^Chandler & me 3.12.17 - basking in the sun
When we first had a chance of getting Chandler, the shelter coordinated a phone interview with the foster mom and me. I remember exactly what was happening when that call took place. It was a Friday night and my [soon to be] in-laws were in town. We had taken them out for drinks and appetizers at a downtown Portland spot and as much as I wanted to be totally engaged in their never failing, hilarious, raw banter - my eyes were glued to my phone, waiting for that scheduled call to come in at 7 PM. I had rehearsed and rehearsed in my head what I was going to say. How could I prove to this dog-loving, Chandler invested [he was actually "Max" at the time] foster mom that I would be the loving caretaker she was looking for? I hadn't owned my own dog yet, I worked full time and was away from home for 40 hours a week and I lived in a small downtown apartment with no yard. Good shelters always do the legwork in the hope that they are adopting this animal out to someone who will have it for life. Not for a season. Not for a few years. For life.
I had always envisioned myself being that type of owner but I wasn't sure how I could convey that to someone I've never met over a cell phone for a quick call.
As soon as I saw my screen light up, I manhandled my phone as Jay and his family gave me "you got this!!" smiles and nods. And there, out in the dark but vibrant park blocks, I made my case for my ability to take care of this dog for life.
She asked me about my work schedule.
Sure, I work full time but my office is only 2 miles from my downtown home. I can come home at lunch most days to see him!
Have I ever owned a dog before?
Well, does being a kid with a family dog count? I did that! I loved them as my own siblings and am anxious to graduate to have a canine who would be considered my kid and not my sister.
What would I do if I got a new job? A new life? A new situation?
Please trust me that I have dreamt of owning my own dog since I was a tiny girl. I promise that this dog will be my dog for all its days. Cross my heart. I believe in pets forever, not for now.
After about twenty minutes of pacing, hand motions and dramatic presentation - we said our farewells and I went back into the restaurant to share with everyone my positive gut feeling about how the call went. I felt that I had said everything I could in that short window. And now, I just had to wait for her to talk to the Oregon Humane Society and hopefully approve my adoption. Since that wiry-haired dog is now 3 years old and in the picture accompanying this post, I think you know how that story ended. :)
I think about that conversation often. And it makes me laugh. Not just because I remember every detail in my so-excited-oh-em-gee stupor, but because I wonder what the foster mom would think if she reflected back on it herself.
Cause, y'all* - I'm so in love with my dog.
Like forget me "being his owner for life!" or the fact that this little terrier has full health insurance, full preventative care coverage and basically is drowned in kisses 700 times a day. And just focus on the fact that I'm so obsessed with my dog it's almost maybe not healthy for him. I love him. I love being with him. I love talking to him. Walking with him. Playing with him. Cuddling with him. Blow-drying him. I just love him so much. And when he was scooting around Napa with us this weekend, chewing his tennis ball in the paramount estates of these palatial wineries, all I could think was that this dog could not get away from me if he tried.
And I wonder, maybe, just maybe, if in retrospect she would say - "holy h*ll lady, you overshot the runway. I get that you like him but give the poor dog some breathing room!"
Who knows? But what I do know is that I'm a woman of my word and there's no way in heck that Chandler and I won't be best buddies until the end of days.
*Not from the south, no right saying "y'all" but still gonna.