Back in August, we adopted our dog River (my first canine pet ever). We got her from a local rescue group, so I can feel like a Good Person the way vegans and Prius drivers do. After just a few short months, I am totally in love with her. While at work, I daydream about being at home on the couch watching Planet Earth documentaries with River curled up at my side growling at the polar bears.
The other day, I left the office still focused on work issues to the point of distraction. While driving home I was so preoccupied that I missed my exit and completely ran a red light. But once I clipped on River’s leash and took her outside, everything work-related left my brain. I found myself instantly relaxed, thinking only of the things she was thinking about: the unseasonably springlike weather, the fresh air, the excited yips from other dogs lunging at the ends of their leashes eagerly greeting us.
Her quirks mystify us. She’s terrified of her own brush, pees at the sight of her harness, and quivers in fear when we watch The Dark Knight Rises. On the flip side, she shows no fear of thunderstorms, fireworks, or gunshots. If we forget to close the gate to the ‘cat room,’ she runs in and treats herself to goodies from the litter box, making her quite literally a turdburglar.
She is goofy, awkward, stinky, and expensive to maintain, and I absolutely cannot wait to go home and see her again.