So it seems that after a year of biting off more than I could chew but chewing nonetheless, my inner ballast has finally decided to speak up and make it perfectly clear that I'm not ready for a dog just yet. Between the mild panic attacks (ever had one? Think the trash compactor scene in Star Wars
, but without the Wookie), an unscheduled visit from my period, and constant anxious fidgeting, my body was hollering that this was too much too soon. Colour me surprised. I really believed I was ready for another dog. What happened?
I've spent the past year trying to be the dedicated and attentive teacher, the compassionate and attentive friend, the desirable and attentive girlfriend, the considerate and attentive roommate. Through all of this, a friend wisely pointed out (and my mother, but when do I ever listen to her?), I’d stopped attending to me. Taking on the role of loving and attentive dog owner without an intermission wasn’t going to work – I wouldn’t be able to give her what she needs without hesitation. I had to learn this the hard way, and I had to look into her big brown uncomprehending eyes to apologize and say goodbye.
I feel awful. Shaky. Near tears, again.
I force myself to take comfort in knowing that she’s returning to people who are determined to find her a good home, and I wonder what my home is going to be like. For ten years there’s always been another heartbeat – a roommate, a dog, a boyfriend, a cat – and now there’s only one. I look around my apartment and think it’s just me for the next little while, and am bravely uncertain.