My Favorite Mistake

I didn’t mean to get a dog.  I did it all wrong.  I did everything that you’re not supposed to do when choosing a pet.  Never, ever be lonely when you get a dog.  (I guess you could be lonely and get a cat.  That seems like an appropriate stereotype.)

I decided to go to the local humane society in an effort to pull myself out of a funk.  I’d just moved to southern Indiana for my first real grown up job.  I lived alone.  I missed my family.  I was fighting with my boyfriend a lot.  I was laying on the couch from the moment I got home from work until I went to bed at night until I got up to go back to work in the morning.  So on March 30, 2013, a Sunday, I decided to go to the local humane society because volunteering at the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago had made me so happy in law school.  I thought I would see if there was a local opportunity for me to have that feeling again.

When I arrived, my offer of help was pretty much brushed aside.  (In complete violation of my grandmother’s rule for non profit organizations:  NEVER TURN DOWN VOLUNTEERS.  They clearly had never met my grandmother.  Poor them.)  They did allow me to look at the dogs on site and let me take one for a walk.  Not a single one struck my fancy.  They were small, scraggly terrier-poodle things that were yelp-y.  I was on my way out the door, more depressed than ever, when the woman behind the desk said, “Wait.  Did you see Bambi?”

“What idiot names a dog Bambi?”  I did not say this out loud.  I have learned to control my mouth over the years.  What I did say was, “I’m not really interested in adopting right now.  It’s okay, I’ll come back another day.”  She prodded anyway, and a volunteer took me out to see this Bambi that everyone was cooing over.
And that was it.  Love at first sight.  The most beautiful dog I’ve ever seen.
My pretty girl the day I met her.
My pretty girl the day I met her.

Too skinny by half, all legs and big brown eyes, and silent in a loud kennel.  I had to take her out immediately.  I couldn’t stop myself.  We wandered up and down country lanes, me wondering “What am I doing?” and her pulling as hard as she could on the thin green leash.  By the time we sat down in an unused field of dandelions, my heart was completely lost.

She wouldn’t sit next to me.  Wouldn’t come near me.  Stayed standing by herself on the end of the leash, holding herself apart.  “Daisy, daisy, give me your answer, do.  I’m half crazy, all for the love of you.”  I had named her.  It was too late.

I took her back and checked her file.  She had been dropped off the day before.  “It was the saddest thing,” the woman told me.  “She was dropped off by a nine year old girl.  Dad wouldn’t even get out of the car and the girl just kept crying.”  The paperwork did, in fact, look like it had been filled out by a child.  Bambi was 11 months old and 24 pounds.  Her ribs could be counted through her thin fur and she couldn’t stand still, climbing on everything in the waiting room and watching the cats out of the corner of her eye.

I put down the deposit and they told me I could take her home in three weeks, once they’d taken her to the vet.

Worst decision I’ve ever made.  I don’t regret it at all.

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