We have been planning to get a dog for awhile, but the timing has never been right. First, we were living in NYC, and then a rental home. Now we are in our own home, but Asher has eczyma and we were advised by our pediatrician to put off pet ownership for a couple more years. We had two very fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants unplanned and unprepared pregnancies, but we have planned out the timing of our first dog for several years, complete with Internet research, physicians advice, and colorful Excel spreadsheets.
Growing up, my four sibs and I always had an interesting array of pets around the house, mostly named after Portland Trail Blazers and characters from
So, instead, we adopted the next door neighbor's dog. Sham was a friendly, active Golden Retriever who quickly grew to love us (at least we would like to think so) as much as we loved him. Our poor neighbors, the W's. The badgering we put them through....."Can Sham play?" "Can I take Sham for a walk?" "Can I feed Sham my Twinkie?" I would have built a REALLY big fence between our houses. Their love and patience with all five of us from toddlerhood through teenagedom still amazes me. They made Sham feel like he was our dog, too.
In fact, I think I told people that on occasion. "Do you have a dog?" "Well, yeah...uh...sort-of. He doesn't live with us all of the time, he lives next-door a lot, but I play with him and take him on walks and everything. Yeah, I totally have a dog."
And then, we had to say goodbye to Sham. Sham was a big, active dog, and our neck of Portland was becoming more citified by the day. Our neighbors decided that he needed more room to romp and found a nice farm family who would take him in. On the day he left, all five of us waved goodbye through our front window, noses scrunched against the tear-stained pane of glass.
Thinking back, maybe our neighbors were just tired of taking care of "our" dog for us. Or maybe Sham ASKED to leave because he didn't like me? Perhaps I'm a friend of dogs, but they're no friend of mine.