I didn't dislike dogs. I just didn't understand the rules and customs of their planet.
Then we got Sean. He was everything I could ask for in a dog. Soulful and sweet, affectionate but dignified, a vigilant watch dog with ears like a set of satellite dishes. I loved that dog. But he didn't make me a dog person. He made me a person who wondered why all dogs couldn't be more like Sean. I swore up and down to Larry that when Sean died, that would be it. No more dogs for us.
Less than a week after Sean died last Halloween, I was surprised to find myself obsessively trolling the internet for dogs in need of rescue. I was overcome with a deep and myopic urgency. I filled out one application after another, answering pages of questions with college-essay enthusiasm, explaining "what I could offer this animal if he was adopted into my home". I endured a 30 minute phone interview in which my "parenting" skills were called into question.
Your dog was only 14 when he died? That's very strange. That's not even considered old age anymore. Dogs should live well into their twenties if you're feeding them the right food and providing proper medical care. What kind of food were you feeding him?
I lied, naming what I perceived to be a high-end dog food brand. My interviewer promptly informed that that so-called high-end brand was made from a combination of pasteurized murder balls and synthetic poison meal. Tsk, tsk, tsk, such a shame that the public isn't more educated about these things.
We endured a home visit where our prospective canine sniffed obsessively at a mysterious spot under our coffee table, then growled at Patrick (he's NEVER growled at ANYONE in his LIFE, this is VERY strange), then refused to take a single step on our hard wood floors (how ODD, he has hard wood floors at his foster home and he LOVES to walk on them).
We went to PetSmart for an "Adoption Day" and found a precious little dog wearing a sash that said "Adopt Me!".
Okay! we said. We will!
The woman from the rescue organization laughed. You can't actually adopt him today. But if you're interested in beginning the process, I can take your e-mail address and have our director send you an application next week.
Really? You're hosting an "adoption day", and you can't even get me an application to "begin the process" until next week?
I'm not a fan of you.
Patience is not my virtue. When I decide I want something, I want it NOW.
Our dog was out there, and I was going to drive around the state of Tennessee until I found him. Gus and I headed to another "adoption day". Three little dogs jumped and yipped in their pen when we walked in the door. A fourth one stood up and stared. Quietly. Into my soul.
Can I pick him up?
This gorgeous chihuahua with amber eyes curled into me, his cheek to my cheek.
I snapped a picture and sent it to Larry: I found our boy.