Today, I should like to talk to you briefly if I might, about the loves of my life, and no, I will not be dragging you through a list of my failed romantic endeavors. I have mainly given up on human companionship, but I have built my own little family of canine companions!
I’ve always, always been a dog person. Dogs… how shall I put it? Dogs are just simply better. Inarguably. Cats are great, sometimes. When they feel like it. But most of the time they’re ungrateful, aloof, and non-committal. I’ve had enough of that from people, frankly. Dogs are ALWAYS happy to see you, happy to go for a walk, ecstatic at every single mealtime.
One of my older friends once told me that when you’re feeling drifty and listless, you need logs in your river, to push you along when you’re not generating any of your own steam. Enter Charlie and Stella. Whether it’s nuzzling me out of bed in the morning, or literally pushing me back onto the couch so they can use me as a human cushion, they’re always keeping me going.
Both my barking friends came from the local shelter, about a few months apart. Charlie came first. He’s a big guy, an akita and golden retriever mix, but goofy as hell and utterly harmless. Trust me, he makes me grateful for my alarm system. He’d be poking around in robbers’ pockets looking for snacks. He settled in very nicely in the first month or so, and he’s gotten so much less skittish. I could see him pining for friends, though. That’s when I went back to the shelter and discovered Stella, a big-eyed hound who had just arrived. What opportune timing. She’s everything Charlie isn’t: bold, willful, and small. They get on so well together.
I’ve become a big believer in adoption, both with dogs and children, even though I have no intention of having kids myself. It seems so selfish for people to go out of their way to bring another child or dog into the world just because they think they want some sort of blank slate. It’s so much better to adopt a dog that needs your help, that needs a home, and has an actual personality you’ll fall in love with. Also, as glad and grateful as any puppy will be growing up with you, there’s nothing quite like the gratitude and affection you get from a pet you’ve rescued.
Stella and Charlie are good influences on me in any number of ways. I have to be far more patient, for one thing, which is something I’ve been trying to work on for years. My needs always come second, and that’s not such a bad thing at all. They’ve also instilled a zen like quality in me, where I look at the latest broken treasure like an inevitable and unemotional “event”, where I used to go into full tragedy mode. I had my first real test about 3 months in, when Charlie took an interest in potted plant I’ve had for years on the windowsill. Crash. Pot and plant were toast in seconds. And, like every materialistic asshole, I whipped around in anguish, but was confronted by a grinning, thrilled dog who was excitedly telling me what fun he was having. How are you supposed to deal with that?
I mean, in fairness, I have stashed away a few things that I’d be devastated to lose. But as for the rest, I’ve learned to be less attached to small and breakable things.
They’ve also trained me (as it were) to be a regular cleaner, while I’ve always been sporadic at best. I absolutely have to clean once a week, at the very least. I’ve become ridiculously attached to my vacuum. The first weeks of having the two of them in the house together, I very nearly had a breakdown. I’d been making do with this tiny little stick vacuum for years, but it choked on all the fur within a couple cleans. I know practically nothing about vacuums but I knew I needed a massive upgrade, so after reading literally days on bestvacuumcleaner.reviews, I ended up going with a Miele, which they listed as the best canister vacuum for pet hair. It’s a little red beast, honestly one of the best purchases I ever made. It’s so, so powerful. Zip, zip, and all the hair gets bagged up. I’m never buying a non-German vacuum again. I wish they made everything I have to use in my life. Imagine a German laptop… ahh.
So, here I am in my family: one hound, one yellow menace, and one little red cleaning monster. I’ve named him Johann Sebastian… you get it, Vac. That’s a classical music and vacuum joke, yes it is.
I know I’ve been rambling, so let me just wrap up by saying that adopting dogs has been the best life decision I’ve made so far. And going German with my vacuum comes a close second.