+ animals

money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a dog

It’s a nice idea that a person can take something from every failed relationship so that the whole thing wasn’t just a spectacular waste of time.

Because it’s barely been a week since I went from being in a “stable” relationship to being single I haven’t had too many positive thoughts about my experience. There is one very good thing, however, that I don’t think I would have done if I didn’t date that particular guy at that specific time.

On Friday I am going straight from work to a shelter to pick up an eight-week-old black lab puppy.

The idea to get a dog came from a friend the day I was dumped. I was laughing about how lousy the timing was, since this guy and I had discussed his new puppy for most of our relationship. First, there was the waiting for the mom dog to actually have the puppies, then the uncertainty that he would definitely get one of the females, then waiting for the puppy to be old enough to leave her mom and make the trip to New Orleans.

I was so excited for his dog to get here, possibly as excited as my boyfriend. I felt like I was getting all the fun parts of having a dog but none of the responsibility or expense. It was a perfect situation. I bought a little toy for the pup and looked online for beds and cute collars. I even talked to people about her as if she was mine! Unfortunately, I only got to spend an hour with the dog before our relationship ended.

So when I told my friend about this, she said I should get a dog of my own, and I immediately loved the idea. It’s not that I hadn’t thought about it before. Sure, a dog would be fun most of the time, but before this last relationship I convinced myself that I loved living selfishly and didn’t want it any other way. A dog would force me to worry about something besides myself every single day, and I thought that if I was going to be single I should really lean into it and not be burdened with unnecessary responsibilities.

I pretended to hem and haw over this decision for the next day or so, testing the idea on my family and a few friends. I knew getting a dog was the right move, however, and with the help of Pet Finder I found the cutest little puppy who needed me possibly as much as I needed her. This past Saturday my little sister, brother-in-law, and I drove to Folsom, Louisiana to a wonderful “shelter” of sorts. I say “shelter” because it’s a woman who houses dogs on her personal property to save them from kill shelters. She also takes in pregnant dogs without a home because she is much better at handling puppies than a typical shelter. It’s quite an impressive operation. I could have taken just about any dog home with me that day, but I chose a little one who wouldn’t be old enough for another week.

In spite of the fact that Celie isn’t even here yet I have already been busier than I would be if I wasn’t expecting her. Since I haven’t had a dog in twenty years I basically know nothing and have had to study up on every aspect of raising a puppy. I put some serious thought into how I want to train her, how I’m going to deal with working full-time with a new puppy, and most importantly, what accessories will look best with her black-brownish coat. I quite sure the UPS guy thinks I’m either getting married or have a legitimate shopping addiction, as I have ordered so much from Amazon in the last week there is a stack of boxes at my door each day.

Although this post sounds like nothing more than the ramblings of a crazy dog lady I swear it has a point. There are definitely holes in my life that impact how I cope each day. My chronic pain is mostly responsible for these holes, whether directly or indirectly, and it makes it hard to be happy. As nice as it is to not set an alarm on any given Saturday morning and have no reason to put on pants all day, it feels pretty lousy when six o’clock rolls around and I realize I have talked to no one and have done basically nothing aside from binge-watch Netflix. Besides going to work and a limited social calendar I have little purpose. And who can blame me? It hurts to do most things, so if I’m not pushing myself to do something for another person it’s very difficult to justify the activity.

But come Friday all that is going to change. I’m going to have a reason to wake up each morning, because everything in my house is new (and white), and if that dog pees inside because I wanted to sleep in it’s going to be a big bummer. I have a reason to leave the house, whether it’s for a walk around my neighborhood or a drive to a dog park to give Celie some exercise / meet guys. I have friends who are already asking about meeting up with them and their dogs as soon as she’s old enough. And when I’m having a bad day and struggling to do much of anything I won’t be in the house all alone.

Apparently, you have to find happiness within yourself before anyone can make you happy. I’m not sure if buying a dog counts as finding my own happiness, but I definitely don’t think it’s going to hurt.

One Comment

  • Beth

    Congratulations, I’m so happy for you! My two rescue dogs bring me great joy, and yes some days they are the only reason I roll out of bed 😉

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