It was a few weeks after the holiday rush had ended, the family get togethers died down and the long stretch of winter was ahead of us when Nick and I had a moment when we realized … we were bored. We had nothing overly exciting to look forward to, and we were ready to shake things up a bit.
Fast forward to a random Sunday when my mom and I were out shopping. I had to pop into Pet Co. for some food and litter for our precious Timmy. A rescue was set up with a number of dogs and I fell in love with a little lab mix named Daisy. I knew I couldn’t go through with adopting her though, because we had not talked about getting a dog (correction: we hadn’t talked about getting a dog as soon as that day), and my husband wasn’t there to make the decision with me. It just didn’t feel right.
But I left that store with my cat food, litter, a toy and an OVERWHELMING sense of panic. It hit me like a brick wall. I needed a dog.
Nick had begged me since we moved in together two years ago for a dog. But something held me back. We didn’t have a yard in our apartment. Timmy would be upset. We didn’t have time to train a puppy. You know how it goes. When you’re not ready for something, you’ll come up with 50 excuses as to why it’s not a good idea.
So when I told Nick I wanted a dog, he didn’t allow time to pass for me to rethink my decision. We spent the next few days looking up rescues for puppies and young dogs. Through my search, I ran across this face:
And it was over.
Nick and I picked up Oliver (now Opie—inspired from our favorite Sons of Anarchy character) on a cold, snowy Tuesday night in January. We drove down to New Philly with a collar, treats and a stuffed toy, and the second I laid eyes on that dog, I knew he was ours.
Opie turned our lives upside down for a while. Being only 8 weeks old, we had many a sleepless night, learned to spot clean our carpet in under 2 minutes and listened to him howl in his crate until I was brought to tears (I think Nick was on the verge once or twice too). But raising him has also been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I can only imagine the sense of contentment children will bring if I’m this happy with a puppy.
Now, three months from when we picked him up, I’m drinking coffee while he peacefully sleeps next to me. Our family room is scattered with toys, our floors have pawprint patterns on them (despite cleaning three times more often) and the circles under my eyes are a little darker. But the love and compassion he’s brought to our household is more than worth the mess that comes with it.
Opie came to us just when we needed him. And I often find myself thinking … who saved who?
We love you Opie.