Friday, August 30, 2013

Are Four Legs Better Than None?

I am considering being unfaithful.

With my dating life a sham, I've been thinking more and more about getting another dog. I was looking around for adoption sites for dogs (I'd exhausted petfinder), and came across a listing for Survivor Tail Animal Rescue (STAR). And Pinky. This little one.

Now when I saw her she immediately caught my eye. Her eyes in particular. Big, brown and human-like. I like her ears and hope she never grows into them. I filled out an application thinking that, as a single person, I would get lost in the pile of families itching to get her.

My application was not lost, and after a few emails, a phone interview, a home visit, another phone interview and a follow-up, it appears I might be getting her in a few weeks, at which point she will be about five months old, I'm told.

I have a lot of apprehension about her. She is a border collie mixed with wire-hair terrier. She will be an active dog. I am not a runner. I am not a cyclist. And before you suggest I become one, I will just tell you that I will not adapt a whole new lifestyle (like running or cycling regularly) for a dog. No matter how cute she is.

I wonder if my "way" will be enough. Walks and visits to a dog park, and freedom in the back yard. That was enough for Oliver. My sweet lovely Oliver.

So I have talked to the agency about a ten day trial before I adopt her. Fostering, if you will. I have to believe that I will know after ten days whether I have a connection with this dog or not. I hope I will know after ten days whether or not she is a sociopath, or at the very least, I accept that I truly have zero patience and am a lazy git.

I am cautious. I am optimistic (which is funny because that's basically how I am about dating and wasn't I trying to get away form that?).

And then there's that other question. How will she ever live up to the wonderfulness that was Oliver?  Will she have fun, weird quirks like him? Oh, I do hope so.

And what I told my Mom was my worry; that I will forget the way Oliver's fur felt. I am in tears as I write this, simply thinking about his fur (Unfortunately, I think about the last time I felt his fur, when he lay warm but gone on the gurney in the vet's office. I hope that will fade, but in the meantime, I should probably work on that and think of another time when I felt his fur and hope that is the memory that will stick instead).

I don't always fall to tears at the thought of him. Mostly it's a smile that comes to my face. I just went to the basement to see what kind of dog stuff remains from him; holiday bandannas, his formal collar and necktie (for our most swanky parties), chew toys, and that's what started the waterworks. Ollie was my first dog. MY first dog. Not a family one. He was mine and I was his. My shadow. My sweet boy. I liked that he was a boy. Different from all our family dogs. I liked that he was not black and white for the same reasons.

And moving on seems unfaithful. Disloyal. The complete opposite of what he was to me for so long.

I hope when I meet her, things will clarify. I was unsure about Oliver when I first got him. Apprehensive. But after about a day, I knew. He wasn't going anywhere.

I hope I feel the same way about this one (within those first ten days) and if I don't, I hope I have the guts to accept that fact and not force it to be something it's not, and give her back without feeling guilty about it. Ten to fifteen years is a long time to wish your second dog was your first dog.