…and the ongoing questions that surround its alleged existance.
Have you ever wondered what would be valuable enough to make you give up what few sparse scraps of calm normality still exist in your life? What would possibly make you throw yourself on the seppuku tanto of insanity?
For us, evidently, it's the glimmering hope of sanity for the next generation. On Thursday we brought home another dog.
For those of you scoring at home, that's three dogs, two cats, a guinea pig and one sad little goldfish. Clearly and understandably, your first logical question must naturally be some variation on "What the fuck?"
I don't blame you. My question exactly.
So let's backtrack a bit.
Child #1 turns 20 in a few weeks. This semester she'll graduate from the respected photography program at Central Lakes College. She has her whole life in front of her…but she's staring down the barrel of a two-year mopefest.
Her boyfriend left this month for two years for his Mormon mission. Contact is limited. (There's still a U.S. Postal Service, right?) Whether she's willing to admit it or not, she needs a trigger to get her up, off the couch and back into life.
She asked for a dog.
But Josie, your apartment doesn't allow pets. (But I'll be out of there in three months!) But when you do finish up there, you're coming right back here, aren't you? (I can find my own apartment that allows dogs!) Josie, do you have any idea how few of those there are – and how much more they cost? And besides, I thought you were applying for a scholarship to continue schooling down in Minneapolis. (I can handle it!) Say, aren't these "your" cats? Isn't that why we couldn't get rid of them?
Yeah, none of these plausible arguments were sinking in. But that's par for the course in debating with an adolescent. No surprises there.
Then she came home from her first trip to the humane society last Saturday. "I found my dog! Come on, come on, you need to come back and see her!" Of course drama dictates that, by the time we get back to the humane society, there's a young couple signing the papers and putting down their deposit to adopt "Lady" as soon as she's had her gender declassification surgery (she's not a lady anymore).
Cue the tears.
But wait, because drama also dictates that the young couple should ignore their deposit, blow off their deadline and open this dog back up for adoption.
Now what do we do?
Well, we think about it for awhile. And we weigh out the pros and the cons. And we come to grips with the fact that, if we get this dog, there's a very good chance that it's going to spend most of the next few years in our living space.
And, in the end, we decide that, even though (at least by my internal measurements) the cons far outnumber the pros, there's one big, giant pro that tips the scales. Josie needs this dog. Not just a dog, she needs this dog. She needs a six-month-old blue heeler. She needs a dog that's going to physically drag her to the door and seriously demand that she get out there and get active – otherwise she's going to have holes chewed in every item she owns.
And I guess I'm willing to risk the likelihood that she's going to chew a few of my items in the process.