Buying Your Rebound Dog

My daughter is home from her vacation with her dad’s family so today I took the day off from work and we looked at puppies. Just in case. She’s remained vehement about her desire to have a Yorkshire Terrier. I remain firm that 1)Yorkies are hyper and 2)they are prohibitively expensive.

So I took her to the puppy store to look at the Puggle (Pug/Beagle and MUCH cheaper) who I thought was adorable. Meanwhile I was feeling ethically guilty of getting a dog from a front for a puppy mill. She held the Puggle, but I could see her heart wasn’t in it. She gazed past that dog to the Yorkies on the other side of the store. Those particular Yorkies were hyper, male, and more than we could afford. I told her I was sorry, we were not getting a Yorkie. No way. She asked then if she could just get the wrinkled tan Puggle.

I caught myself then, luckily, recognized something in my thought process. How many times had I said.”No, this guy is GREAT, you’re going to love him.” Wow. Here I was again, trying to sway her to like someone I liked. Those days are over!

I told her no she could not get the Puggle, because she didn’t love the dog and spending 12-15 years is a long time to always be wishing you had waited for someone else. Settling for the first cute one that comes along has been a problem for me in the past (men, I mean). Worrying that no one else might show up. What if that was my last chance, I’d wonder.

I refused to continue to teach Ivy my unhealthy patterns. We left the store.

I expected a meltdown but she agreed, held my hand and said, “Good, because I really want a Yorkie.”

When I got home I searched the local classified ads online and surprisingly found Yorkies for sale, for the same “low” price as that Puggle in the store. The pups were raised in the house with their parents and siblings and humans. It was a miracle. So we went to check it out.

There were two females available, nine weeks old. A hyper one and another who was shockingly calm and quiet. I had no idea that breed could produce a pup with those traits. My daughter was in love immediately and thrilled. And frankly so was I.

We spent almost an hour there, playing with the puppy, and finally agreed that this was the puppy for us. Ivy named her Lily. Lily keeps trying to cuddle with Henry. He’s not very welcoming but I think he’ll warm up soon. He hissed twice but hasn’t scratched her with his chubby kitty claws.

So, lessons learned today? How can I translate this puppy experience to human relationships?

-It is better not to settle because the one you should spend your life with might be just around the next bend.

-If I ever do date again, which clearly I have no interest in presently, then I should be more open-minded. I was resistant to the idea of this breed because of my misconceptions. Perhaps there were men over the years who never crossed my radar for the same reason. Moot point though because Lily will keep me plenty fulfilled for some time.

-Listen to your children. Ivy has never wavered in what she wanted. And now that she has it, she is beyond happy.

-Don’t force your beliefs or choices on your children. Let them want what they want, and respect it.

-Don’t be afraid to change your mind, to admit you’re wrong, and to follow a new path.

I am enjoying my new path, enjoying using what I’ve learned from my mistakes to make this the best life it can be for me and for my little family, now larger by one.

Tracy L. Carbone is a Massachusetts native living with her daughter and a house full of pets. She works full time for a bank and does most of her writing on the train or late at night.

She is Co-chair of the New England Horror Writers and recently edited their Bram Stoker Award nominated anthology, Epitaphs, a creepy collection of horror stories and poems by the group’s authors including a handful of NY Times bestsellers.

Her first book, a YA mystery, The Soul Collector, was released by Shadowfall Publishing. It’s a mix between Stand By Me and X-Files (for the middle grade reader). She is available for school visits in the New England area.

Her horror and literary short stories have appeared in several anthologies and magazines in the U.S. and Canada. Please visit her Amazon page to purchase her works.

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