What My Dog Taught Me About Love

By YourTango

dogs and dating
Breaking up and starting over with a canine in tow.

I wasn't ready. No one is ever ready. But my live-in boyfriend at the time kept sending me the links from Petfinder. The pictures were all adorable. They all needed a home. They all stared back with eyes that said "please adopt me." The more I stared at these images, the more I began to consider it. I thought, hey, if we can do this together, share the cost, hire a dog walker, and forgo the housetraining thing with an adult dog, how hard could this be?

The adoption agencies were tough. The initial paperwork aimed at weeding out the weak with questions like "what percentage of your annual income will you spend on dog food?" The people in charge of the adoption groups were crazy; crazy to the point where the mailbox at the "interview" house was shaped like a Boston terrier. I have no idea how, but we made it through. We had a brief introduction to the actual dog candidate (who was amazingly adorable), but the final meeting was more paperwork, ending with the awkward question: "If the nature of the relationship changes, who will be the primary owner of the dog?" At the time, we thought a custody conversation about the dog was funny. But of course we had to answer. My maternal instinct said "me." My lack of faith in my partner to properly care for this dog also said: "me." I could tell my boyfriend felt the same way. My name went down in pen.

And, tellingly, I was the only one home when our new dog arrived (my partner was conveniently on a business trip). It was painful. The dog ran around the house nervously, circling over and over. When it was time for the dog's foster parent to leave and officially turn over the reins to me, he ran after him and cried by the door. And then, to my horror, my new dog ran upstairs to the only carpeted area and took a huge dump.

Next: A few months and a breakup later...

More Juicy Content From YourTango:

PARTNER POSTS