Seems like forever since I've posted. Living in surreal-ville over here. A dog changes your whole freaking life, that's for sure! I don't know if I've mentioned, but I had a cat for 17 years. I adopted her in college, and she died about three years ago or so. When she died, I said I was not going to get another cat because the next thing I wanted to bring into my home was a baby. It felt like I was "holding a space" for the baby. But the years wore on. And then when I realized this latest trial was a bust... I don't know, something went off in me. It sounds strange, but I feel like I was compelled to get my puppy - like the idea just came over me and was irresistible. And strangely, my housemate has never really cared for dogs, but he told me that when I brought it up to him, basically he was compelled to say yes, as well. Like it just seemed to both of us that is was the "right thing to do."
But I won't lie. The past few days, I've felt quite a bit of fear. It's like, "What did I get myself into?!" My commitment issues are going off big time. A puppy is not a cat. They depend on you at a completely different level. And when they are little, oh man, they are little balls of terror. Well, terror, and love, and joy, and puppy kisses, and play, and messiness, all balled into one. Zoey cannot be left alone in the house or she will tear the place up and pee and poop everywhere. She cannot be left outside because I'm afraid she will get into something back there - my housemate has a lot of gardening and other junk stashed around under the porch and by the garage, etc., and then there is all kinds of "nature" crap she can pick up and chew, like sticks and pits and pods and random tree sheddings. Likely, they wouldn't kill her, but I worry about choking. I am a total "Helicopter Dog Parent." lol
My days have been a constant stream of taking her out, cleaning up her messes, feeding her, taking her to the vet (she has had diarrhea, poor thing - likely from worms and changing food, etc.), hanging outside and playing with her (lots of this and it's the most fun part!), lying with her snoozing away on top of me on the couch. She snores when she sleeps; it's pretty cute. Oh, and then worrying about her when I'm at work the last couple days. I asked friends to come over midday and take her out for a while but I still feel bad leaving her for several hours at a time. We don't have a "safe room" to leave her in, so I leave her in her dog crate, which is big enough for her to move around, with a towel and a her rope toy. Today, I came home to an accident and spent my first time period home cleaning things up, when normally I'd flop on the couch for a while. I've definitely been a lot more active, since Zoey came to town! And I haven't gotten a full night of sleep since friday night. We get up twice - once in the middle of the night and once in the very early morning. After you've cleaned up enough crap, you do what you can to prevent accidents!
Anyway, back to the fear. Interestingly, I think it has some similarity to what I feel when I get in a relationship (like a little claustrophobia)... but with Zoey, I know it's not ending any time soon. This is a looong commitment. If all goes well, I'll have her until I'm in my mid-fifties or later. It's just intense to commit to something in a big way like this. And I want to be a better parent/friend to her than I was to my cat. I want to let her in more and be closer companions. I think part of my feeling compelled was knowing that this is what I need. I too easily fall into a selfish rut of doing what I want to do when I want to do it, and ending up living in sort of a bubble. I want to give to another being, and I want to live a full and messy life, to expand versus contract. And damn straight this is practice for having a kid, way more than I ever would have realized. Once I can take her out and about and for walks, after her third round of shots, I think it will expand my circle even more. Dogs are the ultimate ice-breakers, right?
So, bottom line, I don't regret it. And when I hold her and snuggle up and get puppy kisses and see her cute little face looking up at me, my heart melts. But, right now, this commitment is also putting some fear in me, folks.