Animal Therapy

26 05 2010

Max!

I’ve been feeling a little anxiety lately over my impending move to Mount Pleasant.  Yes, my new house is actually less than a mile from my old one, and the neighborhoods are right next to each other.  But I don’t deal very well with change– the new house, new drycleaners, new furniture, new Starbucks, new busline, new metro station, new dive bars.  The idea of it seriously spikes up my blood pressure.

My mom said the day I graduated Kindergarten, I sobbed like I was at a funeral while all the other kids were playing and celebrating summer.  She couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, so when I calmed down enough to formulate words, I said, “I don’t want a new teacher! I don’t want a new classroom!  I want to stay in Kindergarten forever!”

I’m not sure what this is called, in terms of psychopathologies.  But I’m pretty sure I have one.  When I think about it rationally, I’m thrilled to be moving– love the new place, love the new roommates, love the new hood.  But knowing that I’m about to move has made me irritable with everyone, like I’m walking around with a knot in my stomach and a big black cloud over my head.  I know it sounds crazy.

What’s really strange is that I have a million things to do to prepare for the move: packing, changing my address, canceling my Verizon account and setting up Comcast for the new place, selling my bed, etc.  But the only task I’ve been able to focus on– and I’ve focused on this one obsessively and to the exclusion of ever other productive possibility– is finding a dog to adopt.  I have been scouring Craig’s List and Petfinder and every other dog shelter website in the D.C. metro area every day for the past 2 months straight.  Sunday, I got up early to drive an hour out to nowhere Virginia to meet a black cocker spaniel for five minutes.  I’ve attended 6 adoption shows, I’ve sent in countless applications for dogs, and last night I drove out to Chantilly in rush hour traffic– 4 hours roundtrip– to meet a Cockapoo (cocker spaniel + miniature poodle) I found on Craig’s List.

But this Cockapoo is really special.  I was feeling especially strange and anxious yesterday over the move, and I was in a horrible mood the whole way out to Chantilly in stand-still traffic.  But when I got there, and that dog jumped into my lap and licked my face and laid perfectly still in my arms for 10 minutes while I talked to his parents, I immediately felt calm and content.  I fed him a gourmet dog treat that I had “casually” picked up at a ritzy dog store in Dupont the day before, and I cheered him on as his dad showed me how he could sit, roll over, shake a paw and play dead on command.  He’s one and a half, 15-lbs full grown, house-trained, neutered, non-shedding, and totally adorable.

I’m trying not to get my hopes up because I’m competing against one other family for him (and they apparently have a cute 5-yr-old, which is not fair), but I got a really nice e-mail from his parents after the visit saying that they liked me a lot and could tell I would love Max more than they did.  Sad, no?

Anyway, I’m getting him for a trial run next weekend, and my fingers are crossed that they’ll pick me, even though it’s sort of counterintuitive to pick the 27-year-old city-dweller with 3 roommates over a settled-down nuclear family with a kid.  Whatever, I totally bonded with him, and even just playing with him for 10 minutes significantly improved my mood and eased my concerns about moving.

In conclusion, it’s true what they say about animal therapy, and I’ll keep you posted on Max!

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12 responses

26 05 2010
bros

why is his family getting rid of him?

26 05 2010
districtramblings

They are about to have their first baby and they work full time and in addition to these two time-suckers, I think they have discovered that they are not actually dog people. They keep him in the garage.

26 05 2010
bros

thats terrible, and since they know how much time a kid sucks up, maybe they will pick you since you can devote more time to him. At least they have the sense to stop the neglect, call it quits, and find him a real home.

26 05 2010
bros

oh, and in terms of psychopathologies, you are an emotional hoarder.

26 05 2010
Mikey

He looks amazing. Good luck! Hope you get him! 🙂

26 05 2010
LC

I hope you get him. I think it would be a great fit. He’s an adorable boy. And smart too!

26 05 2010
districtramblings

thanks guys!!

26 05 2010
rockymtnhigh

cockapoo…so many jokes…so little time when it comes to mutt-mixing. But I will say that the fact that the dog looked straight into the camera’s eye says much about it’s personality. He must really like you and in many cases it’s about how the animal takes to you as you take to him.

He looks like a good fit for you too. You need a dog to help suck away those psychopathologies you’ve been hoarding according to bros and he’ll love you unconditionally. That says something right?

26 05 2010
tigerbait

This gave me the frisons…I was given a (Max look-alike) cock-a-poo in college by my boyfriend…Babe was the love of my life for 9 yrs…she even had a litter of pups (sired by Pawpaw’s poodle, Gumbo)…and we had no trouble getting rid of precious cock-a-poo-poos!! Babe was the best natured, sweetest, most lovable dog…I am so hoping you are the choice to adopt Max!!!

26 05 2010
leverman

First thing I thought of seeing Max was Babe. Babe was a sweetheart, thats for sure. I hope it works out with you and Max, Laura. He definitely looks like Max.

The good news is that if it doesnt work out with Max, another dog will come along and steal your heart. Dogs are like that.

You know what they say. Lock your wife and your dog in the trunk of your car overnight, and then open it and see which one is happiest to see you. (-:

27 05 2010
Vjane

leverman is right, LB, if Max doesnt work out you will find another dog to love. I have to put some questions to you, tho. I understand your need for a dog to take away your whatevers, but you must think about several things before taking on the responsibility of a dog. He will be alone all day while you are at work. Anyone to come home during the day to let him out to pee ??? Who will take him when you go to Louisiana for a week or more at Christmas, “Thanksgiving, or weekends in Chicago, New York, or wherever you like to go. Are your roomates ready for a dog in the house. Are you prepared for Vets bills if the dog gets sick or hurt ???? I just had to give you the practical side and food for thought before you make this final decision.

27 05 2010
Vjane

LB – find out how much it would cost to fly Max or whoever to Louisiana for Thanksgiving or Christmas – on the plane with you. I might give it to you for a Christmas present because I love your blog so much.

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