Frozen Feet

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I’ve purchased two houses in the Bay Area. For those not from this part of the world, this translates into a honking amount of debt and a lot of responsibility—financial and otherwise. Oddly, in neither case, likely due to stupidity or ignorance, did I experience the typical cold feet and buyer’s remorse that everyone else experiences. I wasn’t quite sure what people were talking about when they described these feelings of panic and nausea.  But then I said yes to that puppy and now it was all falling into place for me.

 

My feet weren’t just cold, they were frozen solid.

The problem started, most likely, because I couldn’t take the pup home with me soon after the open house. The litter would stay together and all be spayed and neutered before anyone would be released.

This left plenty of time for me to stew in my neurotic juices. There was no adorable puppy roaming the premises to reinforce that the sacrifices I was about to make would all be more than worth it. Instead, there was just the theoretical responsibility of a high maintenance puppy taking on a life of its own in my head. So the fact that I eventually nudged myself over the edge wasn’t exactly a big surprise.  

It was innocent enough. B. forwarded me a friendly email with an article she found online about a nice couple who adopted a nice couple of Greyhound puppies. The woman half of this couple, while not complaining exactly, chronicled the endless and massive number of times these creatures pee. She described in detail a home ripped apart and the personal sacrifices, like sleep, that come with the “joys” of raising Greyhounds. In the end, she added something forced and cheerful like, “Take pictures of this sleepless blood bath because it’ll be over before you know it. Ha, ha ha!!”

At the end of the article, which I could barely finish reading, I had a full blown, flop sweat panic attack.

When I came to I decided I just couldn’t do it. I would not let a dog destroy my house. I would not let a dog eat my Adidas Trail Runners. But most of all, there was no way any dog would get in the way of my REM sleep. It was there that I drew the line.  For me, the world without sleep is a world I’m better off not occupying. I picked up the phone to call Dee.

It is here that I should tell you that somewhere along the lines B. had given me the name of a very nice woman who knew a thing or two about Greyhound pups. Dee had raised dozens of pups from scratch (AKC show Greyhounds) as well as adopting rescues. When it came to pups, Dee was the Man.  We began talking early in the process so, by now, Dee had a sense of me so I could let loose.

“I love my home. And I can’t live without sleep. I can’t do this…I…”

Dee interrupted me, “These people are idiots. Who lets a dog rip their entire house up and eat all their shoes?”

“They did!”

Dee reassured me, “Calm down. It’s gonna be fine. The problem you need to focus on is how LLewis is going to react. Because if your cat can’t handle the puppy and you have to give that puppy back you will be, and I guarantee it, broken hearted.”

Dee was right. I was freaking out and obsessed about some stupid article online. She also added that this should be a happy time. A little scared is fine. But more scared than excited, I need to look deep within on that one.

I sat silently on the other end of the phone.

“You there?” she asked.

I bit off the last remaining nail left on my last remaining finger that still had a nail. “I’m here.”

“I don’t want you doing something you don’t want to be doing but hear me out. Raising a Greyhound pup is an opportunity of a lifetime and it won’t come around very often. I’d hate to see you let that slip away because you got scared off by some bozos who wrote an article. So promise me you’ll take a few deep breaths before you do anything.”

Dee was a Greyhound angel from heaven and I’d never even met her. She was wise in general and specifically about this breed.

“I promise” I said. “And thank you. You know you’re the best.”

“Nah” she said, “I’m just old and know stuff.”

I went to bed and, like Dee said, did nothing—except breathe.

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