Thank you for the wonderful suggestions for distractions. Some of them we already use (we love jigsaw puzzles and games, for example), and others we intend to use. Ideally, had we any money at all right now, we would take a summer-long trip to visit all of our blog friends. That would be the best way to pass the time. We would even bring gifts.
Perhaps my favorite distraction suggested was getting a dog. Sadly, I cannot get a dog unless it’s a very small dog because of where we live. Have I mentioned that I’m not keen on super small dogs?** Our town is filled with small dogs. On a trail that we walk that goes through the town, we see all varieties of exotic small dog breeds, many of whom are toted around in dog strollers by their diamond encrusted owners. They make me crazy. Any time we go shopping anywhere in town, there are sure to be small dogs with perfectly coiffed hair poking their heads out of bags emblazoned with designer logos. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s more how these small dogs are raised to be princesses and princes because I’ll admit that some of them are cute, but the yapping and the costumes and the cute little names all make me want to rip my hair out.
For now, we have our three aging cats to entertain (or annoy) us. One day, though, we’re going to have a big, fabulous, lovable dog for me to walk with who will love and protect our family. For years, this has been right up there with having a baby for me. Honestly. I grew up having dogs. I miss dogs in my life.
Once, J rescued a dog, and he was almost ours. He was this big beautiful black lab. J had been at the gas station nearest our home, and this gas station was right next to a busy freeway. She saw this dog, and he was clearly just barely a year old. He was bounding about, nearly getting hit by cars, so J asked the gas station attendants if they knew about the dog; they didn’t. He had no collar, no tags. So, she invited him to get into her little sports car, and she called me telling me she had a surprise. When she walked through the door, I was back in my office working, and I heard this thundering down the hall, which scared the shit out of me. Imagine my surprise when suddenly a big black dog, who was almost bigger than J, incidentally, was trying to climb up on my lap and licking my face. He was delightful.
Of course, we knew that he was clearly someone’s beloved pet. We entertained the thought that he may have been abandoned, but we made up signs to take back to the gas station as soon as I was finished prepping for class. In the meantime, the dog started to get sad. He kept putting his head on my lap and looking up at me with these big soulful eyes as if to say, “Can I go home now?” We began to think that maybe he had gone out for an adventure, and it hadn’t quite been what he had expected.
We finally made it back over to the gas station with the dog in my truck, and when we got there, they had a number for a woman looking for her dog. She was there in a matter of seconds, and we learned his name was Ruger. He licked her face and was happy to be back with his mom. We, on the other hand, were livid because not only did her dog not have tags, but he was left in a backyard with minimal fencing, unattended. This wasn’t the first time he had escaped. J lectured her a bit on responsible dog parenting, and we went home. It was sad to say goodbye to Ruger, but he wasn’t ours, and he clearly missed his mom. Not to mention our cats would have slit our throats in our sleep had we kept him.
Those are just a couple of many close calls we’ve had with getting a dog. Another involves almost being given a wolf puppy at a bar during Pride by a homeless woman, but that’s about as interesting as that story gets.
Now I’m off to look at pictures of dogs on our local Humane Society website. A girl can dream, can’t she?
**Please don’t take offense if you have small dogs or love small dogs. I am simply airing my prejudices. I can’t help it. Please know that I would never harm a small dog, nor any other animal. I don’t hate them; it’s just that the princess toy dog culture makes me twitchy. I love all the goddesses creatures, great and small, with some minor exceptions like ants, rats, cockroaches, large hairy men in thongs, etc.