So I think I’m going to get a dog. Because I’m an addict. Whenever I see a four-legged friend, I stop whatever I’m doing , throw to the ground whatever I am holding, interrupt whatever conversation I am having, to pet any dog that passes by. They see me coming a mile away…“Oh boy, oh boy – she’s going to pet me, I can tell. She’s gooing to lerrrrrve me. I’m going to show her my stuffed teddy bear. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.” See, I’ve actually gone so far as to actually create animal dialogues.
I was at the barn yesterday grooming horses, and was followed around by a Golden Retriever named Augie. Augie had me at hello. It took all of two minutes to think of what bringing a dog to the barn every Sunday would be like. That kind of partnership would do me wonders, I know. It’s just the finances that have kept me from taking that step. And of course, asking a dog to survive in my studio apartment on the days it wasn’t scampering among the horses and the stable paddocks.
As an animal lover, I have always been against keeping a dog at home over the course of a workday, for fear of their boredom and depression. I always thought it selfish to not allow them the freedom to run and run and run. This was of course when I thought the age of 32 would include a home with horses and a fenced in yard.
So I have to come to terms with who I am and where I am at this age…And how much longer I think I can put off living the life I want to live. Somewhere out there is a dog that is going to be put down if I don’t snatch it up…and he’s going to think that this studio is a mansion compared to his present cage. How much longer do I go on living the life of a girl drowning in NYC and start living the life of one that is not going to let her zipcode define her?
So this next week, I’m going to see what I can cut back on (nights out, taxis, dinners) and see where I can make room for a guy I can give a home too. Vet bills, doggy daycare, dogwalkers, Kibble…goodbye sushi takeout, United Artists, Amazon.com, and Stafford Loans.
I just read a book about animals and read the following line that made me want to head straight to the pound:
“In a drop of rain can be seen the colors of the sun. So in every act of kindness we hold in our own hands the mercy of our Maker, whose purposes are in life and not death, whose love does not stop at us but surrounds us, bestowing dignity and beauty and hope on every creature that lives and suffers and perishes. Perhaps that is part of the animals’ role among us, to awaken humility, to turn our minds back to the mystery of things, and open our hearts to that most impractical of hopes in which all creatures speak as one. For them as for us, if there is any hope at all then it is the same hope, and the same love, and the same God who “shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be nor more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
I think that a dog will save me as much as I will save him. He or she will give me a sense of purpose, a sense of focus…and allow me to be responsible for another living, breathing being. My friends have had their first, second, third children…it’s hard to believe that this is such a big undertaking.
I have always wanted to be someone’s compass…and if he happens to be three feet tall with golden blond hair, instead of 5’11’’ with a shaggy brunette expensive East Village cut then so be it. As they say in AA (so I’m told), “act as if.” You have to start somewhere. Milan Kundera said, “Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.” I feel that peace is nearer, when I imagine my dog sitting next to me on my Ikea couch.
If North looks like sleeping next to a snoring Retriever whose life I can save, then that direction looks pretty good indeed. North it is.