Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Be Careful What You Put Out Into the Universe...

... because you JUST MIGHT GET IT!

I guess I should preface this 'tail' (bwahahahah) by saying that a few months ago, I readThe Secret and while I don't put all my stock in the ridiculously blatant humanistic/new age philosophies that are screaming for acceptance on every page, I DO think it raises a lot of interesting concepts I believe are true about life.

In a nutshell, 'The Secret' is about self fulfilling prophecy. Its about only getting out of life what you expect to get, and how ultimately your attitude actually physically shapes your destiny. If you expect your experience to be positive, if you live your life as if you are going to achieve everything you set out to do (even if you don't know how you are going to do them), the doors open. That's the nutshell, wayyyyy abbreviated version, anyway.

That said, again, I am NOT sold on all the principals of the book. But I am fascinated by the concept, and recently I've been (half jokingly) making note of all the things I've successfully 'attracted.'

My most recent example being our dog.

I know I've blogged about the crazy devil dog before, and ranted about his infinite energy level, endless puppy-hood, and amazing intelligence all of which we simply do not have the lifestyle to manage in order to make him a good family dog.

Don't get me wrong... we do what we can. I take him running with me at the very least twice a week, and he is always in tow on the occasion we make a weeknight family outing to the park. But its just not enough. Labs are (apparently) quite needy. They desire constant and fierce companionship. If their needs are unmet... they act out like the evil stepchild that locks you in the house then lights it on fire. So here we are a year later... with a cute widdle puppy-wuppy grown into a giant dog that is too much a part of our family to part with, yet demanding time and affection that we can not afford in our current lifestyle.

So we started brainstorming. I mentioned it to a few people as it came up, and other dog owners with similar working-class, child rearing, all together chaotic lifestyles seemed to say the same thing: get another dog.

It sounds completely illogical to me on many levels, not to mention impractical for the obvious reasons (more food, more poop, more vet bills, more barking/digging/chewing, GAH! STOP THE INSANITY!).
And yet... the more we watched as Diego obsessed over any and every doggie friend he saw at the park, and the more we realized that the issues he is having is a result of his loneliness that we are downright incapable of nurturing at this point... the more of a temptation it was to experiment with the idea.

The big problem was, of course, what if we get another dog that is EQUALLY as unmanageable in completely different areas, and then we just have an even bigger mess that we can't get out of because, lets face it, you just can't take a dog back to the pound once you've let your children name it.

So, we discussed the prospect, weighed the pros and cons and decided it might be worth trying, and then we forgot about it.
Until last week, when I was playing with the kids at the park, and this came trotting out of the wilderness:

Since I was among the slew of daycare kids, some of which are not particularly fond of giant slobbery monsters with sharp teeth and claws (imagine), my immediate reaction was "SHOOOOO! Go HOME! Get out of here!" followed by complete annoyance at the audacity of some people who let their dogs run free in the midst of small children without being close by enough to intercede when need be.

But I looked around, and there was no one. And Fido collapsed in the bushes at a safe distance, panting in the hot mid day sun. I figured as long as he was minding his own business, we would just ignore him, which is exactly what we did. Until it was time to head home... and despite my persistent booing and hissing, he trotted good naturedly at a safe distance behind us, right up the driveway and into the garage where he plopped down on a rug and gave a little whine.

That's when it first occurred to me he might be lost. I didn't have time to deal with it at the moment (what? I tooootally need another dog to be too busy for!), so I figured at the very least I could get Diego a play date out of the situation until I had time to deal with it. So I opened the side door to the dog yard, threw a cookie in, and slammed the door behind him before he had a chance to argue.

After the kids were fed and napping, I wandered out to see how things were going, and ponder my next step. The dogs were playing so hard they didn't even notice me... so I filled up the water bucket and then set to work text messaging all the neighbors I could think of in hopes of finding the rightful owner.

One neighbor thought it might belong a street over... so I went back out to the yard and turned him loose, encouraging him down the street in the direction of his presumed home. He didn't leave the driveway. In fact, he tried to follow me in the house. But I slammed the door.
An hour went by, and there was a knock. It was another neighbor, who lives next door to the house I thought this dog belonged to. He wanted to know if I lost my black dog. I told him my story, and that I presumed the dog belonged on his street which he in turn assured me he knew all the neighbor dogs on his street and this was not one of them. He said he figured he belonged to us because every time he approached the dog, he ran back to our house.

HE RAN BACK TO OUR HOUSE, people. C'mon, how can you deny that?

So... here we are, almost a week later... with 2 dogs still stomping around and playing non stop in their little dog yard on the side of the house. We put up fliers on the mailboxes and in the surrounding cross streets, and posted an add on Craigslist too. Nobody has claimed the mystery pooch.

Its a sad thing, too, because this is a NICE DOG. He sits, he stays, he comes... he is WAY mellow. He doesn't bark or chew... and since he's been here, Diego hasn't done either of those things either. This dog even POOPS in one dainty little corner of the dog yard, so as to keep things tidy.
Um... thank you, 'universe'?

I am certain that someone is missing him very much. I'm figuring he either jumped out of the back of some one's car, or else escaped from his yard somehow and wandered too far from home? He was found with a choke collar but no I.D. tags. I really wish we knew how to return him, it feels kind of wrong having such an ideal situation literally just come looking for us. I feel guilty for wanting to keep him so much, too. OK, there I said it. I want to keep him (and I'm not the only one).

So, I've been holding off posting this and telling most people, because there's still the chance (or even the likelihood) that someone will come forward.

But in the mean time, we are enjoying his company very much, and I know Diego loves him even more than we do. I took Diego out for my usual 3mile run on Saturday morning and practically had to drag him the whole second leg of the trip. He is plum tuckered out from all the frolicking!

So, I am thinking if nobody claims him by Saturday (is that too soon?), we are taking the plunge, buying him a collar and naming him Cosmos .

"Stay, Cosmos."

Has a nice ring to it, no?


Steph said...

see, ive been telling you how good it would be with two:) im happy you found such a good boy. and you would be surprised at how people will dump perfect;y sweet, well behaved dogs... so maybe you are just lucky!

Sarah Griffin said...

yeah, maybe with the whole economic crisis people are in someone couldnt afford to take care of him, maybe they were losing their home or something and left him somehwere where they thought he might have a good chance of finding someone nice to take care of him! anyways... yeah seems totally irrational that a 2nd dog would help, but seems your fellow dog lovers were right! hope you get to keep him... looks like he just fits right in.

The Bitchy Wife said...

Oh, Beth!! You have to take down all of the fliers you posted NOW!! He is SO cute and adorable, and obviously had really crappy owners if they haven't come to claim him by now anyways. Welcome to their family, Cosmos!