What Adopting a Dog Taught Me About My Marriage
I have a desperate need to have furry things around me. No, not boas, but actual living furry creatures. My husband does not share my affinity for furbabies– in fact he barely tolerates it. I do remember that during our honeymoon in Hawaii all I could talk about was my plan to get a Shih Tzu as soon as well got settled in our married life. My husband, I’m convinced, thought he could distract me from my single minded plan to immediately tether ourselves to a living breathing thing with shiny, bright baubles. The thing is– NOTHING and no one could have strayed me from my course.
I didn’t grow up in a family of animal lovers, in fact we had a near fatal dog biting incident with my baby sister which seemed to permanently scar our family’s collective conscience when it came to trusting these four legged creatures. I recall having nightmares for years in which I revisited that awful accident with my sister, and to this day there are certain breeds that still strike fear in the deep recesses of my heart. But as I’ve grown I’ve taken it upon myself to reconnect with these creatures, and I am currently in the midst of a mad, passionate love affair with these fur babies and MUCH to my husband’s chagrin, I just adopted a Shih Tzu from a shelter thanks to the incredible Louie’s legacy Animal rescue on Staten Island.
My husband was not on board. But here’s the thing- if I waited for my husband to get on board with anything- we’d STILL be sitting in our Brooklyn Heights apartment staring at each other and waiting. I am a doer he is a thinker; he is someone who thinks and ruminates and hems and haws. I DO, he thinks- this is THE MAJOR difference between us.
So back to my newest Shih Tzu– who is in the midst of a bout of the runs- and has been waking up at 1am and leaving little accidents all over our dining room. After getting up at 1am and TAKING Lazer outdoors for a walk (in the pitch black darkness) I really thought my husband might step up and take him on his 2 am walk. And well, he didn’t, he said , "YOU WANTED THIS DOG, YOU NEEDED THIS DOG. He is your responsibility. I’m not getting up with him.”
In addition to speaking to me as though I were a ten year old, I realized this about my husband– as I walked the dark, desolate and kinda scary street at 2 am with my diarrhea laden Shih tzu, he is SET IN HIS ways. He is unmovable. And these are all things I knew when I decided to rescue this new Shih Tzu and yet I really thought I could change him… and then I remembered — PEOPLE DON’T change…and yet since I’ve met him I've spent the past 16 years convinced I will change him, and so far, I have failed at every turn.