When I was little, I begged for a dog. (If I find the letter I wrote to my parents asking for one, I’ll make sure to share it with you.) Eventually they gave in and we got Pepper, a sweet, escape artist, eat everything, beagle mix. She was an adult so we didn’t have to deal with that crazy puppy stage. After Pepper passed on, we got Maggie, a cocker spaniel puppy. I think my sister did the begging that time. I don’t remember a whole lot of her puppyhood, mostly because I think she was pretty tame. And I think we carried her everywhere so she never had a chance to get into anything.
As an adult I wanted a dog on and off but was never living in a place I could have one. Nor did I have a lifestyle that would allow for good care of a dog. But then I bought a house with a fenced yard. You have to have a dog if you have a fenced yard, right?! It helped that my sister and her boyfriend were living with me and would be home to let him out when I couldn’t. I would never have done it without them, which was probably an even better reason not to get a dog. But I did. (I also bought my house on this reasoning. Thankfully they wanted to stay when I decided to escape the state.)
I started searching online and it didn’t take too long before I found this little thing, named Poseidon:
I wanted him so badly! Though having done some research I wasn’t sure I could really keep a herding dog entertained and he was a supposed Corgi/Australian Shepard mix. I don’t remember exactly how it went down, whether I waited to apply, or waited and never heard, but shortly after I found him he disappeared from the site. Bummed, I considered giving up the search. I tried applying for one of his siblings but it was quickly snatched up. So I decided to wait and think more about this big decision. I looked on and off for a couple of weeks and a coworker was looking for me too. He sent me a picture of the little fur ball I had wanted a couple weeks prior. Poseidon was back! Apparently he had acquired Parvo and through treatment survived. I immediately applied and was invited to visit him.
He was the friendliest little thing ever, and though I rarely find dog clothes cute he was pretty charming in his puppy sweater. He was definitely going to be mine. But when? St. Patrick’s Day was approaching and I couldn’t leave him home all day so I planned the required house visit for the day after. It worried me that I might not pass so when the foster came with him that day, did a sweep of the yard and left him there, I couldn’t believe it! I immediately renamed him Murphy.
I wasn’t really prepared for the kind of puppy he turned out to be. While it was cute at times, it was exhausting at others. He’d go on a rampage of running around and tearing up whatever he could find. Paper, a shoe, a door, a wall. Nothing was off limits. And maybe because of all he got into, or a weak stomach after parvo, he got sick a lot. So I gave a lot of money to his vet.
Puppy playgroups and roughhousing with Ben seemed to calm him down a bit and with some training he picked up some manners. Ben and Katie got home early to let him out and eventually Katie worked from home a lot so he had company all day. So when I decided to move, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with him. He was my dog, but after a long vacation I was definitely #3 on his list. I considered leaving him in Minnesota till I settled in but was afraid he’d love me even less/hate me even more when I finally moved him out here. Had I got a job right away, I would have left him there for awhile. Being jobless when I moved, I figured it was the perfect opportunity for us to reconnect.
And we have! Almost every day I’ve been here, he’s gone everywhere with me. We’ve visited the farm, dog parks, people parks, any bar/restaurant that allows dogs, the St. Patrick’s Day parade, marinas… he even flew back to Minnesota with me for awhile. Though he was definitely depressed for a few weeks, I think he’s finally come out of it. It helps that he gets a ton of attention when we’re out. While with him, I get zero. Questions about him are directed at him and I awkwardly have to answer. At the same time, I really enjoy watching strangers smile at him and overhearing “look at that ear!”
The point of it all is that yes, he can be a pain. He might be one of the few things I ever complain about. (a friend once remarked, “you don’t even like your dog.”) Though we’re pretty similar being extremely social and always needing to be on the go, he needs to be on the go a little more than I do. And he’s not much of a cuddler. (no one told me there were dogs that don’t like to cuddle!) (and shortly after I finished this post, he wanted to cuddle. odd.)
But I do like him! I love him. He makes me laugh, gets me outside first thing in the morn and brings joy to me and quite a few others. I’m not sure I would have seen as much of the city had I not been thinking of places he could go. If you ever hear me grumble about him, know that it comes from a very complicated love (and punch me because complaining is dumb). He has squashed my freedom but stolen my heart.