You might remember that a few weeks ago, I bought a houseplant.
If you don’t maybe this will remind you:
Well I am sorry to tell you that three days after I bought Watson, I returned him.
Now, Watson was a great plant. And we had some really great times together during those three days. He didn’t do anything wrong.
But he had to go.
You see, I did a little research and learned that Watson, a Dracaena, was actually toxic to dogs.
Why was this a big deal?
Because I got a dog!
I’ve had her for a month now. I’m sure that I am going to write about her frequently in the future, but for now, here are a few things I wrote down in our first few days together.
Day 1 : Brandon arrives with the dog.
Brandon was one of the guys who I lived with last summer in Las Vegas, and since has become one of my best friends. I quit playing professionally after last summer, but Brandon grinds on, traveling the world as he does so.
This summer, he and his housemates had found a scared and shaking dog outside of their Vegas house. She was emaciated — clearly underfed and mistreated, as she is still scared of some people and most other dogs. She had no collar, and when they brought her to the vet, they scanned her for a microchip, but she didn’t have one.
Brandon christened her “Sparky*” and kept her for the six remaining weeks that he was in Vegas. But he knew that he wouldn’t be able to keep her, as he is in a different country every two months or so, which is obviously not conducive to keeping a house pet.
*I wasn’t initially thrilled about the name “Sparky” for a female dog. After much debate, I ultimately changed her name, much to Brandon’s chagrin. But I still find myself sometimes calling her “Sparky,” which I given to her as a middle name — rarely used, but still an offer of respect to the man who saved her.
He reached out to a few people, but couldn’t find anyone to take her.
During the middle of one of our texting conversations, he mentioned her to me:
I had been wanting a dog for a few years now. Growing up, I had two dogs. They were both medium-sized dogs. And I guess that is what I envisioned myself getting: a loyal, medium-sized, mellow companion.
And I assumed it would be a boy.
So Sparky wasn’t exactly the kind of dog I had in mind. On top of that, I was still thinking that I’d wait another 6-12 months before I got a dog, having just moved in to a new apartment and starting a new job.
But I knew it would break Brandon’s heart to bring her to a shelter without having explored all possible avenues.
So I agreed to take her for a trial period to see how things went. Before he returned to his home in Maryland, he would make a stop at my apartment to drop her off. If we weren’t a proper fit for each other, or if I decided that I really wasn’t ready for a dog, we would find somewhere else for her to go… even if that meant bringing her to a shelter.
But I was already pretty damned excited to meet her. I had tons of questions about the dog. Was she spayed? Was she energetic? Did she bark?
I asked all of these questions via text messages as I walked up and down the aisles of Petco, just minutes after Brandon first mentioned her. I was in full-fledged dog mode, but I would have to wait nearly three weeks to meet her.
* * *
On July 24th, Brandon arrived with Sparky the dog.
The question as to whether or not she had been spayed was immediately answered.
Her vagina was huge.
During her trip across the United States, she began (what we assume to be) her first heat. There was a decent amount of blood all over Brandon’s car — a small preview of what my apartment would soon look like.
“Yea, that was fun to deal with,” Brandon said. “And I can’t believe we weren’t sure that she was a girl at first. Look how big it is now.”
She spent the first few minutes in my apartment investigating her new surroundings, her possible new home.
And, regardless of whether or not it would be her new home, she claimed it anyway by peeing in the hallway.
This was the first of about a dozen accidents she had in the first two weeks, and she spread it pretty evenly between #1 and #2. Though her #1’s were more like #1.5’s because of the addition of blood from her poor vagina.
But even though she made a bad first impression, she was so damn cute while she did it.
She likes to walk while she pees. This, I assume, to make the most of what little amount of urine she is able to carry around, and to be able to claim as much territory as possible.
It was the first of many examples through which I would come to learn that she is inexplicably her cutest when she is being bad. During moments in which I am supposed to be mad at her, she takes the puppy-dog-face to an entire new level.
“Why were you so bad so soon?” Brandon asked the dog sharply. “We’ve only been here for five seconds!”
She just looked up at him with curious eyes, which only took about two seconds to deflate the situation and reignite his love for the little creature.
“You’re so goddamned cute, Sparky,” he said, rubbing her head.
Brandon was tired, having just driven across the entire country in the past few days. So after a couple beers and some catching up, I inflated the air mattress for him and went into my room, closing the door behind me.
I would let him have one last night with her.
* * *
A few hours later, I woke up and had to pee.
A couple beers does that to me.
I went to the bathroom, without incident. But when I returned to my bedroom, I forgot to shut my door.
As I drifted back to sleep, the dog came prancing into my room and jumped onto my bed, quickly assuming a cuddling position under my arm.
“Hello there,” I said.
She responded by lifting her head, yawning, and carefully putting her chin back on my arm.
And just like that, I knew I was going to keep her.
I was in love.