I am thinking about getting a dog. Seriously thinking. I have spoken to a breeder. I found what I thought was impossible here: doggie daycare. I have even worn down H. Now I just have to put the money together which is probably a good thing as it will force me to consider this decision and not just do leap into it on a whim.
When we were babysitting H's sister's dog, he was such a joyful little thing with his infectious enthusiasm for going out and his sheer joy when we came home. I think it would do me a lot of good to have some simple doggie enthusiasm in my days. I think it would get me out when I have no desire to move off the couch.
Also, I was thinking about having a dog and I thought it might just help me make the next step in family building. First of all, a disclaimer: I am in no way whatsoever suggesting that
our next step is equivalent to getting a dog; I am just saying that it might teach me some lessons I need to learn. I was thinking that our dog will live according to our rhythms, that he'll be used to life the way we live it - the pitch of excitement, the pace, the shape of our days. Maybe in seeing how much our dog becomes ours and reflects our personalities in some ways, I will see how a family is formed, how living together can create a unit more than genetic bonds.
I was also thinking that I need to take our dog to meet other dogs and to meet children. I need to take him to restaurants and to get him used to as many different situations as possible so he becomes a dog I can take everywhere without worrying about him. I will need to socialize him and it will get me out and mixing again because, you know, I have to for my dog. He could help me to get back into the social swing of life again, something I avoid quite a bit nowdays.
Last week we had a dinner with friends. One of them is 8 months pregnant. She knows about our situation and handles it as sensitively as possible but still, there she is with her huge belly. I see her hand touching it unconsciously and I imagine the tiny baby who will be lying there in a month's time. I can almost see the baby in the tenderness of her touch. I am struck dumb. I have nothing to say. What can I talk about; work, what I did last weekend? It seems like nothing in comparison to a baby about to be born. So I stand there in my little dark cloud, remembering how much has gone wrong, as she moves on to pick up a spoon to stir the white sauce and someone asks a question and the conversation swirls around me.
So you see, this must change and it is time I moved forward. I am hoping a dog will occupy me, will give me something to talk about (even if I bore everyone silly) and will urge me back into life.
And I'm surprised how worried I am
about our future dog. I imagine taking him to friends with three boys and already I am worried about them being too rough. I imagine going for a walk and imagine a bigger dog seizing him by the scruff of his neck and snapping it in one horrible second. But he will be a dog, and dogs do die, and although it is horrible and sad, I think I could handle a dog dying more than I could handle another baby dying. Perhaps. But usually dogs don't die, or not for a good 10 years, and so maybe having a dog will give me some faith in life again; that things can go well for us.
And if the dog dies, unexpectedly and tragically? Well, then, I think I will be a basket case and you will hear no more from me. Maybe this is why I am attracted to Holocaust and stories set in Eastern European during the communist era. I want to see how other people have survived. How do you manage to live happily when you've experienced worse than your imaginings and you know how fragile
normal life really is? It's a fascinating if slightly black hobby.
You see why I need a dog? "Happy hobbies, darling," as my mum would probably say.