I'm an asshole.
That's what I told my girlfriend when we started dating. Maybe asshole isn't the correct word. I'm a curmudgeon. I'm cynical. I'm stubborn as a mule. And I'm set in my ways. I'm not easily moved emotionally (Or maybe I just don't express it). Excitement is just a half a notch up from bored for me. I don't like change. And I HATE pets and small children.
So you could imagine the reaction I got from friends and family when I bought a 2-month-old Boston Terrier in the spring of 2010. This cataclysmic change happened for a number of reasons. First of all, my MCP brother Pete and I had been discussing getting a dog for about a year previous. It seemed like an alright thing to do at the time. And if I set my mind to doing something I sure as hell make it happen. Another reason was at the time I needed a buddy that would stand by me and remain as true blue as I.
The actual act of getting the dog came to me by fate more than anything. I knew I wanted a male Boston Terrier. I wanted to buy from a breeder rather than rescue one from a shelter. I wanted to raise the dog from a pup so that I could experience all the trials and tribulations that came along with it. I want to know that the final result (negative or positive) has to do with the choices I made as a "father".
Some time had passed and my MCP sister Christy asked when I was going to get a dog. I told her I wasn't ready yet. Her wise words are the same words you hear when people talk about having children- "If you are waiting for the right time, it will never be the right time. You just have to do it." I'm sure I completely butchered the saying in my paraphrase, but you get the idea.
Shortly after, I was at a BBQ celebrating the matrimony between two of my closest friends. A discussion broke out pertaining to dogs and I mentioned wanting to buy a Boston Terrier. Someone in the group chimed in saying "My boss is going to pick up one on Thursday". In further discussions, I found out that the breeder was only a couple hours away (which is much closer than the breeder I was looking at 13 hours away), the price was right and the dog fit my specifications to a "T". Out of the liter, they had ONE Boston left and it was a male.
Short story long, I drove up and picked up Cash (named after the "man in black" not the "notes in green"). Not only was he what I wanted, but he was healthy and had perfect Boston markings. We've been side by side now for almost a year. Even though he has his "puppy" moments, he is a good kid. Surprisingly, I've grown to love him more than anything or anyone else in my life.
That may be harsh to say having siblings, two living parents, the MCP crew and my selfless girlfriend who never ceases to amaze me. But there is a love that grows from raising a living creature. Cash is alive because I feed him and take care of him. Now I know what unconditional love is. So last night, when I dreamt that Cash got his throat ripped out by a mountain lion and I held him in a pool of blood, you can understand why I cried.
I still hate dogs and small children. But damn it, my dog is the best.
Copyright 2011 Gris Grimly