I’m not a dog person. I swear, I’m not.
It took my husband two years of lobbying to convince me to bring a dog into the family. To him, getting a dog was part of his sacred duty as a father to provide a happy childhood for his son. (By the time this argument ended, there were in fact two children.) All I could see was the expense, plus the work and inconvenience to me, the one home all day, the one who is not a dog person.
However. My husband is an easygoing and accomodating guy, who picked up the slack in so many ways so I could devote energy and time to writing, all without complaint, all with no guarantee of success. He’d never said no to me about anything important. So, I eventually realized it was my turn say yes. We could get a dog.
At first, I researched breeds diligently. I was too skittish about getting a shelter dog. My nightmare scenario was choosing a dog that my kids would fall in love with, then that dog would have some terrible problem, say a secret aggressive streak, and we’d have to get rid of it. I couldn’t imagine breaking my son’s heart trying to explain why we had to send his beloved doggy away. So, I figured if I studied up enough and chose the Perfect Dog, this would never happen.
We chose our breed, a Border Terrier. We researched breeders, picked one not too far away, and filled out our puppy application. And then, we heard the price quote, and it knocked us off the couch. We knew a purebred puppy would be expensive, but … my first car didn’t cost that much. Back to the drawing board.
Meanwhile, I was accosting all the dog people I knew and pumping them for information. Some of them urged me to adopt a dog, and pointed me toward Petfinder.com. On a whim one night, I typed in “border terrier” and our location.
And then I saw the cutest little face. He was living with a foster family who had kids already, and so we had solid evidence that he was good with children. He was seven months old, so young enough to still be a puppy, but – hallelujah – already housebroken and crate trained. He was a mutt, actually, and “border terrier mix” was the shelter’s best guess.
We surprised our kids. I’ll never forget my son’s delight – he shrieked, “A puppy!” — when he saw the little doggy face in the window of the car when my husband brought him home. My son said, “I’ll name him Lucky. Hi Lucky!”
It hasn’t always been easy with Lucky. A couple of vet bills later and we’d spent as much as we would have on that purebred pup. I’m not sure why he chooses to barf only when I’m the only one home. But he’s sweet-tempered and great with the kids, even my toddler, who has to be reminded to give “gentle pets.” I’ve even made up a little bed for him in my office out of a green afghan, so he can doze next to me while I work.
My husband insists that he’s converted me to a dog person. No way. But I suppose I am a Lucky person.