So, I was never a dog person. I grew up with cats, but saw myself as a happily pet-free adult.
Then I got together with Mr. X. From very early in our relationship, he made it very clear that about how he couldn’t wait to live in a house with a yard so that he could get a dog. At first this was not a big deal, because, really, we were just getting to know each other, we were just having fun, it’s kind of cute that he likes dogs so much…etc. You see where this is going. Before I knew it we were married and moving into a house with a yard and I was resigned to putting up with his dog–not my dog, HIS dog.
I had been bit by a dog a while back, and had lived in fear of dogs for a few years. I actually doubted that I would be able to bond with a dog, but thought that if we got a puppy, I would be more likely to tolerate the animal. (ahem.)
So with that positive attitude, Mr. X and I headed off to a local shelter to check out the scene. The most puppy-like dog they had (which really WAS a puppy, but looked awfully big to me), was about 4 months old and 15 lbs. This was much bigger than the puppy in my head and I was not so sure about this big-looking practically full-grown dog. The shelter lady said, “Why don’t you take a closer look?” Famous last words. (Do you still see where this is going?)
At this shelter, they had the dogs in group kennels. The shelter person told us that this little dog was always the last to eat and that the other dogs “step on her and stuff.” Literally. So she gets her out of the kennel and hands her to me (WHY ME!?!?), and this dirty little puppy just curls up and leans into me. Total cuddle monster.
I was feeling very torn at this point. The IDEA of the puppy I had in my head was very different from the ACTUAL puupy in my arms. The shelter lady could tell that I wasn’t sure (funny how quickly Mr. X’s dog became MY dog, huh?), so when Mr. X suggested that we check out the other shelter, I said OK, and nice Ms. Shelter Lady said that she would not give this dog away (it wasn’t as if they were knocking down the doors to get in and adopt dogs that day). So we get in the car to drive across town to see if they have any more “puppy-like” puppies, and what do you know? I started crying for this silly, dirty dog that I didn’t even want. Needless to say, we took her home, and it was the best decision that we made during our marriage, I think.
So Miss Famous is the cutest, sweetest dog ever. She’s so perfect for me, as she lets me pick her up (she’s probably too big for that at ~35 lbs, but she tolerates it), and cuddles with me, and makes me laugh. As we got her puppy-kins right after moving there, life with Miss Famous really defines life for me in that city. She turned three in March ’09 (I think) and is purebred Heinz 57. People always stop me to tell me what a pretty dog she is.
Miss Famous has filled my life with such love and joy and has opened me up to a world that I didn’t even know existed. And I didn’t want her. I never ever in a million years on my own would have gone to a shelter to adopt a dog. At this point, I must say that this is not turning out to be the post I was intending to write. I wanted to write a fluffy post about my cute dog and her cute nicknames (she has about a million–Monkey, Pupstress–take your pick). But as I was writing I realized that the things that I would choose are not always the best things, or the things that will bring me the most joy. I definitely would not have chosen to get a dog. I can’t even imagine what life would have been like here without her. Now I can’t even imagine the rest of my life without a dog. I have officially become a “dog person.”
So there are a lot of things about my life right now that I would not choose, that I would not ever in a million years have chosen. But thinking about my dog, and how much surprising and hidden joy came out of adopting her, gives me some hope about the rest of my life. Maybe there is joy waiting to be uncovered in other places, too.
Meanwhile, I’ve got plenty of puppy love to keep me busy.