Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Let's Talk About Luck

My Grandpa has a saying, it goes something like this. "The harder you work, the luckier you are." and it has stuck with me my entire life. We work hard, and I know that in my heart. I know that we have sacrificed so much so that we can reach this eventual dream. And you look for life's little rewards. Instant gratifications for working so goddamn hard, which lately, while working so hard at getting caught up, we haven't had much of. So you see, on Sunday, I was grasping at smoke.

As we were leaving the swap meet, walking through the parking lot to the van, we heard those two words your boyfriend never wants you to hear; "Free puppies" and I looked over to meet eyes with this boy.
He nuzzled my throat and I stopped thinking clearly. Eight year old Beca took over all conscious thinking and I looked at Doug with my own set of puppy dog eyes. We have talked a lot about getting another dog, and it always ends the same way. We don't have time to train a puppy right now, we can't afford it, our house is too small and it just isn't smart. Logical me knows this.

Logical me knows all about how hard it is to raise a puppy. Logical me knows that my boys need a lot of attention and it wouldn't be fair to get another dog right now. Eight year old Beca doesn't give one single thought or care to any of that. I WANT A PUPPY, little me whined and cried. I looked at Doug and he said "We have three dogs, Beca." and I said "What's one more?" and told the people we would take him. Done. Exchanged phone numbers and walked away. What a dick move. I always consult Doug on everything, but I manipulated his reply to what I wanted to hear. Doug and I have an incredible amount of trust and respect for one another, don't get me wrong, but I wanted that puppy, and sometimes, when you love someone, you have to let them figure shit out on their own.

My best friend, and partner, watched carefully as the next 20 minutes unfolded. We got to the car, I was all cuddles and love, and the puppy was quiet and sweet. I sat down in the front seat of the van and did the one thing that I should have done before I walked away from his owners, I flipped him on his back. A simple dominance test we did at the humane society when I worked there, something I instantly did with my 85 pound American Bulldog (who, despite his issues, let me.) The puppy lost it, thrashed around, wouldn't allow me to hold him. My heart sank. Reality hit. It was that simple. This. Would. Not. Work. Instantly, my brain turned on. Light bulb. Stupid, Beca. We can't even afford our bills right now, simple bills, electricity, phone, rent. We are scraping by in this expensive place. We just opened a business that we are pouring every penny into. A puppy! A wrigley, thrashing, bully of a puppy. A German Shepand Blue Nose Mix puppy. A puppy who would grow up into a dog.

An hour after I got this puppy, I called the owners and told them I had made a terrible mistake. I ate crow. I apologized, I was embarrassed, I cried, but I know at the end of the day I made the right decision. This morning I woke up an hour before Doug did, I couldn't sleep. I needed to pay bills, work on our financing, answer emails, make arrangements. I needed to face facts. We are struggling just like everyone else. To quote the infamous GZA, the mailman's late with the check and I'm in the flood with a bunch of bills that's up to my neck, rent's not paid and the lights about to go off.

Baby Jesus knows that I am in absolutely no position to get an eight week old puppy that needs shots, to be neutered, dewormed, tick dipped, flea bathed and puppy food-ed. Toys and the incredible amount of time that it takes to raise a good, healthy, obedient puppy. None of which I can afford. If you know me at all, you know that I love my boys with so much of my heart, it hurts when I am away from them. If you are any of the friends who have watched my dogs while I was on vacation or on a day trip (yes, a day trip) then you know I call 5 times a day, request photos and updates via text message. And if you also know me for more than 5 minutes, you know that I would love to get another puppy. But, as much as I cried, I just can't.

It's weird, I don't think much about it. Eating whatever is in the fridge. Not buying new clothes. Paying bills late. Asking the landlord for an extension. Recycling cans and bottles to get supplies. It's just all part of us living the dream. The big picture. The forest and the trees. But when I thought about that puppy not getting the attention and amenities that it deserves, I was grounded. Heavy in the heart. Get your shit together, Beca. Pay your bills, buy new clothes, go on a vacation, have a real, legit, cheesy as all get out holiday with presents and food and the opulence that you have worked so hard for. Be lucky. But, please, for the love of all that is good, go ahead and scratch "puppy" off of your Christmas list.


PS, we didn't name the puppy, but if I would have, I would have named him Teddy. You know, for logical reasons.


  1. I don't even know what to say but Beca, you're amazing for being so honest!

    (I know there is no way I could have resisted that face either!!)

  2. Ohh he is a cutie. It sucks doing the right thing!

  3. thank you Kaylah & Molly. I appreciate you guys!

  4. oh man, do i ever know what that is like. every time someone from the local pug rescue emails me about a pug who needs a home, usually older ones who need special care i always say "yes!' immediately in my mind. then my husband has to bring me back to reality and remind me about how expensive our current two are, and how we've had to save up so our cats can get their shots and how expensive buying them all good quality food is. it is so hard when you know you could love that little baby, but the smarter (grown up) thing to do is pass. oh man.

  5. aw, beca, that has to be one of the cutest faces! okay, eight year old me was reading this and first and even laughed and squealed out loud, but when adult beca started typing, adult danielle started reading.

    i know it broke your heart to have to give him back, but i also know that you made the right decision. and sometimes the right decisions really suck. big time.

    at the end of december, my dad and stepmom adopted a puppy for me. he was a pitbull mix and he was about 5 months old, so he was big, and he was hyper. i knew as soon as i saw him that this wasn't a good idea, but i love pitbulls (and animals in general) so much that the kid in me took over. he stayed with me for 4 days total, but on the second day, when he jumped toward flojo and started biting (she was in her cage so she was perfectly safe), i knew i couldn't keep him. it broke my heart and cried for probably two weeks, but i just knew it wasn't fair to flojo to make her stay in her cage, and it wasn't fair to oliver (the dog) to make him stay in one room by himself when flojo was out (and she's always out). so yeah, i understand exactly what you mean. <3

  6. aw what a sweet looking pup! what a difficult decision you had to make, even if it was the right one.

  7. oh no, though it was probably the "right" decision given your current situation, but you must feel a bit heartbroken at the same time. so sorry it didn't work out as planned!

  8. Beca...I can't even express this is words. But it's a very hard thing to be as logical as you had to be. But let's look at the positive; hopefully this pup will get a home where he's an only child & be able to receive the training he needs to snap that little dominance act & down the line, when you're living the dream & rollin in it, you can splurge & get that puppy that you never had. & hey, lesson learned about the dominance thing...? My friend has a pit she rescued & twice now he's snapped at me. ME! A friggin pet fanatic who lives on a farm practically & knows how to approach animals. She didn't take the time to learn about him before committing & now she doesn't have the skills required to train him. If she has a baby, she'll have to get rid of him...& I feel bad because who will rescue an older aggressive pit bull...no matter how cute he is? {sorry this was so long}

  9. aw girl. this is why i have a job because the kitties are like my babies and i can't think of anything worse in the world than for them not to have a stable home/love/food. this is also why i haven't gotten a puppy yet. so even tho it's heartbreaking, you did the right thing ladycakes! for you and the pup.

  10. Oh Beca. I know how tough that must have been. You'll get the right puppy when the time is right <3

    (and smart of you to do the flip test....I kinda wished we had done that when choosing between Emmett and his sisters because little Em is DEFINITELY a dominant, headstrong pup!)