For years now my hubby and I have been talking about getting a dog. I have such fond childhood memories of roaming through the creeks in my neighborhood, my collie-mix in tow. He was always happy to come with me on my imaginary adventures. He was my wolf, ready to accompany me on my game hunt through the back yard and constant defender against those pesky, brother-looking cowboys. We had so much fun, even when I was older, he would curl up, head in my lap, body nuzzled as close to me leg as possible; under one of the over sized oak tree in my back yard as I read my homework. I miss him.
Dogs teach you about yourself, what kinda of person you are. They teach you how much you can love... how much joy you heart can hold... they teach you to be strong. When my parents took my brother to pick out a puppy, I doubt they knew the impact he would leave on my life. I know they probably thought about teaching us the responsibility of take care of another life, feeding and watering and such.
However, no parent can expect that 15 years later, their teenager would be emotionally prepared enough to carry her dog to the vet's office and place her hand in front of his nose for comfort as his life slipped peacefully away. They teach you to handle loss, that they need you to be there for them, as they have always been there for you, no matter the pull on your heart to run away. They teach you to love and not the "it's convenient at this moment" kind of love our society is so fond of these days, but the way God made us to love. Unconditionally.
After he passed away, I became immersed in college textbooks and final exam papers, but I'll be honest, the thought of getting another dog did cross my mind from time to time. I always stomped it out quickly though, they require time and I had none.
Four years later, with the BA in hand, I got married to a wonderful man. Whom I loved enough to leave everything I ever knew and move across the country for his schooling. With late night classes and full time jobs, the dog was put on hold again. And so time passed by.
Fast forward four more years, three jobs for me and a MA for him later; he was called to be an assistant pastor and we moved again. Finally some permanence, albeit in an apartment that didn't allow dogs bigger that the size of a guinea pig, but at least we knew that we would be here, in one city for several years to come. So, we waited again, this time with expectation though, we really wanted a puppy.
Being patient was also something I learned with my collie, he was always too smart for his own good. Patience was needed when he made a game of tight-rope walking the fence line every morning to greet me as I opened the front door. And for the ensuing race to get him back behind the fence and into my car before he could get back around.
My husband never had a dog growing up, so the pull hasn't been strong for him at all. And I love him for trying to be supportive of my hours and hours of trolling breeder and rescue websites, wanting to adopt each dog I saw. He might think I'm a little crazy, but I keep telling him just to wait til we get ours, he'll understand then. And it looks like we might finally be at a place that that's possible now. We just bought a tiny little house and the most exciting part is, we have a yard. Something neither of us have had for the last 9 years. We're ready for a dog, now to find one. :)