Monday, November 5, 2012

a series of escalating dares

For years now Neil and I have wanted a dog. We have longed for a dog. We knew we couldn't get a dog because our lease said so and I wasn't feeling well enough... but that didn't stop our unhealthy dog wanting behaviors. We would dog sit and pretend it was our everyday life. We would stare longingly at dog walking couples. We even picked out future names.

In the last few weeks, I've started feeling better and better - leaving our status as "renters" as the only barrier between us and the thing we've wanted oh so much. This has put us into a fever pitch where instead of talking each other down to reality, we just enabled increasingly crazy thoughts.

With a nod to the "arrested development" joke, here are a few of the series of escalating dares that we've encountered these last few weeks...

-Unhealthy Dog Wanting Behavior #1: The Lost Dogs

My friend Carrie lent me this fantastic book telling the story of the dogs from the Michael Vick fighting rings. This book is excellent (both heart breaking and extremely inspiring), it shows the rehabilitation of a very misunderstood breed of dogs. Some of these Vick Pit Bulls were even able to serve as therapy dogs in hospitals within a year of rescue! After this my desire to rescue was at a code yellow level.

- Unhealthy Dog Wanting Behavior #2: Pit Bulls and Parolees 

Shortly after finishing the book, I found this show on Animal Planet. Its about a kennel that rescues Pit Bulls and staffs with people on Parole... giving everyone a second chance. For the record I have yet to make it through an episode without crying.

-Unhealthy Dog Wanting Behavior #3: Re-Watching Videos Like This
again and again and again
(video of Soldier returning from war)

- Unhealthy Dog Wanting Behavior #4: "Lover's Not Fighters Gala"
I approached Neil with the desire to attend this February fundraiser by saying "If we can't have a dog right now, at least we can support these organizations, right?" That's not an unhealthy idea, but I was foolish to think surrounding myself with dog-friendly people would scratch the itch. nuh uh. still want a pup. big time.

- Unhealthy Dog Wanting Behavior #5:
Oh I'll just look at the weepy, curious, kind eyes of about one hundred dogs that need homes and I'll be able to walk away, no problem. I know, I know how dangerous this is, trust me I didn't seek out this behavior. I accidentally hopped into the website after I was looking into that fundraiser gala. Then I was diving down the rabbit hole and there was no way out... except maybe Neil's voice of reason. Only instead of saying "No. Bad. Close that link!" he said "I have an idea: Spend tomorrow searching through them all and then pick your top 3 favorite to show me when I get home from work." (is this the definition of enabler?)

- Unhealthy Dog Wanting Behavior #6: Just An Innocent Shelter Visit
After all this, we were at red alert levels in our dog longing. We talked at length at how wonderful it would be to have a dog with me on my walks, to have company with me during my days, to be at a place where we were moving forward - at last! Then we stupidly said "Why don't we just walk to the local shelter and look. Just look." hahahahaha. I think you all know what happens after that...

**fast forward through me crying 3 times before we walk down the first isle of the cages. fast forward through our time peering through bars with fingers licked and tail wagging, fast forward through us whispering "yeah, I agree, I don't want to see any others but that one.", fast forward through us nervously calling our (amazing) land lord... fast forward fast forward... and...


meet Dixon

he is our 10 month old, 55 lb, new family member. 

he's part terrier, part pit bull, part lab, part retriever, part Orbin

so far I know he loves sleeping curled around Neil's shoe and he hates squirrels

 and so far I've never had a better morning coffee routine!


  1. DIXON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh he's darling!! Congratulations on your new addition!

  2. YAY!!!!!!!!!! I spy a Kong, perfect for that late stage of puppyhood. Teddy and Dixon are both 10 months -- perhaps they'll be best buds? I'm so happy for you both :)

  3. Oh man. Now we definitely have to arrange some sort of meeting. Hopefully our developmentally impaired pooch will get along with him. She's a bit of a skank, so boy dogs are hardly ever a problem. :) Congratulations!

  4. Congratulations on your so so handsome Dixon! WOW how blessed for Dixon to have a family in you and Neil! XOXO

    Love you all!

  5. By the way Em, as I was reading your Blog, looking at the videos and your new puppy, my friend stop by to see what i was oohhing and awing over.. Cryinging while watching the video of the dog and his soldier over and over again. She has been praying for you as well. But anyway, lots of work here but your blog is my highlight. She read some of it, hope you don't mind and loved it. Em, she said and I of course, agreed, you are a writer.

    Was that ever a profession considered? She truly meant it as she walked away that you truly should write a book. You blogs are funny, inspiring and so so creative.

    Perhaps something to think about as you and Dixon walk.. XOXOXO

    Stacy :)

  6. So excited for your new adventures into the dog owning world! They are absolutely great kids and companions! Congrats on the new addition!

  7. I can't wait to meet my new cousin!

  8. Ahhhhhh!!! yeaaaaaaaaa!!!! I'm SOOOOO excited to meet him! two things 1. Your process was so similar to my quest for Jennythedog - that trip to the shelter sealed the deal before you arrived :) 2. I should start making you tube videos of jtd and Attison - talk about friggin cute.

    1. yes! video! oh man, yes please! (then maybe a television series - "the adventures of JTD and Athey")

  9. AHHHHH!! Congratulations - so happy you found a pit mix! They're really great dogs! I didn't think your family could get any better, but now there's Dixon!

  10. CONGRATULATIONS!! that is so awesome and we wish you many happy days with the new addition to your fam! I (also) was crying watching the soldier and the dog ! Ofcourse I cry almost every time I read your blog! You and Neil are such inspirations and Dixon doesnt even know how lucky he is that you chose him!!

  11. BTW ~ you look gorgeous with your new haircut!!

  12. Thank you everyone for the kind and encouraging comments! We have been weighing this decision for years - now that I"m getting well again and we are able to care for a dog, its such a blessing to have Dixon! We feel extra lucky in our lives in every way, this is just one more thing I can hardly believe is real!

  13. OH MY HEAVENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dixon is so handsome! I absolutely love how your family has grown :) With everything I have, Congratulations!! xoxoxo

  14. Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Hugs, Gabby