Most weekdays I watch Daily Blast Live. It’s based in Denver, so the panelists/hosts are practically my neighbors. Today they mentioned that it’s National Dog Day, and when the credits rolled they included pictures of staff members’ dogs. It left me close to tears.
You may recall I lost my beloved Annie last September, and life hasn’t been the same since. Every picture or story of people seems to include their dogs. Everybody that walks by seems to have a dog. Every mention of Colorado seems to include a reference to its dog-friendliness. There are dogs in every commercial, every tv show, every movie. Or so it seems.
With few exceptions, such as my years in apartments, I’ve always had a dog. The last year without one — without Annie — has passed without an anchor, without a reason to be home or come home. Without a reason to even get off the couch. (A cat doesn’t count. Rowdy is a whole different thing.)
Lots of indecision. At my age (79) do I really want all the responsibilities of dog ownership? Can I physically manage one, giving it the time, attention, and exercise it needs? Would it be fair to adopt a dog that would have to be rehomed again if I predecease it? Or if it should die first, do I want to endure that searing, gut-rending grief again? Do I want to again go through the routine of getting a new dog — an older one — settled in, used to the routine, not getting me up at night, etc?
With Annie I sometimes felt guilty for not wanting to get up and play when she seemed to want to. I often felt guilty for being reluctant to get up and let her out when she wanted out … or in. So how would I feel about getting up even more often with a new dog?
I’ve just read that National Dog Day was established to encourage the adoption of more dogs. Talk about getting a nudge, a push, in that direction. I’ve had dog rescue groups bookmarked on my browser since last winter. I managed to stop checking them every day, but every few days is still pretty common. Maybe two or three times I’ve seen “the dog,” but dawdled too long and it disappeared. And in any case, I’d have no application or request already on file with the rescue group and thus was several days or weeks away from approval to adopt. Nor can I complete an application without one or more personal references, and I have put off asking for those.
So here I sit, still undecided about adopting another dog (and, meanwhile, getting older by the day) while reminding everyone else to adopt a dog. Adopt, don’t shop. Or at least show your current pup a little extra appreciation today.