Friday, July 10, 2009

How Do We Know We Are Not Ready for Another Dog?

On Monday, Matt went to the SPCA to apply for a 2nd job. While there, he found this great dog that he fell for instantly. And the feeling was mutual. He sent me pictures with comments that said things like, "I love this dog." "Can we please get him?" Somehow, he left the SPCA without that dog. We talked at one point and I said that I was surprised he didn't bring the dog home and call it an anniversary present. He asked if I would be mad if he did, and I replied that I would not be mad because I would like to have another dog. And if he did it all on his own, I wouldn't feel responsible for the decision and could just enjoy the dog ...

He took that--and the fact that grandma gave him some money to get me an anniverary present--as a blessing and went to adopt the dog.
Nala and "Gaston" (like from beauty and the Beast) got along beautifully, and Matt had no problems bringing him home and settling him in. Matt then met me in Mount Pleasant for some internet time at a cafe and then for our Financial Peace class. A couple of times he mentioned how much he would like the dog, but he didn't elaborate... and he definitely did not give away that he had already adopted him!

After Financial Peace, as we drove home separately, I spent almost the entire drive thinking about whether or not we should get another dog. As much as we both want one and know that Nala would enjoy having a buddy, we are trying to make significant changes in our spending habits so that we can get out of debt. I decided that we should postpone getting another dog.

Then I got home and was standing in the kitchen. Matt went to let Nala out of the kennel... only two dogs came running into the kitchen intead of just one. Little Gaston was so sweet and fun, and I could tell instantly how much Nala loved having him. And oh, he is so cute! I was shocked, though, and when Matt said, "Happy Anniversary!", I was still trying to absorb that we now had two dogs.

We took them both for a walk around the new neighborhood. Talking and getting to know the new guy. We decided a better name for him would be "Pumba", in keeping with the Disney theme, of course--but it seemed to fit his lumbering gate better than "Gaston". We joked about how people would think we had an unhealthy obsession with The Lion King. We talked about everything we knew about him. He had all his shots. He was neutered. He did not bark. He was very friendly. (A friend of mine from Verizon volunteers at the SPCA and told me all about his personality when I showed her the pic that Matt had texted me earlier.) We can do this!, we thought. The extra expense won't really be that much. Our new place is big enough.

After getting them home, the two dogs were non-stop energy. The condo seemed to get smaller by the minute, and the 'dog aroma' that I don't mind usually, got stronger and stronger. His cuteness and energetic personality seemed a little 'too much' compared to Nala who can be very chill. And he wouldn't stop humping her. And he peed (which sounded something akin to a fire hydrant) in the house twice--and also pooed--in the space of about an hour. He's not quite trained, so when he leaps toward you, he lunges at your face... and it's slightly frightening.

But his face is so cute. And this was his first night. He would calm down. They wouldn't constantly be play-wrestling. They would calm down eventually. We could afford him.

After a good couple of hours of trying to convince ourselves, we finally got honest with each other about our concerns. We had a grown-up conversation and realized we probably did not need another dog. And after struggling with my feelings that our 'rejection' of him would ruin him forever, and lots and lots of tears, we decided he would go back to SPCA. He's so cute, and his personality is so wonderful that we know he will find another home. One that will be much better for him than we are.

So, how is it that we know we aren't ready for another dog?

We had one for about 24 hours. We're not ready yet.

And now that we know that, we will leave you with some pictures of cute Gaston/Pumba and Nala from their 'sleepover' night together.


  1. I know that it took me awhile to get to read this, but it was so sad and I am also SO PROUD of you and Matthew for making what was probably the right decision for ya'll right now!

  2. Brittany your cousinJuly 13, 2009 at 10:25 PM

    So what happened with Nala going to the vet?? I have read all the blogs, and never saw what actually happened?