Almost a month ago, an eight-week-old puppy named Leni came into my life. She’s cute as a button, sleeps a lot, loves to watch Anthony Bourdain on television and thoroughly enjoys chicken. And she’s a purebred cocker spaniel.
But before you label me a cashed-up irresponsible asshole, let me explain.
As a couple, my boyfriend and I had been planning for Leni’s arrival for a long, long time. Almost a year, in fact.
It’s included moving houses to live somewhere that is larger and closer to a park, months of ‘rainy day savings’ should she ever need any emergency vet treatment, considering how much time we can offer a pet each day, looking at our work arrangements, questioning why it was we even wanted a pet to begin with, and perhaps most importantly, countless visits to rescue dog homes.
We trawled websites. We downloaded apps. We set up alerts. We phoned ahead. We waited in lines. We went out every weekend morning thinking that this would be the day we would finally welcome a dog into its forever home but without fail, every afternoon we would arrive back at home broken and dejected, feeling like we'd just been dumped. As though we'd told someone we love them and they'd responded by saying they want to start seeing other people.
It was so defeating.
I thought there was an abundance of rescue dogs out there that need responsible owners. That rescue groups dream of people like me and my boyfriend and loving homes like ours.
And as I've learned, I think both of those things are true, but that doesn't mean the dog that suits what you can offer is always available. And if it is available, about 50 other people within the same metropolitan area are also calling, emailing, and jumping in the car to go and meet them.