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To dog or not to dog...

I want a dog. Like...really badly. Badly enough that I looked at the local Humane Society website. Badly enough that I know that I can’t go meet that dog, because I’d want to adopt him. “Just adopt him!” you might be thinking. I wish I could, but I can’t financially support a dog right now, and dogs aren’t allowed in my current living quarters. Also, I don’t know if I’m ready to settle somewhere yet, and having a dog would likely make it more difficult to roam the country and world. (I need to do some research on traveling with a dog!) But, man. I want a dog. I was thinking about why I want a dog so badly. I think, mostly, it’s because I love to feel loved (and need to feel loved), and dogs give me that. They love unconditionally and are incredibly easy to love back. Not much makes me happier than when a dog seems to like me--it seems to validate my existence. Also, after living with two dogs for the past year and a half, there now seems to be a void in my life where they existed. I miss them terribly. My mental health misses them terribly. I also wonder, though, if my deep, deep desire to adopt a dog who is mine and loves me more than life itself is a way for me to redirect my strong desire to be in love with a human man. And, by redirect, I mean avoid at all costs. Yes, I love being single and doing what I want when I want, but I also feel ready to be less selfish and learn how to compromise and work toward a common goal with someone. The kid in me says, “NOPE,” though. It says, “GET A DOG. You don’t need a man.” I seriously do wonder if this obsession with adopting a dog is a way to distract myself from the way I’m actually feeling. A crutch. An avoidance tactic. A way to get the love that, so far, no guy has offered to me (and, who knows, maybe no guy ever will--there’s no way to know for sure, though I find that hard to believe). Over the coming weeks (or months...who knows? I’m very busy at the moment), I’m going to continue to think about my relationships with other humans and why I want a dog. I have no proven answers about why I feel what I feel or what my seeming need for a dog might actually represent. And maybe it’s not important; only time will tell. While I do that thinking, I will continue to be grateful for my friend who shares his two dogs with me, both of whom seem to like me quite a bit and are always willing to accept cuddles and butt scratches. They’ve helped me push through my first couple of weeks in Colorado, adjusting to a new way and pace of living and welcoming the changes happening in my life. I don’t think I’d be doing as well as I am (which still isn’t great, but it’s better than it would be) without those two pups.

Please take my quick and anonymous questionnaire about dog ownership!