Saturday, March 28, 2009

Gotcha Day

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my personal favorite holiday, Gotcha Day. Two years ago yesterday, I impulsively answered an ad in the local paper and about 10 minutes later, I had somehow agreed to take a sweet, adorable, but highly energetic 8 month-old puppy off the hands of a family who had decided a dog wasn't the best idea for their lives. I had been thinking about getting a dog for quite a while, but I hadn't really figured out all the ways I would deal with the reality of adding a dependent, 4-legged creature into my life.

First, I had to break the news to SO about what I had done. Fortunately, he had also been thinking it was time to get a dog so he wasn't too mad at me. I had to run out to the pet store that night to buy the basics, like a leash, a collar, toys, and food. All that day, I had a nagging sense that my impulse-shopper nature shouldn't extend to getting a pet, that maybe I should have put more thought into what kind of dog I should get, what I should know about the dog's breeder, how I should meet the dog, etc.

After work on March 28, I drove over to the family's house with SO riding along. He stayed in the car while I went up to the door. A very nice woman answered the door and invited me into the house. She ran a day care service out of her home, so several toddlers watched me enter with much interest. They had thought a puppy would be a fun addition for the kids, but after a few months decided that they couldn't give the dog the level of attention she really needed. I walked towards the kitchen, where a baby gate blocked the doorway. On the other side, I saw her: the cutest, friendliest, most lovable little cocker spaniel ever. She greeted me with a wagging tail and a doggy smile. I now know she greets everyone this way, but at the time I thought she was uniquely happy to see me. As soon as I saw her, I knew she was the dog for me.

The family didn't want any money for the dog, so I gave them just $25 to cover some of her vet bills. She sat in SO's lap on the way home, trembling as these two strange people took her away from her home. But now, two years later, she would let us take her anywhere in the car. Now I do see a difference in the way she greets me and SO as compared to everyone else. She's happy to see other people, but her little body can't contain the joy she feels upon seeing us. And whatever concerns I had about SO accepting my dog have long since been allayed. He's a bigger softie for her than I am.

So on this 2nd anniversary of Gotcha Day, I would just like my sweetheart to know that she is easily the best $25 I ever spent.

1 comment:

Language Lover said...

I'm glad I looked up "Gotcha Day." I was interpreting "gotcha" in terms of the Sarah Palin definition, and thinking this whole time you were referring to SO as the object.

Yay for Maddie! She's lucky to have such a great mom.

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