It’s real, and it’s bad. Like when you just go through a breakup and all of a sudden there’s a couple at every corner. Well lately, everywhere I go I just see a dog and picture myself with my own personal four legged partner in crime. Sometimes I sit down and think, wow I guess I really could use some kind of love interest in my life to share my thoughts with, go walk a trail with, spend nice weather day’s on a blanket on the square with, sleep at night with, netflix and legitimately chill with, then I realize…these are things man’s best friend is here for. Because right now during this period of my life, I’m not looking to give my heart to anyone, except my family, my friends, and Remus. I feel like an expecting mother, because in eight months I’m giving myself a puppy who’s had a named picked out for over a year, along with a diploma.
I’ve been waiting and searching for Remus for a long time, and I almost found him. Earlier this year, my puppy fever was at another peak similar to this one. I was searching everywhere for Remus. I knew I would know if I found him, through all the Craigslist ads and adoption center pages, he had to be out there. I’ve had a particular idea about what I was looking for, he would most likely be an Australian Shepard, or a mix of some sort, not a red merle or a blue merle, but a speckled dark coat or almost pure black. I imagined he would be an enthusiastic little one, extremely intelligent, not shy, tender, kind of mischievous, but a mama’s boy when it counted. After about a month of searching, I found him. There was only one problem, Remus ended up being a girl. When I first saw a picture of “Sophie”, I immediately thought it was Remus without realizing the gender difference. When I found out Remus was a girl, I still couldn’t turn away. “Sophie” looked exactly like Remus, could it be that after all this time I was wrong? I thought I had wanted a male dog because of my childhood dog, Luna. She was my girl, my best friend since second grade, I couldn’t see myself with another female companion besides her.
Luna was my perfect, sassy, loving but aging little Pomeranian. I thought if I went ahead and found Remus maybe a year before I would lose Luna, it would make that loss a bit more bearable. When I found “Sophie”, it took a lot of thinking to come to terms with Remus actually not being Remus. When I met her, I didn’t have to come to any terms, because I realized that it was a soul I might have been searching for. “Sophie” was re-named as Harley, after my favorite comic book character, Harley Quinn. Harley was everything I imagined Remus to be, she was full of energy, making me break double the sweat in our daily jogs; she was intelligent, learning commands was as easy as pie for her; she wasn’t shy, and the most tender being, the kind to snap at a fly and then let it free after she caught it; she was mischievous and stubborn, if she wanted it her way it was going her way, but she was a mama’s girl and listened with such attentiveness and love and let me have the last word when it mattered. Harley was the definition of the perfect dog. She caught every eye and complement, made me feel safer during my night runs, cheered me up when I was feeling down, distracted me when I needed her to during a stressful study session, and kept me company during a good nights sleep. It’s unfortunate I have to refer to her in past tense, because I didn’t have Harley forever.
Having Harley was one of the best things I could have done for myself, because I spent 80% of my time outside, even to do homework or read. She kept me busy, and entertained, and never lonely. Of course, I underestimated the attention she needed. I was a full time student with a part time job, and school organizations to keep up with, it hurt when I had to put them ahead of Harley. When I spent hours one day having to keep her cooped up, I spent the next day dedicated to playing with her in a field for as long as I could. This guilt was eating me up inside, even though I reminded myself that it would only be for a year and a half of this kind of lifestyle for her, and only five more months of living with a roommate that didn’t like her, or rather, me. I was having a roommate problem during the time I got Harley, which was actually a reason why my puppy fever spiked too, because I felt especially lonely in my living conditions during that time. Then, what I thought wouldn’t happen for a little while longer did, my Luna passed away after three weeks of having Harley.
When I returned home from having Luna put down, it made my relationship with Harley a very difficult and confusing one. Being around Harley made me miss Luna in a particular way because of their differences. I couldn’t help but compare them, and while they say that a new companion heals the wound of the old, I didn’t have a period of mourning. Harley needed all my attention and love, but I didn’t feel like I could give it to her the way I had planned to because of how it ached for Luna. I wished Harley were Luna, and these emotions weren’t sitting well with me nor were they fair for Harley. One of my best friends that already graduated and best Aussie mom to ever live who had taken care of Harley when I left to see Luna for the last time, offered to take her, and there was no one else I could have ever trusted Harley to call mom besides me than her. Going on runs was her favorite, as was soaking in streams on our trail walks, and resting her head in the crevice of my neck is what I miss the most about her, but I knew she would be able to do these things and more in her new life. I did what was best for me, my living situation, and most importantly, for Harley.
So, that’s how I almost found Remus, but I’m having bad puppy fever again seven months later. I’d like to think of Harley as Remus’s long lost soul sister, because I know in a different time and place, Harley would have remained my companion. She was as close to finding Remus as it has ever gotten, but I am making myself wait these eight months until I start searching again, despite my fever rising right now. I’m in my last year of college, I live in an apartment with my sister, and although she is the perfect roommate to raise a dog with, I know I can’t dedicate all the time I’d want to for Remus. He is my responsibility, and I want him to have everything he deserves and more. I’m excited to graduate because of the career choices I could possibly seek, be done with hours on end with graded writing and textbook reading, but what also keeps me going is knowing I’m going to have a little Remus by my side in my first grown-up apartment and during my first post graduate big-girl job. But, Remus could show up on my facebook wall looking for me, or on some add plastered at my school’s bulletin boards between now and then…so who knows. Ideally, he won’t come before his due date, or if I don’t cave until then.
Remus, you’ll be my work-out buddy down all the Austin streets and trails. You’ll be my companion when I’m sick and can’t make it out, and be happy to watch lame documentaries instead of going a night without me. You’ll love my best friend Laura who we’ll share an apartment with almost as much as me, and be there for her in ways I can’t. You’ll remind me of Luna sometimes, but she’ll be happy I have you now to force snuggle with and bother during your naps. You’ll love music festivals and outdoor bars more than me. You’ll be my official cosplaying buddy, no more feeling more single on Halloween than Valentines without a partner to dress up as Joker and Harley with, or Daphne and Fred, or Khaleesi and Drogo. You’ll travel the world with me, see the oceans and vast scenic valleys. You’ll be the best thing to come home to after a long day of work, besides Laura and wine of course. You’ll be my partner in crime before I meet my soulmate, who will give him the approval or dismissal, because I’ll trust your judgement. You’ll miss the Austin life, but enjoy the mountain skyline when we move to Colorado a lot more. You’ll be a little older when I start having kids, but I know you’re going to love and protect them more than I could ever expect you to, and they’ll remember and treasure you the way I do Luna.
So, Remus continue waiting for me, just like I wait for you.