We got a dog on Saturday. Maybe it was Sunday. Honestly, I don’t know – time flies when you’re picking up shit.
Did I plan on getting a dog? Not really, no. But I got a text late on Saturday – or maybe Sunday – explaining that a German shepherd husky mix needed a home by the end of the night, or she’d be going to a shelter.
My heart has always been far bigger than my brain – most things are bigger than my brain – so I took the dog. We didn’t have food, toys, treats, leash, collar, anything. Lola, the roughly 5-month-old pup, came with a ridiculous, bedazzled collar, a chain – literally a rusted metal chain – for a leash with a carabiner to hook on her collar. It was awful. As you could have guessed, she had been abused. Skittish around guys. Stairs are, weirdly, a trigger for her. I don’t know why. I suppose I don’t want to.
I’ve always loved dogs. We had a yellow lab named Jasmine growing up, and she was a mischievous, troublesome miscreant with a knack for infuriating my mother and escaping our fence. Unfortunately, my favorite mischief maker was also the leading cause for my little brother’s asthma attacks. He was allergic. We had to give her up.
My older brother and I tried to negotiate trades – our inconveniently asthmatic brother for a dog – but my parents didn’t see it as quite the steal we did.
I didn’t have another dog in my life until I moved to Florida. I had taken in a pit bull off of the streets in Baltimore. Well, I guess I should say that she took herself off the streets. She was a stray and was sitting on our doorstep in the freezing cold. When I opened my car door, she catapulted into the passenger seat.
Naturally she slept at the foot of my bed that night.
Ferocious creatures, pit bulls.
We fostered Charlie — named, I think, after the Graceland character — the pit bull until we found her a home, and when I moved to Florida I took in a Timberwolf-malamute mix that was as badass and awesome as it sounds. To my profound sadness, I couldn’t bring him with me to California. I loved that dog, but apartment complexes weren’t overly thrilled at the idea of taking in a wolf. Even though I didn’t want to admit it, I knew that finding him a home with a farm and space to run around was a much better life than being cooped up in a studio in Newport Beach, in which I’d have to somehow try to sneak him around without the complex knowing.
So for more than a year I’ve desperately needed a dog in my life.
As essentially every dog in my life has, this one, Lola, the lovely, fox-colored German shepherd husky, sort of appeared, unplanned.
At this point, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
When you don’t have a dog, you forget what it’s like to walk in the door and be greeted by a living being that is literally so happy you’re home she pees on the carpet.
A dog thinks you’re so awesome that her bladder is rendered uncontrollable.
Dogs. Can’t beat ‘em.
I think humans can learn some valuable lessons from dogs, mostly that you really don’t need much, aside from some food and love from another living being to be absolutely, totally, ecstatically fine with life.
The little wins make your day with a dog. No poop on the carpet automatically makes the morning phenomenal. No chewing is an added bonus. If she makes a friend at the dog park that wears her out enough that she sleeps while you’re at work, well, you’ve found the holy grail, my friend.
Lola will be an interesting case. All dogs are.
The only fact I can tell you about dogs is this: Life is better with one.