This weekend I picked up my new best friend:
So, confession time: I had a puppy about 7 years ago. It lasted 8 months. I couldn’t handle it. I had almost zero patience. I didn’t want to play. I wanted to do my own thing. So I found Cooper a new family.
Before any snide-remarks, hear me out. I was young. I was living 900+ miles away from home for the first time. I had never had a dog before, and my husband was gone all the time (military). And I was selfish with my time. That’s why I didn’t get a kid.
Greg was in the middle of his give-her-everything-she’s-ever-wanted phase. And all I ever wanted was a backyard (I grew up in apartments) and a dog (we could never have them because of said apartments). So I got everything I wanted. I got the backyard (and the front yard and the heating and cooling system that shorted from a cockroach and a broken pipeline and strange neighbors) and I got the dog (and the yipping and yapping and all-around puppy-ness that I just wasn’t ready for). And isn’t that the thing… when we get what we’ve “always wanted” we forget that when we started wanting these things our hearts were in a very, very different place. When I wanted the backyard and dog, I was bored and tired of living in a small confined space. But by the time I got the dog, I had a plethora of friends with whom I wanted to spend time, I had a job I liked and spent a lot of time at, I had fitness activities, and I had grad school. (My 20s have been kind of a making-up for what I felt like I missed out on in HS and college, but that’s another post… maybe next week since I turn 29 on Friday…).
This time around, I have a job I L-O-V-E, but I have strict work-personal balance and arrive/leave pretty much right on time. I have even more of a social life than I did back then, but again with the balance.
I used to have Sheldon, the Best Cat that Ever, Ever Lived. He warmed my heart toward being a caretaker. But then he died. L My heart was so sad, and so lonely. It was missing something. Especially when Greg was away. Then I started watching this little guy once in a while:
One time I watched him for an entire week, and that happened to be the week that Sheldon disappeared/died. I didn’t know Sheldon was gone for good at that point but that was the week I decided, “I think I’m ready again.”
I’ve now gotten most of the things I’ve “always wanted”: living in NC, a house/backyard, a dog, a published novel, a job I love, a tight group of friends, a healthy and active social life, my own good health, a working vehicle, all of Friends and Gilmore Girls on DVD. I feel like now I get to choose what I let into my life. I don’t have to only go after the ones I’ve “always wanted” I’ve attained (and subsequently dropped) many of those things, only to find out that I didn’t really want some of them. I used to, but by the time I got them I had changed so much that they didn’t hold the same meaning, hence finding a new home for Cooper.
Sam (or Ruby girl) is going to stick around. She is named after my Grandpa (sleeping like him, too!), and I am ready to love her and play with her and feed her and walk her and discipline her and give her a wonderful home. It has nothing to do with my maturity level, it has everything to do with my commitment level. Because when your heart is in the right place and you can honestly commit to something, nothing but good can come of it. Even on the days you lose or make mistakes, ultimately heart begets some kind of greatness.
So here’s to puppy pads and potty training. Wire crates and teething toys. Heartworm meds and flea prevention. And the 2nd greatest kind of unconditional love that man has ever known.