Puppy Love


Just a year ago, I separated from my children so even though I’m divorced a gazillion years, this meant actually moving out of Divorcee’s tightly structured comfy home to try out big girl land.

When you marry someone and stay 5 of the ten years for the kids, life is pretty bad.

But to cohabit with your ex and other family for another four years TO AVOID ANY THOUGHT OF BEING SEPARATED from your baby chicks, well, is crazy.

I didn’t care. I had security, my kids, a babysitter who loved my children while I went off dating or partying.

It got comfortable until the most horrible thing imaginable occurred.

I fell in love.

It makes me mad. I am mad right at this moment that I had done everything, cut no corners, but he picked me out, followed me like a persistent puppy and no matter how mean you are, the puppy just can’t resist being petted.

Then you would find yourself yelling at the puppy, on purpose, but it stays and whines, adding intense guilt, making you take just a little step, like a treat or head scratch, but just before you can take it back or affirm in a stern voice, it’s all over your face, licking you to death.

Ick.

But you cave again, buying a bowl, just for visits, and you tell the puppy not to get attached or you may drop him off at the humane society just so he knows,

Your not for adoption.

You bring cats home to confuse him, hang his leash cut in half on the door, never let him on the bed, wrinkle your nose at all his a begging.

You sign upscore a training camp such as “Running from your owner without getting hit by a car.”

You purposely tell him you will be at the dog park but don’t show up.

You show him the other dogs looking for owners making sure to pick the German Shepard and Golden Retriever, hoping not to hurt the little guy but to help him not trust anyone, especially you, with his heart.

You avoid warm fires or free snuggles, wear no makeup and tshirts to dinner, offering up your part of cost before he can whimper.

He breathes hot air on your neck.

It tickles, finding yourself with a big smile

Oh, and never do you walk him, in fact, you ensure all your family and friends how little importance this dog is, irritated at their jokes.

It isn’t funny.

The last time you let a dog belong to you, he died. He died in your arms with a needle pumping him till he lay stiff as a board in your arms.

Nothing is ever the same when your 14 year old best friend gets tossed in a dump as you go home trying on normalcy, listening to a Katy Perry tune, pretending your fine.

You were not fine.

You were traumatized so this little dog can eat his own shit and bathe his own damn self.

He can take his rabies and ticks and fleas somewhere else to an owner who likes that sort of thing. He can stop trying to catch sticks when it’s obvious he probably never did it before, this wanting an owner either.

He did do cute things like say, “I just want you to stay” over and over after rejection and rejection.

He said he loved me best in my glasses.

He made my heart hurt like a burning rash while he claimed to flutter in joy, and I was certain.

He wasn’t ready.

He was unable to walk sidewalks much less be roller skating with two slightly different versions of me, Kat and Lola.

He was the messiest thing I ever saw, chewing cushions all day until I returned, pacing the porch for my scent.

Kat distrusted dogs and Lola loved them at instance, a difficult tribe to please.

He showed up with adoption papers rolled In his mouth which at first, I grabbed them in irritation, throwing them out the front door.

That made him quiet, which was heartbreaking, but had to be done, for both our protection.

When I stopped responding to his howling calls, he showed up at my door, hopeful with a dumb grin and two chicken legs.

He tricked me again and again by hiding those papers only to bring them to my feet after a fantastic day of driving, roof down, music up.

He got bathed by the finest, soft and short like a cute little bear dog, the way I had no choice but to call him to me, forgetting to stop him from jumping, his slobbery kisses suddenly felt like home.

The hurting kept magnifying, the choices spent over time, my kids and I missing each other, I took him to the pound, and he didn’t look at me the whole way, turning away to my apologies that “wrong timing” and “kid friendly” were the main problems, along with family not wanting any more animals around.

We were tired of pain.

He never could give a logical valid reason for those dumb papers, demanding them of me, saying his last owner took years to not sign.

He would not be so blind with me.

I was going to own him, move in his bed and share my blanket, put up with his snoring, clean lost clumps of hair or I could go away. Forever.

He wasn’t the kind of dog to jump from lap to lap, a jealous pup he was,  biting at the ankles of anyone I’d walk outside.

And so I signed.

It has been hard, training more difficult than my pessimism could conjure, both of us confused where we fit, speaking completely different languages, we manage but there are many times I wonder what the hell I was thinking, being responsible for a dog.

I hear Thelma in my ear, “Sometimes you don’t get what you want, you get what you need.”

It’s so true.

What happens when you get a dog you have no confidence will be anything other than a huge loss, probably by car, you think. In front of you.

Dogs will die so why mess with it, the ending could even be ugly, like him eating your child’s baby toys or worse, foot, so you shudder, every question sent your way could be one more reminder part of your soul is most likely going to run away with the neighbor, or die from your cooking, sick of kids stepping on his paws, and all you will have to show for it are ripped cushions.

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