There’s no need to sugar-coat things—I’ve been going through it. I’ve experienced so much loss in the last several weeks, on top of the ongoing existential crisis I’m navigating in response to the inescapable and seemingly endless horrors that have become the norm.
And just in case I wasn’t experiencing enough chaos in my life, I impulsively decided to foster a 6-month-old puppy. Here are the two of us when I picked her up:
She didn’t have a name when I took her in, but she looked like a Lucy and she seemed to respond to it well. She was part of a litter that had been brought from Mexico, and she was the last pup left. Excitable, curious, and usually fearless, her tenacity and ability to pick up new skills brought a new sense of inspiration and brightness to me. Not leash-trained? No problem. Potty issues? We’ll work through it. Unsure of stairs? We’ll climb through them together. In the few days that I got to spend with her, I couldn’t believe how inspiring her sense of adventure was. I found myself walking her at all hours of the day and well into the dark night, unafraid just like her.
I had to give her up today, and it is easily one of the most heartbreaking experiences I’ve ever felt. Though we only spent a few days together, she taught me things about myself that I never knew I could value so much or needed. How could this little, young creature teach me so much in such little time?
Six years ago, I spent $30 on adopting my cat George. And by $30, that includes his adoption fee, vaccinations, microchip, and neutering. It’s the best $30 I’ve ever spent, and George isn’t just my pet, but also a family member who has melted the hearts of even the most stoic of dads.
I adopted George while I was going through a major transition in my life. I was two years into unpacking some heavy trauma, overmedicated, thinking about leaving medicine, and insecure about the future. When I think about that time, choosing to adopt a pet was a purely selfish one, but I also like to think that he chose me too.
Now, if I could only get him to enjoy being picked up…