My whole life I have been obsessed with Corgis. They have these little legs (like me) and these larger than life ears (not like me) that add to their cuteness. I always wanted two and to name them Spaghetti and Meatball, or PB and J. But after my childhood animals had all passed, and a more resent fur baby of mine died unexpectedly, I told myself I never wanted to own an animal again. You play with them, you feed them, you take them do the vet, you move your schedule around so you can make sure they don’t have to hold their bladder. They become family, they become YOUR child… but they will never be with you your whole life. Already a sensitive person, the pain I knew that comes with loving something so hard that one day will not be there, I decided to just forgo that unconditional love to guard my heart.
And then I made a trip to a store one day.
It was like any other day, except there was a Petsmart next to the store I had planned to go. On this day there was a Petsmart employee outside holding a dog in her arms. As my roommate and I walked closer, these big ears grew larger and I realized it was a Corgi. I couldn’t help it and walked over to ask if I could pet it.
The employee said I could and she asked if I wanted to hold her. I looked at my friend with big eyes before agreeing and inquiring as to what she was doing holding the dog. She told me they were having an adoption fair. With out being pushy, she told me I should think about it; to which I replied that there was no way I could have an animal right now. The dog was a little timid, but let me hold her and didn’t fuss. I handed her back to the employee and told her thank you and my roommate and I went on our way.
(Holding her in Petsmart Feb 13, 2010)
The whole rest of the day I couldn’t get my mind off her. That night I tossed and turned. In the morning I called my mom, as I do with many big life decisions, and asked her what she thought. While she reminded me that it was a big responsibility, she would support whatever decision I made. So I asked her if she would support me by coming with me to the store to see if she was still there. (I love my Mom!)
And she was. Well, kind of. This lady from the adoption agency had her sitting on a table while she was brushing her fur. We went over to ask about her and the lady told us that she was about to be adopted. My heart sank. The lady pointed to a woman sitting on a stool who looked wrought with thoughts and decisions. Two little girls played with each other around her. “She’s thinking of adopting her, but she hasn’t made a decision yet,” the lady said.
I HAD made a decision though. Even though I had thrown it around for almost a whole day, I knew that moment I held the little fur ball I had already decided. So my mom told the lady we wanted to adopt her, no thinking needed. The lady asked us to give the woman ten more minutes to think as they informed her of her time limit. The woman got on the phone, still with a confused face. What seemed like an eternity later, the woman still hadn’t come to a decision so again, my mom walked over to the lady and said that if their goal was to adopt the dog out, shouldn’t they do just that instead of wait to possibly have some one adopt her? The lady went to the woman and told her she had to make her decision now.
After a bunch of dirty looks from that woman and papers signed, I walked out with her. Her papers said her name was Lucy with the nickname Lulu. I felt Lulu fit her better.
The first few months of owning her was fun. She peed (with a look of accomplishment) on my bed the second day I had her. She would run back and forth with my roommates dog and then hide behind the couch and poop. I would find underwear and bras in the hallway thanks to Lulu and she would want to destroy every stuffed thing I owned. But the one thing she did, was always want to be by me. She followed me everywhere. She followed me to Vegas and she followed me to LA. When I was gone, she would wait by the door for me looking sad. She loved me. I had saved her.
But in reality, she had saved me. So cliche to say that, but if you haven’t solely owned an animal you don’t realize how much a part of your lives they become. Over the last six years that I have had her, I have had my fair share of personal ups and downs. When my life just felt like it was falling apart, she was there nudging my hand with her nose or curling up right next to me. No matter what kind of day I am having, she still greets me with her high pitched barks (that almost sound like a robotic parrot) or runs in figure 8s in the house in happiness that I’m home. And even on my darkest days, I think about how she would feel if I never came home. I could never do that to her. The reason she was waiting for me outside Petsmart years ago was not a coincidence. It was useful reference fate.