The entire drive home yesterday I was relatively quiet.
“What are you thinking about? Are you excited?” Korey asked, turning to me curiously.
It was true, I wasn’t talking much. I didn’t have my most ecstatic face on. I was neutral-looking, really, and of course Korey thought that was strange in light of what had just happened.
And what was it that had just happened, you may ask?
We got a dog. A puppy. Not yet, though, exactly. It’s still five-ish weeks old, so it needs to be with its mom for awhile longer. We get to take it home in 1 week and 4 days.
OH MY GOD.
Today it is finally sinking in. The enormity of it all. The reality that we just put a deposit down for a baby female Golden Retriever, who is ACTUALLY JUST THE CUTEST PUPPY IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.
I’m sitting in Starbucks as I write this and I’m having trouble not just bursting into emotion on this page.
Why exactly this is such, such a huge deal for me will not be understood by most people. The only people who might get why it is a gigantic thing for me is my mom and Alissa.
To explain, I have to go back. Far back. Way, way back to when I first started watching TV. My favourite show when I was 4 or 5 or 6 (?) was — no doubt about it at all — Full House. I fell in love with the Olsen twins around then, but I also fell deeply in love with Comet, the Golden Retriever.
I have known, for as far back as I can remember, that I want a Golden Retriever. I’ve been a dog person all my life. I remember countless Christmases growing up where literally the only thing on my wishlist was a dog. And I also remember the inevitable crushing disappointment on every Christmas day of my childhood when a dog was not sitting under my tree.
I wanted a dog so badly. But we lived in an apartment for many years, and I was still young, and my parents had neither the time nor desire to raise a dog.
I gave up the idea of having a dog around the time we moved into a house. My parents weren’t budging an inch, even though I was older, my younger brother also wanted a dog, and we had a huge yard. So I filled that void with pet hamsters, pet fish (ugh), and of course, my two cats (only one of them lives with me now).
I guess you could say I am an animal person. I love all animals, not just dogs. I’m not a vegetarian or anything (I tried — it didn’t last), but I think I like the idea of taking care of another living thing. And ideally, that living thing is cuddly and adorable and gives you unconditional love. No other pet meets that criteria better than a dog.
I have recurring dreams about pet dogs. I haven’t had one lately, but I’m the kind of dreamer that doesn’t realize I’m dreaming until I wake up. The heartache I feel when I dream I have a dog, only to wake up and realize I don’t — it’s hard to explain. It sounds silly when I write it out like this, but I’m not gonna lie about how much and how long I’ve waited for this to come.
When Alissa and I were kids in elementary school, we bonded over the fact that we both really wanted dogs. It was something I clearly remember about our childhood. It was just something we talked a lot about, and we both had in common the idea that medium to large-sized dogs were way better than small dogs. We both liked Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Huskies (Golden Retrievers above all for me, though). And even though our parents also had in common a desire not to give in to our love of dogs, we both knew that we would grab the first chance we could to finally own dogs. (Well Alissa, you beat me to the punch, but not by much!)
I’m really lucky. Just incredibly lucky to have found a boyfriend that can stand me enough to want to live with me, and also happen to want a dog enough to want it now, and be willing to give up time, sleep and money to do it. Really lucky to be at a place in my life where everything is conducive to raising a puppy. No time will ever be “perfect” so we figure it’s as good a time as any right now, and we’re ready to jump in.
It’ll be a shit ton of work. A lot of lost sleep. I may want to tear my own hair out. Raising a puppy, apparently, is pretty much like raising a baby. But I’m ready for this. I’ve dreamt my entire life of having a dog.
(She wasn’t very good at staying still.)
I can’t wait.