I’ve been looking for a puppy for a few years now. My beloved Peapod died 4 years ago and I lost my mind a little. I quit my job, started a new career… and ruled out ever having a dog again. My heart has never been so decimated as the day I wrapped my beloved best friend in my baby blanket and buried her in my garden. Her tags are still on my keys. The last curl of her hair, sits in my jewelry box. My loyalty runs bone deep regardless of your species… and I can still hardly talk about her dying.
In the midst of me shoveling a metric ton of snow and avoiding the unwanted advances of the guy I’d tried to hire to remove said snow… a cute little black and white face popped up on my Facebook feed. A “large, mixed breed” puppy. Complete with a heart shaped dot on her bum. I looked at the clock and realized I was 9 minutes too late and would have to wait until the next day. I hemmed and hawed… I tried to talk myself out of it and realized that I really was ready to love a furry friend again. I was just terrified of the what if’s of losing her.
Fear has held me back a lot in the last year and 40+ for that matter. I decided to just leap and figure it out later. I did what any nervous, second-guessing-herself girl would do, and went to see my favorite man. He may not know everything, but he knows me like the back of his hands and I knew he’d tell me if I were being crazy.
I- Do you have a crate? Puppy food? Toys? You don’t sound like any of your ducks are in a row.
J- Oh hush. At least 5 out of 8 are swimming in the right direction.
I- Well go get her then and bring her over. I want to meet her.
The tangible details of this man make my mouth water in spite of my determined resolve to pack him away with my other favorite memories. He has a fresh haircut and I’m trying to keep my thoughts from spilling out of my eyes and mouth. He smells incredible and I have a contact high from breathing in whatever soap he’s decided to ruin for me this week. He’s worse than a weakness, he’s a certifiable addiction. I left with a grin as he told me to hussle and walked to my car shaking my head at myself for being unable or unwilling to quit him, entirely. I took my heart out of the game and can finally just enjoy him for what he is: delicious, divine inspiration. He’s also rubber stamped my quest for a puppy and encouraged me to be brave enough to jump into the big dog section.
I arrived at the animal shelter about twenty minutes before they opened. Puppies are a hot commodity and there’s usually a line waiting for them. The epic snowfall from the night before was working in my favor and I only had a woman and her half dozen of tiny monsters in line behind me. I will never understand the “every two years” human breeders. For the love of Jesus, get a hobby that doesn’t involve dick. I hate to always suggest knitting but it does keep your hands busy and if you’ve already racked up six kids then you have some sweater knitting to catch up on. Two of them didn’t have coats on and I was working overtime to keep my judgy left eyebrow from reminding her to go get them for her shivering babies. I have two pet peeves when it comes to mothers. Feral children and cold/underdressed babies. Hippie moms with barefoot babies in the winter, I am looking at YOU. Unless your stinky, patchouli ass is wandering barefoot across the ice and snow in the parking lot, I expect you to round up some baby socks. My eyebrow went rogue and she went back to the car for coats as the nice volunteer let me in.
J- I’m here to meet Cranberry.
V- Meet or adopt?
J- Well I should probably meet her first, but you can have my credit card if you want to start the paperwork.
Why bother with the small talk, if it’s one thing I know about myself it’s that when I make my mind up to do something, it takes an act of Congress to stop me.
I walked around the corner and there they were. Four little faces staring up at me. Two midnight black, silky-soft boys who I fell instantly in love with and wished I could adopt as well. Two spotted female puppies were both vying for my attention and then I saw mine. Her little face turned from side to side as I said hello. My little Cranberry, who I knew the Dumpling would want to name, Unicorn. Their door was locked so I could only pet them through the bars and she laid her head in my hand the first time I pet her. It’s a hard thing to choose a puppy in a kennel of four because my heart breaks for the three I’m leaving behind.
I went back to the lobby, paid the $150 and walked back to point her out to the volunteer with a key.
Twenty minutes later, they placed a wiggly, gigantic puppy in my arms for the entertaining drive to collect the supplies I probably should have bought in advance. The Goodwill is dog friendly by the way- and outfitted me with a harness, leash and basket of toys in minutes. Walmart is not so dog friendly but then mine was howling to get out of the shopping cart. We bought food as fast as possible and I drove her to meet my favorite guy.
You think you know someone completely and then you add a baby or a puppy to the mix. Maybe even a little old Grandma? I have a weakness for all three, so honestly any one of them would have delighted me just the same. I watched him crawl around on the floor with my new furry baby, then jump around in the snow with her. I’m enchanted by the goodness of him. That’s really what it boils down to. His feelings for me don’t matter, if I’m going to be completely honest, it’s the raw honesty of him that knocks me off kilter and paints a grin on my face.
I- She needs a name.
J- Help me?
J- No… I had a dog named Daisy.
You could have knocked me over with a feather. Sometimes I honestly wonder if he can read my mind. I certainly hope not.
J- That’s perfect.
I left and picked up my little lady, giving her the biggest surprise a mama can give without firing up her ovaries. She guessed before she even saw her and we were laughing on the short drive home as she pulled our new little fluffy friend in for a hug.
D- Welcome to the family, Bailey Unicorn. ♥