I had a dream last night about a dog—just a nice vignette of me playing with what in the dream was my pet dog—except when she turned into a chicken, though I treasured her even then.
Transmogrification aside, I’ve been thinking a lot about dogs recently. I want one very much, but currently am living in an apartment whose landlord forbids pets. I’ve reached out to try and change his mind but there’s been no response.
My last dog, Gavin, was a sweet mutt—perhaps part Cataloula leopard dog and part Corgyi--I had for a year or so before having to give him back to the rescue league where I got him. He was just too much for me, a working dog, which I didn’t know when I rescued him, and in insatiable need of attention and especially activity. Five hundred dollars of training didn’t do the trick, nor did the vigorous extra walking he got from kind neighbors who loved him as much as I did but ultimately didn’t think they could take him on full time, either. He was a love, whose nightly habit was to get in bed and walk all over me on the comforter kissing me before bouncing back off the bed to sleep on the floor at my side. Yes, I know this could be interpreted as his thinking he was the alpha, but I had done my best to prove otherwise, honestly I had.
Before Gavin, there was the best, sweetest dog in the world, Molly, a Yellow Lab who my son and I had for eight wonderful years. She was eight years old when we got her from a close friend of mine who was going to live overseas. Giving us both much joy and unlike her successor causing no damage to our home, she was my constant companion as I worked from home all day and she nursed my son through his parents’ divorce. Molly passed at 16 in my arms with my friend (who I jokingly refer to as her birth mom) and my mother at my side as I read a Navajo poem over her in the sunny front hall of my home as the vet put her to sleep, my son having come home from school at lunchtime to say goodbye to his beloved pet.
Since Gavin, for a long time I was afraid to get another dog, afraid I might have another adoption failure. But I love dogs and have had one since I was a child, so inevitably the desire to rescue again grew and grew. There was also that embarrassing word we don’t like to talk about in public—loneliness. A dog is a pretty terrific cure for lack of companionship in one’s home and there is nothing like their unconditional love. I moved a few years ago to an apartment building where no neighbors happen to have dogs, either, so I can’t get my doggie love outside my door as I used to be able to in my old townhouse by the lake.
I bared my soul in an email to my landlord about my loneliness and how a dog would greatly improve my quality of life. I promised I wouldn’t get a puppy (thus reducing the likelihood of youthful exuberance leading to damage) but rather at least a three- or four-year old, and that I’d get a small dog and was willing to pay a pet deposit. I’m pretty surprised I haven’t gotten some kind of a response yet, even after reaching out again. So I wait with unfulfilled doggie desire, for a wet nose to nuzzle me, for soulful eyes to watch my every move, for slurpy doggie kisses and a canine to pet and walk and feed to share my love back. Dogs really are a girl’s best friend and I hope I can have one again soon.