Ever have one of those dreams where you’re pursuing something, but it keeps disappearing? That’s how I feel about finding my next pooch. Every time I see THE ONE on a shelter website, I come to find it was adopted. Or I’ll visit and there are three dogs left, all the size of mastodons. Recently I realized the mistake I’m making.
But first, here are some non-negotiables in my search…
No puppies – – I was at the pound the other day. There was the most adorable, sweet, heart-breaking little white puppy. For a second my heart leapt. This may be it. Then I saw something on the floor of her cage, something that stopped me cold. She had piddled from the excitement of having attention, not just a little piddle… but a lot.
Super large dogs – I’m sorry, I don’t want an animal that can either kill me or at the very least, break my limbs. I have friends with large, muscular dogs. Walking them is like herding cattle through the Oregon Pass. After four feet I’m exhausted and sweating.
No, I need a pet, not a wrestling opponent. I’ve seen wonderful large dogs up for adoption, but I’m afraid I must pass.
No short hair – What can I say? I love fluffy mutts. Then again, maybe I’m crazy. Simon was a “terrier mix” (to put it politely). No one could figure out what this animal was. He was fluffy…I guess. At least he had this coarse “industrial fiber fur” as my husband Randy called it.
He also had projectile shedding. I was always sweeping up tumbleweeds like I lived in Laredo, Texas. Wait, do I want that again?
No “super-active” dogs – By now, I’m learning Shelter-Speak. I’m learning to decode the little description cards hanging on each dog’s cage. I know what’s meant by “Trixie needs lots of exercise. She gets frisky when she can’t get outside every hour.” Code: Trixie tears up the joint if she can’t chase squirrels. Again, must pass. I don’t have the physical stamina for Trixie.
But here’s what I do want. And I don’t think I’m being too picky…
I want a small, cute, adorable, fluffy, housebroken, not-too-old but not-too-young, preferably female, black and white, cuddly, playful, intelligent, devoted lap dog.
Is that asking too much?
Unless… and here comes the fork in the road.
I get a purebred.
Recently, a male friend showed me a picture of his adorable dog — part pekingese and part poodle. My heart did a loop de loop. This is what I want!
The trouble is these dogs often cost over $1000 and breeders are far away. My friend had to drive to Pennsylvania to get it!
And what about all those rescue dogs needing homes?
And why is this process so hard? I found my other dogs easily. I walked into a pound, saw a cute mutt, pointed and clicked. Ren and Simon were great animals. We had them each over ten years.
Have the dogs changed or have I?
The holiday season’s upon us. I’m feeling pressure. How sweet to have a new four-legged family member among the tinsel and evergreens.
Lately every time I’m at the pound a newly-adopted dog is ready to go home. Everyone looks so happy. The dog wags its tail. The owner pats its head. They pull away in the car, smiles all around.
What’s the matter, I wonder? Why can’t I find my canine soul mate?
Then I realized the mistake I’m making…
Maybe I’m too fixated on perfection. Maybe I need to widen my search and lower my expectations.
After all, I’ve decided I will get a rescue dog. Too many animals need homes. I’ll continue trekking through the shelters of southern Connecticut, reading description cards and trying not to gaze longingly at pee-challenged puppies.
Like my other dogs, I’ll know this animal when I see it. There”ll be something in his or her eyes. He or she will smile. I’ll look at this creature and think, yup, I can work with this.
Maybe there’s a larger lesson here. When we open our minds and our hearts, the universe rewards us.
At least that’s what I’m hoping.
Has anyone else gone through this, looking for that special canine? Or how about looking for anything your heart desires? Did the universe reward your patience? Comments are always welcome. Thank you for reading and sharing.
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