Yes my therapist has oft made note of my flawed thinking. It’s clearly ludicrous to feel that a shelter dog has a better life than I. But tonight, the Lhasa Apso mix that I was supposed to adopt today, is living high, and I am mourning his loss, amongst others.
This dedicated cat lover has temporarily turned her affections to the canine species. I still adore, cuddle, brush, over feed and spoil my persian cats. But my semi-unemployed status, loss of my parents, divorced state, and impending mid-life blow-out, has left me craving something different. How could I crave less at this point? So my smart feet guided my addled head to the ASPCA where I fell in love with “Keith Richards”, a 10 year-old Lhasa Apso mix who coaxed immediate tears and an open, throbbing heart. He needs a home, I thought. Then, no one will adopt an older dog. As a woman of a certain age seeking additional employment, and dare I voice it,….love in New York City, I identified with my canine counterpart. I decided to take Keith Richards home.
The endless monotony of bureaucratic structures impeded my nascent love affair. I’d gone to the ASPCA after the gym and was not carrying the proper identification, aka, photo ID, my gym picture didn’t cut the grade. The shelter was closing in minutes and I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone by asking them to wait, so I said I’d be back the next day to adopt Keith R. He’ll further structure my life with daily walks, treats, training and love, I thought. I walked across to my apartment imagining my better self standing in winds, rain and snow with a coat-clad Keith, oblivious to the elements, delighted only in each other.
I worked during the day waiting for the time that I’d go to adopt Keith. Meanwhile I thought of the masculine hair ribbons and hip hair cuts that I’d use for his adornment. At five-thirty, I entered the shelter with a fluttering heart, brandishing my driver’s license and proudly told the volunteer that I was there to adopt Keith Richards. An awkward and anguished pause ensued, while I continued to flash my photo ID.
“i’m sorry,” she said. “Keith Richards has just been adopted.”
I felt numb as I rummaged through my bag searching for my receipt stuffed wallet to return my license to it’s rightful place. I had fleeting images of how I’d planned to walk through Carl Schurz Park with a perky Keith at my side. I imagined feeding him dog treats, my cats refuse all treats just to annoy me, I think. I’d carry him home if he got tired or place him in the fashionable zebra carrying bag that I’d picked out.
With a diminished heart and flagging feet, I took a second tour of the available dogs and there was Keith Richards, looking far happier than he had the day before.
“He’s still here. Are you sure that he’s been adopted,” I asked reaching for my security blanket, photo ID.
“No, Keith is going to be featured on TV tonight on a segment for pets for adoption. He’s going home tomorrow.”
What beautiful words, I thought. I wished that I were going home tomorrow. Right now, home feels very far away.
Live a long and happy life, Keith Richards. You will be missed.