I Don’t Want A Dog

I never had any desire to have a dog. Cats were ok, easy to take care of, and you could leave them alone for the weekend with food and water and a clean cat box, and they were still alive when you got home. I grew up with dogs being outside pets, and the last thing I wanted was a puppy to potty train and chew on everything in our new house.

“I really think we need a dog for you, honey,” he said. “You are home alone a lot, and I would feel better if we had a dog to protect you.” He said the dog was for me, but I didn’t want a dog, so really, the dog was for him.

He brought me newspaper advertisements for puppies, and researched different breeds of dogs on the Internet.

“We should get a medium-sized dog, one that isn’t too hyper in the house, but not a stupid dog, you know?” he said. “There are border collie pups for sale not far from here. This article says they have good temperaments and are very trainable. They are at the top of the list for intelligence.”

Why didn’t he understand that I didn’t want a dog?

“Let’s take a drive out there this Saturday and take a look at the pups,” he said.

I consented to go, understanding he really needed a dog. There are things we must do for the ones we love.

We drove down the long gravel driveway leading to a large run down farm. The house was falling apart and peeling paint, and there was farm equipment scattered randomly, looking like it had been left where it broke down. The lady who greeted us had about two teeth left in her mouth, and then we saw the puppies.

There were three tri-colored pups with black, tan, and white markings, and two fluffy gray and white pups. As I picked up each one, I noticed welts and bruises. They were weak, and moving slow, but they gave us happy smiles and wagging tails. I could tell they were dehydrated and suffering from malnutrition, and my first reaction was to get the heck out of here. I looked at my husband, giving him the sign we should leave, but he kept on holding tight to one of the pups. I had placed each one into his arms, one at a time, and he had wanted to hold this puppy again. She had the tri-colored markings of her mother, fewer welts and bruises than the others, and was very sweet.

He looked at me with big sad eyes, and I knew we would be taking her home. I got out the checkbook and paid the old lady. She swore the dogs were purebreds and had been fed top-of-the-line food. She gave me the puppy’s papers, and the three of us headed home.

I looked at the papers, not really caring if she was a purebred or not, but curious. I looked at the date the litter was born, and to my surprise the date was on my birthday in May. I decided to name her May. She was my dog after all, right? I could name her what I wanted.

It’s funny, I have to thank my husband for insisting we get a dog for me, because she truly did become my dog. She’s become my closest friend and guardian angel. I no longer have a husband, but I have this loyal animal that will always love me and never leave me. I won’t say she was easy, as border collies are energetic and need to run and play. They are herd dogs, and are most happy when they have a task to do.   We’ve been together ten years now.   We’ve been through puppy obedience school, agility classes, and moved to many different places together. I can’t begin to explain what a privilege and a joy it has been watching her grow, training her, disciplining her, loving her. Her eyes never leave me, and she constantly tries so hard to please me. How could I not be pleased? She is my heart and soul, my forever companion, my May.


Author Notes

13 Comments for “I Don’t Want A Dog”

reigny dai

says:

Heartwarming. My gut sank when I read you no longer have a husband, but your dog is still with you. You could not have picked a more appropriate name. You made me love May.

RissRyker518

says:

This was truly a beautiful, heartwarming story, Rebecca. I laughed at the part where you talked about cat “…and they were still alive when you got home. ” Dogs have a way about them that makes it impossible not to respond to the love have for us. Sometimes even making you feel like you don’t deserve such love and loyalty. I still can’t look at a picture of my little Timber who I lost recently without crying my eyes out. GREAT story, enjoyed very much.

Mary Cooney-Glazer

says:

May is so well described. I could see her her in your husband’s arms.
Your wrote abut your feelings beautifully. May sounds like an amazing companion. I really do think there is a lot about the human- animal connection that remains undiscovered. Wishing you more happy years together. Mary

says:

Great story, Rebecca. I’ve had dogs, so I can understand. I just knew you were going to end up loving the dog.

I agree with Anisa on the two issues she picked up on, except I knew who “he” was right away. It sounded to me like something a husband would say. LOL

Good one.

Lina

says:

I remember this story. Nice to see it posted again. Very sweet tale about your dog, Becky. My grandmother used to have a border collie too named “Lady” many years ago and my sisters and I used to throw food to her for her. My Grandma didn’t and couldn’t take too good of care of Lady and she sadly died. I wish she had let someone else take care of her for her.

Michaela

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Hi Becky,

I remember loving this piece in the last WC, so I’m glad you posted it here. It was/is a good read. As a lover of dogs, I’m horrified at the condition in which you found those pups, and wonder how many of May’s brothers & sisters lived.
Dogs are funny creatures- to an outside viewer, they’re nothing more than trained animals. Yet to those who own and appreciate them, they’re not animals, they are full blown members of the family- with souls and hearts, feelings and oddities all their own. They’re dogs, and we wouldn’t have them any other way.

loved the post!

Tim

Anisa Claire

says:

Hey Rebecca,

Beautiful piece. We find friendship where we wouldn’t assume sometimes. I’m an animal lover and have a small herd of them… Lol. But I will say that puppies are trying. Cute as heck, but you need a lot of patience for them.

“I really think we need a dog for you, honey,” he said. – We have no idea who ‘he’ is. In a new paragraph, you need to let your reader know who people are.

The lady who greeted us had about two teeth left in her mouth, and then we saw the puppies. – This doesn’t really go together. You go from giving a description of the lady who approached to seeing the puppies. It’s a bit jarring. You might want to finish your thought on the lady and then move to the puppies.

You don’t actually say who ‘he’ is until the bitter end. I had no idea you were talking about your husband until the last paragraph.

Anisa

says:

LOL. It is good to get an objective reader’s thoughts here. I could easily include that “he” was my husband earlier in the piece. I think that was a personal subconscious choice of mine. Also, I wanted the “jarring” change of focus between the horrible vision of the woman(and farm) and the sweetness of the pups.

I did get some interesting comments on this piece as it was published in The Edge Magazine-A Holistic magazine. Many were directed towards the condition of the pups, and did I report this incident and puppy mill? Others enjoyed the sentiment toward dogs.

Thank you for your insight and edit suggestions. I appreciate it. 🙂

Anisa Claire

says:

I was thinking it might be a subconscious thing. But as a reader, it’s not only confusing, but also hard to connect with a piece with it so removed as just being ‘him’.

Also, the issue wasn’t the jarring difference in visuals, I get that you wanted to paint that picture. It was the two being in the same sentence together. It’s like your thought was incomplete and read as though you were going to say more about the woman. That stopped my read completely, took me right out of the moment, and made me re-read the sentence about seven or eight times before my brain could move on.

Anisa

charles stone

says:

I have a dog all my life. I love, love, love dogs and I died a little each time I lose one. Man’s best friend no doubt. Nice.

says:

I don’t even want to imagine May’s passing… I have never had such a close relationship with a dog before. Seriously, she has been my angel through some very trying times. It will crush me. So glad you enjoyed this piece!

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