I didn’t mean to acquire another dog. I really, really didn’t. A friend at work found this little guy wandering around Academy Street in downtown Greenville. They posted fliers and posted on craigslist and went by the Humane Society to check for a microchip. Nothing.
The dog hung around at the office for two days, and everyone fell in love with him. How could you not?
A couple of people showed interest in the dog, but upon finding out he’d need a $700-dollar knee surgery, plans fell through. I knew that I certainly couldn’t take him either. But… he had nowhere to go. And back at the Humane Society with a bum leg, un-neutered and no longer a puppy, what are the chances he’d make it past a month?
And so, he’s here. The Kaiser has quite thoroughly fallen in love. Eleanor isn’t trying to smother him in his sleep. Yet.
After some discussing (the front runners were “Skippy John Jones” and “Jelly Floppy Ears”) Cole came up with a brilliant name, one that we can both agree upon: Carter. I thought the kid had done some reading up on presidential history mais non, the dog is named for Cole’s best friend, whose last name is, well, Carter.
I don’t really want the responsibility. I don’t. It’s stressful as fuck. I follow the dog around the house, watching for him to pee on my furniture. I take him out at lunch, skipping any actual, uh, lunch. I didn’t sleep at all last night, as the dogs acquainted themselves to each other and to my bed.
And yet, when I talk about compassion and about teaching my son what it means to be compassionate, I know that there’s no better way to teach him than by my own actions. It’s the right thing to do. We’ll work it out. I’ll find a vet to finance or I’ll save the money slowly. It’s doable.
Tonight at bedtime, I reached for a book on the shelf and Carter cowered down, afraid. The Kaiser saw and he asked me why. I explained that I didn’t think whomever Carter usta live with was very nice to him, and so we have to be very gentle, show him that we love him and that he’ll always be safe here. Cole nodded and rubbed the dog’s head with his fingertips. And that, I think, is the point.