Monday, January 3, 2011
The letter ended with "P.S. If I can't get a dog, I'll settle for a cat." Date stamp: 1986, scrawled on loose leaf, with "Dear Mom and Dad" as its salutation. . . and slid ever so tenderly under their bedroom door while they slept. I made several attempts at this sort of coercion. After all, my happiness was on the line. Nevermind my allergies, I wanted to cuddle with something furry (therefore my parents' suggestion of guppies had me appalled). I am an only child and though friends sprang up on my block like dandelions, I wanted a real companion.
I've often romanticized walking a dog. It may have something to do with a certain Whisperer, but there is a power in a partnership that spans the centuries. The earnest and genuine doting a dog does for its owner, the impossible happiness they feel every day. . . it's simultaneously perplexing and magnetic.
We are thinking about becoming foster parents for an amazing local shelter. Up until now, we've only arrived with leashes, dog treats and poop bags to take a couple bumbling breeds out on the streets of West Loop. Some have caused blisters from tugging and pulling along the way. But the ones who connect with an upward gaze, respond to your tempo and tone. . . those are the ones I want to dognap and nestle in our home. Gertie comes to mind. Nick too.
Fostering seems low risk, and by risk I mean the risk of me getting annoyed and regretting the decision to invite fur, chewing and spontaneous bowel movements to the crib. A way to sample the litter, so to speak. We want to be the transitional parents while the dogs go through quarantine before heading to the shelter.
I did get a cat, by the way. It caused me great pain, as in sinus pain. Wound up having to get surgery after inhaling his dander for years. He was cute and furry, but Marc and I both agree. . . he's the cat, I'm the dog. And so it goes. After a childhood of pining and poking, a job as a zookeeper and every intention to major in pre-vet upon entering undergrad it might just be time to relax and reap the benefits of being around a funny pup in the name of not settling this time.