Thursday, July 03, 2014

Story Time: Boomer

I have always been a big fan of stories. My RSS feed is full of story tellers who capture my attention and contribute to my need for procrastination. I follow almost 100 blogs and today as I was reading a story I was thinking about which blogs I loved the most and why.

I've been quite nostalgic lately. Having many thoughts on life being too short and savouring the really happy times. I've been taking more pictures in an effort to capture those moments and cataloging them for future memory requiring moments.

I have all those pictures, perfectly filed and foldered for easy access. What I'm missing is the stories.

The blogs I love most are the blogs that tell stories. Will the pictures alone tell me all the stories? I think I need to write more.

I've drafted and re-drafted hundreds of stories about the past year, the past decade (oof!), and all the way back to the early days of no bathroom but a toilet in the middle of the kitchen (true story). They all just seem to carry on. I think I need to break them up. I think I need to focus. Or maybe I need to ditch the detail and describe instead the feelings. Or maybe I just need to hit publish.

Let's start slow and easy and let's hit publish.

This week marks five years of Boomer. He turns six this week and it's also the same week I picked him up, five years ago.

I'd been out of school for a few months. Newly graduated, newly living alone. I've always been a dog person, grown up with dogs and I knew it was only a matter of time before I found one of my own. I worked at home, lived across from a park, and had time to kill.

I didn't have the money for a purebred puppy so I went for the next best thing - the Humane Society. I didn't care what breed, just that it was small enough for me to lift on my own. And so one week after my first drop in I was the proud owner of one year old, 30 pound, then-Beacon-now-Boomer, breed unknown.

The next six months were brutal. Vomit in my car, poop in the house, destroyed cables, angry neighbours, and too many tears.

I remember sitting up one night, trying to get Boomer to settle into his crate for the night - something he'd been resisting. I'd think he was asleep so I'd start to inch away to my own bed only to have him bolt up and start whining. I have no idea where he'd been in the first year of his life but I'd wager there was some serious abandonment and a lack of any kind of structure. I shed many tears sitting in the doorway trying to read a book to keep my mind off of how miserable I was feeling and what a big mistake I thought I'd made.

I made a joke once that having Boomer was like having a baby only to be told it was no where near the same. This could only mean that having a baby was the worst terror of my life. How much worse could it be than sitting up all night hoping for him to sleep, never leaving the house because he'd freak out, and walking in circles in the park in hopes that it would tire him out. Also - cleaning up poop and puke. I was facing a harsh reality that real life is no cake walk like university life can sometimes suggest.

Six months in I met Rob. Eight months after that we moved into a house! with a yard! and a fence! and two people to walk him! and a quiet neighbourhood where you didn't have to worry about your dog stepping on broken glass or being woken up by the drunk university students walking down the street at 3:00am. Boomer belongs in the suburbs. It took him two days and he chilled out more than I had ever experienced.

I feel good about having rescued a dog but damn it was a lot of work. He's basically adapted at this point but he's still got a lot of stress and we enforce a lot of rules and boundaries to keep his structure. Someday he won't be here and we'll have a new dog. Maybe we'll get a puppy and train it from the start and maybe it'll be easier and maybe it won't be.

I don't care what all those people with babies told me and I don't care how trivial or trite it sounds - Boomer was my first baby.

Boomer was there when I was treated like crap by stupid guys and slept in my bed without judgement. Boomer always wants my attention and never rejects my affection. He doesn't get sick of me and nor do I of him. Boomer's life is about half over and there's no guarantee that the next half will be any better. Who cares? I love this freaking dog. Happy birthday, Boom-doggle!