Dysfunctional Dog “Owner”

I am in another dysfunctional relationship with a male. Of the canine variety. A month ago I picked up Casanova at the city pound. It is my first experience as a foster “parent” to a pet and I am clearly not cut out for the job. I thought it would be a good way to see if I’m prepared to have a pet again. Instead, I actually have a pet.

It didn’t take long for the little guy to become attached to me, exhibiting what the dog training books call “Velcro” behavior. He follows me from room to room, never letting me out of his sight. It’s endearing, if precisely not what one should be encouraging. But I love being loved! As my sister says, “We like needy!” So now I have a needy dog. He cries every time I leave the apartment. Until I started crating him, he would throw himself against the door in despair. (Or so the neighbors say. I wrote them a long note apologizing for the noise and they responded with another note, slid under my door. Casanova ripped it to tiny shreds. Pre crate. Oy vey.)

Fostering a dog is a difficult undertaking. Welcoming an animal into your home, training him, feeding him, caring for him, only to hand him over for someone else to enjoy, seems like a lot of work for someone else’s eventual pleasure. It would be especially burdensome if the animal required special handling. Many rescue dogs are damaged goods. Dealing with destructive behavior, biting, the euphemistically termed “house soiling” can be disruptive, to say the very least. Then once you’ve managed to eliminate the undesirable behaviors, you hand the dog over to someone else? Hell no! Well, maybe… Um…

Like I said, it looks like I have a pet. He’s far from perfect, as most men are. He is paper trained, was when he first came home with me. But he often misses the papers just a bit and usually manages to track his piss through the apartment, leaving little doggie paw prints everywhere. He sheds, which would be less of a problem if his fur were black, to match 90 percent of my clothing. He still cries a bit when I leave but it only lasts a few minutes. And I can’t really trust him to run free in the apartment for fear of what he might shred in lonely frustration.

But he’s a great snuggler, cozying up against me under the covers as soon as we both jump into bed. In the morning he lets me know if he’d like to go out by nibbling on my hands and rolling around in an excited manner. Once outside he attempts to run like a gazelle on those long legs of his. And he curls up at my side adorably when I’m sitting here on my computer.

When I asked the universe for a new relationship, perhaps I wasn’t as specific as I should’ve been. Because I’ve got one! Yup, it’s me and my Casanova.

Nov. 22 UPDATE! Casanova has been adopted! And I’ve learned my lesson. I won’t be fostering another dog; I will be finding one that’ll be permanent!

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