One way or another I've always managed to bring animals into the house. I love animals, and I always have so I feel this constant need to be surrounded by them. My sophomore year, I got two gerbils. Why? I was lonely and they were cute to hold. Then, my sophomore year I got involved with The Humane Society and fostered a couple dogs and even a cat with FIV (like HIV but in cats).
I also rescued a kitten from the bushes around where I work and planned on keeping him, but that did not go over well with my mom. She eventually helped me find the kitten a home, which is okay because I'm not as much of a cat person as I am a dog person. All of these furry guests were unfortunately temporary.
This past summer I started seeing this guy, and for a while it was awesome. We got to see each other almost every day, which seems like a lot, but all of my previous relationships happened to be long distance so this was a nice change. We got along so well, and always had a good time together. To me I thought it could really go somewhere.
He talked about getting a dog, which I was all for! It wouldn't be my dog, but I would be able to get bragging rights and all the things associated with dogs that I wanted without the full responsibility. Eventually it happened and he got a sweet beagle-mix from the shelter that we named Jodie.
Our schedules worked almost too perfectly, I took her out in the morning and in the early afternoon while he was working or in class, and he took over when I was in class and at work at night.
Then things began to change, and my short-lived summer fling ended. He showed up to my apartment after a weekend of partying too hard without me and ignoring me, and dumped me. Twenty minutes before I had to go to work.
Well if that wasn't bad enough, I asked him what he was going to do about Jodie. He told me he couldn't take her with him because "he just couldn't handle a dog right now." Jerk move, right?
At first I was as stressed as I could be, so now owning this dog is completely on me. Feeding her, taking her out, making sure she exercises, vet bills, the cost of everything, all on top of being a full-time student and working 20-25 hours a week. I couldn't stand the idea of taking her back to the shelter, so I decided to face the fact that now I'm a dog owner.
When I got home from work that night Jodie was curled up in a little ball on my bed. She saw that I had come home so she got up and stretched and just looked at me, wagging her tail. I sat down on the floor, stressed about the events of my day. She hopped down and just licked my face and leaned on me.
How could I take her back to the shelter? I had already bonded with her and it hurt just thinking about it. She was my dog, and I began to realize that. I had also realized that if he tried to take her with him I probably would've punched him.
Dog-ownership has been a challenge, but if there is anything that I've learned other than how stupid boys can be, it is that things happen for a reason. People come in and out of your lives to teach you lessons and to get you going in the right direction.
The jerk that dumped me wasn't in my life to be my one true love and who I was going to live happily ever after with. He was the guy who brought Jodie into my life and I couldn't possibly be more grateful for her. I mean come on, look at how cute she is!