In August, I found two puppies online. It began with me being depressed from all the stress and scrolling through puppies for sale in the dead of night. I don’t recommend it.
Thanks to COVID, all the puppies were both over a grand. I sent them to my husband’s phone for him to receive in the morning. I fell asleep feeling lighter, thinking about fluffy little barking puppies instead of wedding deadlines, colors, hairstyles, invites, favors, decorations, photographers, cocktails, place cards, the zits that keep popping up from all the stress, etc.
My husband’s childhood dog, Snickers, passed away over a year ago in August. My childhood dog, Angel, passed away six months before August. The mindset of having a dog as a child versus an adult is vastly different because the responsibility you promised as a child to get the dog is now actually fully on you. The financial aspect makes getting dogs a tad worrisome, and the responsibility of care is reliant fully on you.
As you can probably tell, the death of our childhood dogs, the uprooting of our final college semester, navigating the crappy job market, and the trepidation of what to do about a wedding in the middle of a pandemic had formed a massive rain cloud on our lives for the majority of this year.
We managed to stay mostly lighthearted despite all of that and the many things I haven’t mentioned, but stress is a killer. And with so much rain, there is bound to be a beautiful bloom around the corner.
The first two puppies I found weren’t the ones. I spent hours the next day looking at different ones. My husband came home from visiting his mother acting like I wasn’t serious about puppies. Big mistake. When I get my mind stuck on something, I hold it like a police K-9 on a convict’s arm.
My husband is usually the only one who can talk me out of any absurd thoughts that I’ve dug my heels into, but I was throwing all my ammunition at him before letting this one drop. (Plus, he had been saying he wanted a dog for a while.)
We’re very stubborn people, which means we’ve had to make many compromises in our relationship. Usually, it’s whoever has the better argument but not always. My husband only wanted to buy one dog. He’s always been frugal with his money, which is a compliment.
I, on the other hand, saw this as the best opportunity to spend the money. We lived rent-free in my mother’s spacious basement, had hardly any big bills to pay yet (except groceries, gas, and a little bit of my husband’s student loans), and I’m home.
He didn’t think I’d be able to handle two. If it weren’t for him wanting an Australian Cattle Dog, then I would’ve made being a dog mom to two puppies look like a breeze. My little Sheltie, Scamper, has been a wonderful pup. He’d most likely be much smarter if I didn’t spend so much time hounding his pain of a sister. Remi, my husband’s Australian Cattle Dog, was a nightmare from the start, but she’s contagiously sweet.
Scamper didn’t eat for two days, so I had to take him to the vet. Turns out, he’s just picky and was going through a pretty traumatic experience being pulled away from his litter and mom. Although it turned out to be fine, I had been panicking about something being lodged in his intestines.
Mostly I was worried because I didn’t want my husband to freak out for being out thousands of dollars for a puppy who swallowed plastic, and that’s true dog ownership. You don’t understand until you have to buy the food, buy the meds, give the baths, brush the teeth, and simply be responsible for the little being (or beings, in this case).
I wish I could be a kid again. I wish for it at least once a year, and sometimes more depending on the circumstances. But then I think about it, and I know I’m living the fairytale my kid-self had only dreamt of getting older to be.
I’d be ecstatic to know I have two puppies. I’d be even more ecstatic to know I have a wonderful husband. And getting to write at home and live in a beautiful, fairly private space after graduating college… I mean, I’ve hit the jackpot for childhood me.
It was easy to imagine wanting all of that as a kid and not realizing the responsibility and hardships it may take to have it. It’s easy now to get caught up in the responsibilities and hardships instead of focusing on the joys.
Life is a tumultuous thing.