Two years ago my sweet dog Baby Dumpling died. Sometimes when walking in the woods, I catch the briefest glimpse of her in my peripheral vision. At this point, it’s fair to ask, am I ready for another dog? I feel this void and at the same time, I love the freedom a dog-free life provides. I’ve noticed some repetitive behavior lately indicating I may be ready for another dog.
I stop every person I meet on the street who's accompanied by a dog. The mutt can be young, old, ugly, smelly, it doesn’t matter. I see the dog and crouch down, kissing its face, talking baby talk, obsessing. I couldn’t care less if the dog shows no interest or if the owner is inconvenienced. I pick up the pup, with or without permission, close my eyes and am transported into an alternate universe where it’s just me and a fluffy bundle. I only awaken from this state when the owner pries my fingers off his animal and quickly walks away.
I clog up social media timelines. If someone posts a picture of a dog, nine out of the 10 comments are mine. I also embellish them with emojis of dogs, dog bones, doghouses—you get the picture.
I envision other creatures as potential domestic pets. For instance, the wild rabbit that’s often sitting in my driveway when I walk outside has become more attractive. It’s not scared or startled by my appearance and I’m convinced that the little bunny has no desire to run wild and free leaping through grass and meadows. My family says I’m delusional. This happens with other creatures as well, like the praying mantis that was on my curtain this morning. I hear they are good luck but would they be good pets?
No one understands me. I keep a dog leash hanging in the kitchen just in case a stray happens to show up at the door. I buy Milk Bones and keep them in the fridge so they won’t go bad when the dream dog appears. I cry and fall in love if there’s a cute dog in a movie or a YouTube video. I frequent Petsmart just to see the latest dog toys. Clearly, I’m going nuts.
Can I live any longer without a dog? Everyone says to go online or to the pound and rescue a dog. It’s not that easy because I want the perfect match. Maybe I’ll go back outside and see if the rabbit’s here today.