just call me miss near-miss

February 25, 2013 | 1:53 pm

I added another heap of … something … to my plate when I adopted a dog this past weekend.

Sadly, it did not work out. I’m taking him back to the rescue organization, and trying not to feel like a monster/jerk/wimp.

This was a very nice, very cute dog. Also, a smart dog with a dark side. And a dog with a whirling-dervish chaos-making ability that is very surprising in a canine that should be middle-aged.

As the weekend progressed, even darker traits emerged, including snappy, lunge-y agression towards other dogs. And the stubbornness, oh, the stubbornness.

The Elderly Relative’s reaction veered from outright fear to annoyance to a luke-warm acceptance and back again. Even though the dog is small, he was putting John at risk by jumping at him and doing everything in his power to get at his food.

As I watched these minidramas unfold, grabbing at the dog’s collar and trying to steady and soothe John at the same time, I knew this was the wrong thing at the wrong time. It was a drumbeat in my head, this is wrong this is wrong. I made myself sick thinking my dark nighttime thoughts, feeling totally in over my head.

You might have seen this coming. I sort of saw it coming, too. I thought that it would all work out somehow — maybe overwhelming and instant love for this new roommate would make me move heaven and earth to make it all work. Maybe I’d magically be able to figure out all the impossible logistics specific to this situation.

But, no. Not only am I dealing with the questions/issues at hand, I’m queasily grappling with some bigger questions — am I cut out to be a dog owner? Or a pet owner at all? I watch the ease at which my boyfriend loves, accepts, and cares for animals — it’s effortless and beautiful. I adore dogs, but I feel the emotional investment I must make, the compromises, the work. I know that, given the right circumstance, that it would be worth it. But right now, I don’t have the juice to do it. Having an 86-year-old live-in pet (of sorts) can do that to a person.

I know that I am a pure amateur that stepped into a varsity situation. I may try again when I’m living solo again, can come and go more easily, can really carve the time out to do it right. Perhaps I won’t. I don’t know. Right now, there’s a little creature snoring next to me for whom I have complicated but honest feelings for, who (I hope and pray to all that is good) will find a real home, very soon.


One Response to “just call me miss near-miss”

  1. Jeana says:

    You are not a monster/jerk/wimp for caring about what is best for John (and yourself) right now. I think it’s pretty brave/awesome to recognize that this is not the right time/situation for a pet and saying, “No,” right now. Also, this comment needs one more slash so here’s a long distance hug/squeeze.