Well, you guys, I’m a little bummed today.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I would really, really like to get a dog. Joey feels the same. It’s part of what makes us such a great couple. (Ok, a fairly small part…but it doesn’t hurt.)
But we’ve been holding off. Partly because we feel guilty about having a dog at home all day while we’re at work. (I know, I know, everyone does this. People have to work. And since we plan on adopting a shelter dog, isn’t it better that at least they’re in a loving home than in a cement cage somewhere? Trust me, I have played out this inner dialogue more times than I care to share.)
We also take the commitment of a dog pretty seriously, and we want to make sure we have the time to dedicate to training and giving the pup plenty of attention. So even though we would love to get a puppy, we’ve become open to the idea of getting an older dog.
After over a year of going back and forth on the idea, and after a host of job changes (on my part), we’re finally at a place where we’re ready to make the leap into pet parenthood. (Yup, I called it that. You’re taking on a completely dependent life form, so yeah, I think it applies.)
The problem is, we haven’t found the right dog yet.
We came dangerously close to taking home a puppy a few weeks ago. We were with our friends Brett and Heather, when Heather (who is equally as enamored with dogs as we are) casually suggested swinging by a pet store to kill some time.
You know. Just for fun. To look. Nothing serious.
This is known as the point when we should have known better.
After I nearly sprinted into the store, I was immediately drawn to two tiny beagle pups. I made myself do a lap to appreciate every dog (Am I the only one who does this? Dogs are apparently like fine art to me.), but it wasn’t long before I found myself crouched in front of that little glass window.
One of the puppies stood out. She had immediately spotted me and was licking the glass to try to get to my fingers.
I asked if we could play with her. You know. Just for fun. To look. Nothing serious.
This is known as the point where I started playing with fire.
One of the store associates fetched the puppy (see what I did there?) and set us up in a little room with a bench full of toys. After a few minutes of warming up, it’s safe to say my husband and I were in love. (With the dog. I mean, with each other too, but that’s nothing new.)
And just to give you a point of reference as to exactly how tiny she was:
I know it looks like I’m begging for the puppy in this picture, but really I’m having a joy-meltdown because she started licking my fingers. Let me tell you, I am an excitable individual around dogs.
In a matter of minutes, our just-for-fun-to-look-nothing-serious puppy visit turned into Joey and I playing with the numbers, debating names, and figuring out how much work we could take off to train her.
In the end, though, we forced ourselves to step away. Besides the fact that pet stores skeev me out a bit, the puppy was really expensive. To the tune of $1,300. Ahem.
(For the record: A quick internet search when we got home led me to a local breeder who charged a third of the pet store’s price. AND the puppies would be more socialized and we would know where they came from and the list goes on. Don’t even get me started on what we would save by going to a shelter.)
In short, we made the responsible decision. And sometimes being responsible sucks. We’re both still a little heavyhearted about the whole ordeal. (I mean, come on. Look at that face!)
Then earlier this week, family friends of Joey’s parents told him that they were trying to find a home for their 1-and-a-half-year-old boxer/pit mix, Bella. Joey met her first, and she’s a total sweetheart, but as soon as I met her, it was pretty clear she was way too big for our apartment. A hyper beagle-sized dog is one thing; a hyper 50-pound ball of solid muscle is another.
So despite her totally loving disposition, we again made the responsible decision that we weren’t the right people for this dog.
This story could end there and still be a total bummer, but, in true me style, I’m going to take it a step further.
Last night, we decided to swing by an animal shelter to see what our options were there. We scoured every single cage, but we didn’t find anyone that really jumped out at us and headed home dog-less yet again. I mean, there are other shelters we can check, but I’m just feeling a little disheartened.
I’m just…bummed, you guys. I’m one of those people who truly believes life is better with a dog. Both Joey and I always had them growing up, and it’s a little weird to not have a furry little body snuggling with you on the couch after work.
For my pet-owning readers, where did you get your dog/cat/whatever? Do you work full-time? How’s that going? Any advice for me on finding the right dog?
Sorry for this bummer of a post. I’ll work on something more upbeat for tomorrow.