Wednesday, February 20, 2008

You were always on my mind


You were always on my mind.

For years now, I've had puppies on the brain. I have nagged, cajoled, whined, pleaded and pouted for almost three years now. Then, once Ben agreed to get dogs after we had the prerequisite house, steady income and backyard, something stopped me. I couldn't get dogs now.

They would be all alone. They would be sad. They would tear up the house. Ben would freak out over pee on the new(ish) carpet. They'd electrocute themselves on wires. They'd cost us hundreds of dollars in vet bills. They would whine and cry all night and bark all day.

They would snuggle right under my chin. They would treat me to hot puppy breath and lick my nose every hour of the day. They would curl up in my lap, prance across the carpet and frolic through the yard. They could lay in the basket I've been saving for three years, curled up in a soft blanket as I spent the day writing away.

As everyone knows, I love to punish myself. It's my favorite thing to do. I would have been a fabulous Puritan, except for the whole witch-burning thing. So I made rules. We couldn't get a dog until I was published and could work full time from home. If that didn't work, we couldn't get a dog until we had children. It wasn't right to get a dog now, I told everyone. They'd be lonely.
We weren't home enough. It just wasn't right.

Well, almost two years later, I still don't have a book deal. A lot of hope, a lot of interest and a lot of faith I'll succeed someday--but no fat advance and editorial line up with a publishing house. No agent. No deal. And we're still a ways from having babies. Babies are cute and all, but the only thing I want to carry in my arms is fuzzy with a wagging tail. Besides, I reasoned, getting babies and puppies at the same time was a recipe for disaster.

The other night, I was whining to Ben about why I needed puppies. Whether he was fed up to hearing about it or just being logical, I'll never know. He turned to me and said, "Well, why not get him?"

Why not? Well, because....the words died on my lips. All my excuses seemed like...excuses.

"After all," Ben reasoned. "If you want to get two and all the experts say it's all right to leave them home, why not? Like you said, there's no perfect time. Getting a book deal like that's a one in a million shot, regardless of your talent. It's all about the money. Why torture yourself?"

For once in my life, I was speechless. It didn't last long.

After discussing it, we decided to be responsible puppy buyers. We would research and look into getting puppies. There would be no frenzied trips to the pet store or desperate dashes to a backyard breeder.

I don't know when exactly we'll carry home our two squirmy bundles of joy or whether they'll come from Longview or San Antonio. I'm not sure whether I'm ready for the increased cleaning and responsibility that comes along with puppies. I don't know if my father will ever set foot in my house with "rats" running around or if we'll ever go on a vacation because Ben will use three sets of big eyes to guilt me into staying home. (The man is a hermit crab.) I don't know about the vet bills or coming home and finding Ben's favorite shoes destroyed.

But I do know that my life has been free of puppy tails and furry paws for too long.

You were always on my mind.

6 comments:

Mom said...

I can't wait til you get them. I love puppies and they will be just like mini-me for Ace.

Mama K said...

I JUST CAN'T WAIT. ACE WILL HAVE PLAYMATES... AS LONG AS THEY KNOW AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE IS THE KING - NOW AND FOREVER.

Marie said...

Ohh, how wonderful!!! I would love, love, LOVE to have two little white pups like that! I have faith that a book deal will come your way sooner rather than later. I cannot believe you haven't been snapped up already!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for you to get them!! It's about time you stopped punishing yourself! :)

Emma Sanders said...

I think you'd do fine with puppies. I think you need them...maybe they'll boost your creativity even more! And puppies offer love and acceptance that nothing or no one else can. I'm glad you're being responsible and actually waiting instead of doing what so many do: get a puppy then abandon the poor thing, but don't punish yourself and make excuses. It's like having a baby...there's never a good time if you keep waiting. :-)

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