Fear and Self-doubt have become my best friends. I…
I picked a dog name before picking my fur baby from her breeder. Few weeks before Astrid (my puppy) happened, I had a burnout that lasted for weeks. I was overwhelmed and tired of work at the same. I needed a break from the normal things I was used to so when my partner asked if I was sure I wanted a puppy, I imagined all the rainbows Astrid will bring into my life, so I said yes.
If you think getting a dog will help you have your life together, this is a sign to think differently. No, the dog won’t make your life easier.
The first night with Astrid home was like having a new baby. I haven’t had a child of my own but being 9 when my younger brother was born, I know what it feels like. The only difference is that while my brother Melvin cried half of his first night home, Astrid peed and pooped everywhere. She didn’t have a cage, getting her was an impulsive act, it happened in two seconds.
“Do you want the puppy?”
“Yes, can we go pick her up?”
The next day, I took a day off work because just as Astrid came, my colored visitor decided to surface. Imagine having cramps and having to deal with a confused new puppy who just wants to jump around with her cute little legs. I decided to take her to the vet and have her checked. Another thing to note, having a puppy is for people with a lot of cash to spare. No one, absolutely no one prepared me for the finances.
“Current or savings?”
“How much did you say it is again?”
“Everything is 38k, for her food, the vaccine and other things”
“A whole 38k? More than what NYSC pays corp members?”
My partner tapped my shoulder and gave me his card. Before I paid, I told him maybe getting Astrid wasn’t such a great idea but he told me the finances was nothing. Rich kid behavior? Not me, at least not when I wanted a puppy for the rainbows people say they come with.
The first few days had echoes of “seat”, “good dog”, “don’t pee there ffs”, “look at your cute little eyes”, “Astrid, stop!” and it went on for weeks. One of my favorite things about having Astrid is that even though she’s a cute little American Eskimo, she slept beside my bed in an attempt to protect me.
Dogs are cuddly and give the tiniest cutest hugs.
When I got Astrid, I was expecting my life to become magical; I was thinking maybe with this new puppy things will finally be better. I was wrong and right. Every day, I would come home from work to her cute leg hugs and tail wagging. It’s like coming home to happiness in a white fur, oh, until you have to clean her poo and pee.
Maybe, the fix you need isn’t that vacation, or a puppy or running off to a new city. The fix you need is sitting down, praying for guidance and being ready for your next big move. The memories from the vacation or getting a puppy will make you happy but they will remain memories.
I recently kept Astrid in a place that has become her happy place. I miss having her annoy me (because boy, was she annoying especially when I’m trying to eat or when she goes to lay down behind the toilet after I bath her), I miss the routine feeding and having to talk to someone who doesn’t answer back.
I’m currently trying to fix my life while asking for guidance and realizing that getting a dog wasn’t the solution I needed. Running from my fears, living in my head and grabbing ice cream are only quick fixes.
I didn’t write this piece for a moral ending. I wrote it because I always want to remember what it felt like having Astrid for the first two months. It’s like painting a memory that will never fade. I want to be able to look back and remember how I felt when I brought home her first toys or that meat gravy she loves or how she puked on her first long car ride which lasted for 3 hours (never again). Oh, and how she makes my partner say, “Astrid, if I disturb you like this, will you be happy?”, “Astrid stop chewing my sandals,” and I will always reply with, “she loves you; it’s her way of showing it,” and Astrid will wag her little tail and jump back into the comfortable little box we made for her.