A few days ago, I was having coffee with the delightful Anna Dorfman of Door Sixteen and Jen McCabe of Honey Kennedy when the conversation turned to dogs, as it tends to do when Anna and I hang out. Anna turned to Jen and remarked, “Dan wants a dog more than anybody I have ever known.”
It’s true. Having always had dogs growing up, moving away from home a few years ago meant that a gaping, oozing, disgusting hole was left in my dog-loving soul. If you leave your dog tied up outside a store—BLAM, that’s me petting it until you return, then awkwardly slinking away. Think you can walk down the sidewalk and I won’t stop you? FUCK OFF LET ME PET YOUR DOG. I’m that person, that nightmare, who will make you tell me when you have to leave or I’ll just stay and pet your little monster forever. Age, breed, sex, cleanliness, likeliness to tear my face off: none of these details are important. I love dogs and dogs love me and I don’t trust people who don’t like dogs because dogs are the best. Dogs dogs dogs dogs.
In our neighborhood in Brooklyn, every now and again we see these adoption vans parked on the street during the weekend and I inevitably have to go inside. Oftentimes it’s just cats, which are great if you like neglect and disapproval, but on Saturday my friend Lexi and I passed one from the Sean Casey Animal Rescue with dogs. So many dogs. Cute cute cute dogs.
I actually love cats, by the way. I just don’t want one seeing as I always figured it might impede on my later ability to get a dog.
While inside the truck, I was checking out this little girl named Aruba who I believe was a Chihuahua/Italian Greyhound cross who—for all intents and purposes—was basically a fawn. Cute and timid and slim and long legs and, well, kind of elegant, really. Just the kind of dog Max and I had talked about having for months now.
There was some noise coming from the back of the truck so I squatted down to the ground, as is my instinct when I sense the approach of a dog. And this little Pit Bull—this wiggly little bright-eyed beast ran up, threw her arms around my shoulders, and attacked my face with her tongue. But her arms weren’t just, you know, there. This was a full-on hug.
So I took fawn/dog for a walk, and she was adorable. Shy but friendly and very sweet, and liked being held. Check, check, check, and check. The only problem was that she wasn’t that Pit Bull that hugged me.
Lexi and I got pho and sat down to think it over, because decisions require food. I texted Max. He came down to meet us, stopped at the truck on the way, and came in to report that yes, he wanted fawn/dog.
So we went back to the truck. And I took Max to the back, where the Pit Bull had been returned to her cage. And she looked at me and I looked at her and she licked my fingers through the bars and I asked to take her around the block.
She wasn’t good on the leash. She didn’t know commands, and she’s much too big to just scoop up during a kerfuffle. She can’t use a wee-wee pad and has the energy and enthusiasm of, well, a Pit Bull.
Fawn/dog was the smart choice, for us. She’d be a great apartment dog and quiet and lovely, but this Pit Bull just felt right. Rounding the corner of the second block, I made her sit. She did. And then I sat on the ground behind her and flipped her onto my body, cradling her like a baby and rubbing her little tummy and snorgling her fleshy neck. And that sealed it. Over the course of one square city block, we had our dog.
And we are in love. She is beyond sweet, smart as a whip, and cuddles like you would not believe. Instantly the apartment was hers, and she has settled in with incredible speed and ease.
We named her Mekko, as in Marimekko, as in the Finnish textile company, as in we really are that gay. I think it’s cute and suits her nicely and for some reason she actually responds to it.
Did I mention the cuddles? This dog is all about cuddling. She’s one of those unique creatures who understands how to situate her body in order to be a good little spoon, and really just wants to be close to us at all times. We’ve had her all of a day and a half, and she’s already better on the leash and learning commands and just being all-around impressive.
If I thought the descent into crazy dog-owner would come gradually, I was mistaken. She is all I know how to talk about anymore to anybody. I proudly report the number of times she pooped in a day (yesterday: 3! Today: 1, so far.) and somehow I don’t even mind her rancid farts. To me, she is perfect.
God, that face. That fucking face. I mean, can you even? No you cannot.
So far, owning a Pit Bull is great. People on the street are either terrified or thrilled, because Pit owners LOVE other Pit owners. It’s like this weird tribe of crazy people who know something that seems to have been lost on so many otherwise smart, dog-loving, educated people: Pit Bulls are great dogs. Their reputation is completely undeserved. They are smart and loyal and cute and cuddly and awesome.
Walking away from the adoption truck, Max led the way to the pet store while I tailed him with our new dog. And I completely broke the fuck down. I’m not really an overly-emotional person, and I think the last time I cried from happiness was when I was about 5, but there I was, wailing in the street like a crazy person. I try not to get too sappy on here or in my life in general, but for a minute all I could think about was that, a year ago, I didn’t have any of this. It was just me. And then, all at once, all this love has just come into my life, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it all feels pretty damn great. Mekko and Max and me. If not for the river pouring down my face and trouble walking or forming real words, we would have made a pretty handsome group in that moment.
Lucky doesn’t begin to describe my life right now. There, I said it. Slap it on a fucking Hallmark card.
P.S.-None of this would have been possible without the amazing people at Sean Casey Animal Rescue. If you’re feeling a bit generous, please consider donating to the amazing work they do, or going to meet one of the many animals they have available for adoption. Our dog wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for them.
P.P.S.- SOMEBODY adopt fawn/dog. She really is precious. She’s here (her name is Aruba).