“We should adopt a dog,” I say enthusiastically returning home from a lunch with a friend and pet parent. I go on to recount in painful detail how Toby the golden retriever serenaded me with his toys and later settled down with me on the sofa petting me with his paw.
We all had a good laugh and went our ways. Then it happened again. This time it was our neighbor walking her two dogs, a Siberian husky and a golden retriever. Ammu and Pattu ran to her as she crossed our home. I sat on the foldable picnic chair on our driveway until curiosity got the better of me and I hauled myself to where the action was. It should have been less than five minutes of small talk but ended up being a primer on how to adopt a rescue.
A few days later, another neighbor held our attention with his tiny Pomeranian. The kids chanted as we walked along. I promised I will think about it and I did.
I spent a few hours talking to people, browsing local rescue organization lists and went to bed dreaming of a house full of pet hair and diaper pails of dog poop.
“You are crazy!”
“You have enough on your hands.”
“You are overextending yourself.”
“You will regret this.”
“It is like having another baby.”
Sane voices of reason chimed in, urged me to consider what I was getting myself into. I paused, scared myself into believing I was doing this on impulse, agonized over what I had gotten myself into.
I can still walk away. I have a deposit down that I will lose.
I spy a list of sorts on the table in my study. Pattu has a list of things the pet she has named Darla will need. Midway in the list is a single item.
Ammu, Pattu, and Laddu are on the stairs. Laddu is pretending to be a pup and her sisters are loving on her.
I show Saathi all the well meaning objections I have been receiving. “Yup! It will be difficult. You will be the primary caregiver. We can walk away if you think you cannot do it.” We lapse into silence. Then in an almost wistful tone, he muses “It will be nice to have a dog.”
I am torn. I retire to my study to think, to re-evaluate everything I know. Then I chuck the lists out the metaphorical window. Most of my life has been impulse. I embark into perilous waters and drag Saathi behind me. We sputter and find our groove. This will be no different.
I often write about living in the moment. I talk about how life is short. I look at my children and see a mixed bag. The rough and hard moments wrapped in the good. I rewind back to my life pre kids and know without a doubt that this is the life I wanted with all its ups and downs.
I decide we will go meet Darla and she will decide if she wants to be part of our home.