes that look at me when he sits - it all melts my heart. He’s amazing with my nephews, great with strangers, not much of a licker (score!) and the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. He not only brings joy to my life but also to strangers who have crossed streets and hung up their cell phones to take a minute to meet him.
I'm very lucky, Scout is an easy pupp. All he really wants in a few walks a day; the first one at 6 a.m. So, every day I’ve been dragging my butt out of bed, throwing on the clothes I’ve left out for exactly these occasions, and walked the little dude for a few blocks. No matter the early hour, I can’t think of a better way to start my day.
Ah-ha! This is what love feels like.
*Please do not read this as me endorsing Oprah. I lost ALL respect for Oprah after she gave Jenny McCarthy a forum for her anti-vax movement. How Oprah’s hands have remained clean as preventable diseases claim the lives of children blows my mind. With great power comes great responsibility and Oprah blew it. She started endorsing “mommy instinct” which is probably fine in terms of thinking if your child ready to potty train but not OK when it comes to scientifically proven medical data. End rant.
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