Growing up, I was often pestering my parents about getting a dog. When I gave up, my younger sister took up the task. The breed of choice always varied, but ultimately my parents never relented and in retrospect they made the right decision for our family.
As an adult, I understood the reality of what it meant to have a dog, and rather than put in all of the necessary work I chose to bring home a people-oriented lap cat. After 11 years with Keegan, I considered myself more of a cat person, although I always enjoyed being around dogs.
P, my husband, is a big fan of our “dog-like” cat, but deep down he is truly a dog person. He is that guy, that as soon as a dog sees him, the dog becomes happy, excited and puppy-like, regardless of the age of the dog. Anytime we went for a walk in the park and met a golden retriever, lab, or other similar breed, P would turn to me afterwards and say, “wouldn’t it be great to have a dog?”. While I understood the enthusiasm, I always acted the role of the pragmatist and quashed any dog-related conversation.
It’s not that I didn’t want a dog, but we both recognized that our lives at the time were completely unsuitable for having a dog. Each of us work and were gone for 12 hours a day, without any chance of coming home at lunch. I thought that one day in the distant future, when we had kids and they were older, it would be nice to get a dog if it worked out. But life has a funny way of throwing you curve balls…
Over the past few years we have learned the lesson that while you can make as many plans as you like, sometimes life doesn’t follow the path that you intend for it. This winter a new job opportunity arose for me, which would mean less hours, less stress and working 15 minutes from home. As the possibility of this job came up, our friend M mentioned to P that his father’s boxer had recently had a litter of puppies if we were interested. He even offered to do the initial puppy training for us (what an AMAZING offer!). As the job wasn’t 100% for certain we didn’t really consider the offer, but it did get us daydreaming.
I don’t think P ever really expected me to take the dog idea seriously. For some reason though, it really stuck in my head and once the job offer was official I raised the subject of getting a dog as something we should “think about”.
We tried to keep the decision process as practical as possible, and not be an impulsive or emotional-driven decision. We talked about our lives, issues that we had dealt with over the past few years, where we wanted to be in the future, and how a dog would fit into all of this. At the end of the day, we both felt that this was the right decision for us. And with that began a whole process of research and choices that had to be made before we brought home our snuggly pup.