He’s really beautiful, we love him, and also none of our lives will ever be the same ever again.
He’s an inside dog. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Inside dogs are life-changing.
I spent the first days googling, “I don’t think I like my dog” in search of support groups or confirmation that eventually you can’t imagine never having one. It felt a lot like having a baby only now all the humans in the house had the same panicked expression.
We miss downstairs. It’s carpeted there, and carpet is grass to this dog. Even Jake—more about him when I get to the good parts—got anxiety when given full responsibility for “hanging out” with this fur-child who had no idea where he should and should not pee. We were shaken, to say the least.
In case anyone else googles for similar support, or for the times I need to revisit my own emotional journey (still tired but no longer panicked), I’m just going to put right here the reasons we got the dog and how I’m sorta becoming okay with it. The reasons are more than one, but they can mostly be summarized by these pictures.
He’s not always like that.
Back to the point. We got the dog for Jake. I live in a house of men, so the need for a dog has come up semi-regularly since the beginning of time. In The Thank You Room you can read about 5-year-old John (he’s 18 now) and how he wanted one for Christmas but I was pregnant and had cancer so we told him Santa probably wouldn’t come through for him and he and I both burst into tears, and I have yet to recover from this experience. The dog thing has been a theme for a while.
If possible, Jake’s need for a dog was the most insistent yet. He was eaten up with this need. I started saying of the idea of a dog, “Jake needs an emotional support animal,” and I was only kind of sarcastic.
Added to Jake’s need was the fact that I read and listen to almost everything I can about happiness, and no one seems to disagree that pets are good for this—for happiness, I mean. They’re good for our happiness in the way children are good for our happiness. It’s a global, net-worth kind of happiness, with lots of both debits and credits along the way. I was prepared for this yet so not prepared.
The biggest debit to my happiness is that Boone wreaks havoc on simplicity. (You see, I’m calling him by name now instead of “the dog”, so we’re getting to the finale in which I’m fine.) He has ruined the simplicity of my schedule, the simplicity of keeping my beautiful new house the way I like it.
At this point, I can’t imagine never having him, yes. But it’s more because I’m resigned to it than because I’m fully in love. I haven’t decided if I even like this. I only know what I told Michael recently when he had just vacuumed dog hair from the floor and I couldn’t believe it because I had just swept it myself, “This is the life we chose.”
And I think we’re getting used to it.