Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Big Freeze Ends

I have a unique way of allowing anxiety to freeze my faculties when it comes to big decisions. Whether or not to get a dog must be a BIG decision…because I’ve been frozen for some years! I know, you’re thinking ‘what’s the big deal,’ right?

“Every kid deserves to have a pet growing up,” you’ll tell me. (And I suppose it won’t help to remind you that I bought them hamsters six full years ago? No? Ok, didn’t think so).

It’s just that every time I think of all those vet visits, the hassle of finding pet sitters (in addition to baby sitters) and the added expense of another mouth to feed I’m rendered immobile as a teen asked to do chores. “Maybe just a bit more time to think about this?” I mutter, to whomever might be listening.

And apparently, no one was…listening, that is. Because my wife got that look on her face that says “Please don’t bother to say ‘no’ when I ask you this question” (her face is very expressive). “Are we going to get the kids a dog for Christmas?”

What can you say to a face that forbids “no?” Before I knew it we were off to the VA Beach SPCA
I must have had “that” look on my face (the look of a man who knows he’s about to spend money and is not happy about it) because my wife said, “Oh, didn’t you hear that Priority Automotive is providing free pet adoptions before Christmas?”  (I hadn’t). “Crud, there went one of my best, most practical arguments,” I thought to myself, of course, not expressing this to the now smiling face directing me into the SPCA parking lot.

Once inside, I had the ominous feeling of a doomed man. Memories of Hillary Clinton, postulating the existence of a vast right wing conspiracy, drifted through my head. Because, I’m not quite sure how to put this, everyone in the SPCA seemed to be on a first-name basis with my wife, Bridget. “Hi Bridget, (said with a knowing look) good to see you.” “Great to see you again, Bridget, you’ll be coming right this way, yes? Oh, and HE’S the one? (with a contemptuous nod of the head in MY direction). “Good luck!”

That’s when we met a Lhasa Apso named “Alex.” Even HE seemed to know Bridget, jumping up into her lap and yipping with joy in the small cubicle reserved for ‘visiting hours.’ The realization slowly dawned on me that we weren’t ‘just visiting’ and that I had entered a battle of wits unarmed.  The long freeze was over in my decision-making process. We were the proud owners of a 6-year old rescued dog who was coming home with us for Christmas.