By Tracy L Carbone
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.
This morning I took Henry, my obese black cat, to the vet for his annual check up. Henry’s great, getting a little slow as he ages, but he doesn’t fill my yearning for a dog. While waiting for him to be called in, I noticed a young couple with an elderly black lab. Both the man and woman had tears in their eyes so it was obvious why they were there. Eventually they were called into the examination room. A few minutes later the humans emerged, crying, without their dog.
Henry was fine by the way, and the vet, still surely saddened by her last patient’s outcome didn’t even give me flack about Henry’s weight. Once I took my cat home, I hugged him hard, then rushed out to drown myself in puppies.
Ivy is visiting with her dad’s family for a week. Missing her, and with the heartbreaking events at the vet, I needed some puppy time.
I stopped by a local puppy store which specializes in mixed designer breeds-YorkiePoos, Morkies, Chi-Poos, and lots of others with Combo names I can’t remember. I walked in and the clerk said to put hand sanitizer on and go sit on the floor. I did and about a dozen puppies jumped all over me. It was intoxicating. This is the Canine adoption equivalent of Speed Dating I bet, not that I’ve tried that. By the end of the meet and greet session I came dangerously close to bringing home the little Chi-Poo, who looked like a mix of Chocolate Lab, Dachshund and Poodle.
I refrained, reminding myself that this time I’d vowed to take it slow, and that anyone can be super charming for ten minutes. Also, since Ivy hasn’t had a say in my past relationships, I figured she needs to be there to help choose the next someone who will be in our life for the next 12-15 years.
Afterwards, I went to the town animal shelter, where it’s easier to walk away because most of the dogs there are older, or sick or have behavioral issues. There’s a stark contrast between the high-bred expensive puppies who know they’re young and cute and have the world by the tail, and the ones in the shelter, many of whom were once those puppies, now discarded. They are sad, beaten down, a lot of them, by life.
It was like the difference between talking to high school seniors who just know they’re going to set the world on fire,who have the “My Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades” attitude. Compared to people who have reached middle age and are asking, “What happened to my life?” Maybe that’s the problem with my trying to date now, at 42. In my 20’s everyone had a lot more enthusiasm. Now they’re just downtrodden. Not everyone, just the ones I seem to attract. Hence, the moratorium on human dates.
There was one dog I saw, an old Beagle. He’s been there a long time with his best Beagle friend. It could be his brother I’m not sure. They have to be adopted as a set. At my age, a lot of men have those same restrictions, be it with exes you have to deal with forever, or their parents, extended families… A lot of those men remain “unaopted” as well. And I feel badly for them but won’t take them home either.
I went home and ate a healthy lunch and patted myself on the back for making it through another day without getting a dog, or a boyfriend, or eating copious amounts of chocolate. I did have one glass of Chocolate Wine over a friend’s house and it was amazing! I highly recommend it if you like that sort of thing. As she said, “It’s like chocolate milk without the phlegmy stuff.”
TIme for bed now after a busy day.
Enjoying my new life very much so far. Feeling renewed enthusiasm.