As for dogs, I'd always been thinking, "Hrm. Get a have-to-Housebreak, garden-digging, furniture-jumping-up-on-ing, crotch-sniffing, moon-howling, floor-piddling, antsy creature in the house." Honestly, I wasn't quite ready for that -- it seemed to be one small step away from having a baby.
Plus, dogs don't purr, so that was pretty much it.
"Um ... why?" he asked, somewhat suspiciously. It was said in that tone he usually reserves for when I say something like, "Honey, you know how I've always wanted to run off and join the Circus as a contortionist?"
I told him the story of my two new little friends. I was eloquent and impassioned. I indignantly expounded on the condition of the dogs, all sick and wet and bedraggled and stickery. I tenderly described how well behaved they were, and how sweet and loving -- all waggling stub tails and shivering, snuffly dog kisses. My summation was a thing of beauty. I reminded him that he'd been wanting a dog for some time, and that I hadn't been ready, but these dogs were special, and I thought maybe it would be a good time to get one, and at the same time, rescue a living being from Certain Death!
(I'm particularly proud of the "Certain Death" thing, by the way. Any time you can use "Certain Death" in an argument, things are pretty much over for the opposition. You should try it sometime.)
"Will you at least come down to the pound with me and see them?" I pleaded, using my best eyelash-batting technique. Hey, there were lives on the line here -- I was going to use every tool at my disposal. Generally, I save eyelash-batting as a complete last resort, but this time, it was important.
He still looked a little wary of the whole idea, but agreed that it couldn't hurt to go check them out.
And so we did.
On the drive down to the pound, I'm afraid I babbled a bit. Well, perhaps more than a bit -- I prattled on about how great the dogs were, and wait 'til you see them honey, they are the nicest sweetest dogs, seriously, you'll really like them, and having a dog will be nice and we can put up a fence together, and we can take them camping and play fetch and ... well. Suffice it to say that there was babbling, and prattling, and even a bit of incoherent jabber, and that I'm probably lucky it didn't kill the whole deal right then. But I really loved those dogs, so cut me a break. Let's move along now, shall we?
We went into the main office, got directions to the kennel where they'd put my pals, and wandered in there, looking for those familiar doggy faces.
"Here, Honey, here!" I cried out when I glimpsed them.
Can dogs recognize your voice after only a few hours? To this day, I don't know if they recognized me or my voice or were just happy to see people in general, but when they heard me, they both came up to the door of the cage and started jumping up and down excitedly. In a way, it makes me feel better to think they recognized me, so I think I'll choose that belief.
My husband walked over to the cage while I chattered at the dogs in baby talk. "Who's a good puppy? Who's a little fluffy man? Does he have the stickers out? Who's a good baby puppy dog?"
That's right, baby talk. You wanna make something of it?
Charlie, of course, being a man, limited himself to a "C'mere, dog," and "Sit."
We hung out with the dogs for a few minutes, allowing Charlie to get their measure, and, after a few "Bye bye, puppy, bye bye's" on my part (and a carefully disguised rolling of the eyes on his part, I'm sure), we left to go home.
I could hardly stand it.
"So ..." I began tentatively, "What did you think?"
"I liked the brown one," he said.
Uh oh. This was a twist I hadn't planned on.
"Not the black one?" I prodded. "Because, the black one is so nice, and it's a female so it won't need to pee on the couch and won't be quite as dominant...you didn't like the black one?"
"No, the black one's nice and all, but I like the brown one. He seemed more confident and friendly -- he came right up to me there in the cage. I just like him."
Good Lord, this was quickly turning into a crisis situation! The little black one was the one who had jumped into my lap, shivering, while the brown one stood stoically to the side. The little black one was the one who most wanted to be near me, and kept looking at me with her big brown eyes in the saddest way! I felt a bond with the little black one! I wanted the little black one! That was MY dog, MINE!
But he liked the brown one.
"Maybe we could just get them both, you know, I mean two dogs can't be that much more trouble than one, you know, and they're kind of small." I was panicking.
The look I got in response to that rather put to rest the hope of getting both of them. Well, hell, I knew we couldn't really afford two dogs, but I really loved that little black dog!
But he liked the brown one.
How was I going to get through this?
To be continued ...