Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Year of the Dog

This week marks the one year anniversary of Jasper's (known to his friends as Jasper J. Jingles) coming to live in my house with me. Jasper has become my companion, buddy and exercise partner. In the past year, I've grabbed coffee with Jasper more than with any of my other friends. He's really been there for me during this transitional time in my life. He's a really convenient buddy because he always has time for me and he doesn't really have that many other friends so he gives me a lot of attention. I really love him. I think he's great.

Did I mention that Jasper is a dog? He is. He's a dog.

But that doesn't matter. He's my dog, and I chose him from a sea of other possible dogs that needed adopting. It is a little like dating, right? (Go with me on this; at least I'm not calling him my child, I'm just calling him my boyfriend...that's better, right???) In this day and age, it seems more and more difficult to meet new people to potentially date outside the realm of online dating. I'm not in school anymore, and my job as a writer leaves me alone at the computer writing scripts about girls who are dating a lot more than I am. But occasionally a friend will set me up with a lovely young man that she knows/works with/never dated herself, etc. We've all probably done this. I think it's You go to a bar or restaurant with the other person, you see if there's a connection, and then you decide if you're going to take the other person home with you and let them sit on your furniture and ultimately sleep in your bed. Right? Adopting a dog was kind of the same. I (well, WE but we don't need to talk about the EX right now) went and met quite a few dogs. There's a rescue shelter in Hollywood that doubles as a pet supply store and lets the dogs run lose all over the store. It's so much fun, kind of like a doggie Happy Hour. You walk around, casually, saying "hi", feeling "people" out, and then you see a dog that you might like. OR, in my case, the owner of the shop/rescue shelter interviews you and finds out what you're looking for in your dog and then sets you up with a dog that might work. He acts like the friend who sets you up on the blind date. Then you go on the "blind date" with the dog. This looks like a play session in the shop, and then a walk around the neighborhood, just the two of you.

On these walks you learn a lot about the dog. That they're nervous, or aggressive. That they're hyper or aloof. I found all the dogs I "dated" to be one or another or a combo of these traits and so ultimately I realized that they were not the "one" for me, however lonely I was feeling or however much I wanted them to be.

And then I met Jasper. I saw him first on a website. He's not gorgeous, he's got bad teeth and weird hair, but I didn't care! He had that "special something" that I was looking for. He was laid back and mellow, and loving and cuddly, and he didn't shed. Isn't this what we're all looking for? When we met, sparks flew. He was so sweet and caring and excited to meet me, I knew this would work. And it has. And like every new relationship, there's been some bumps. He had secrets, and baggage (how could be not? He was born in a pile of trash.) He didn't tell me right away that he would have terrible leash aggression, and that he might chew on my iPhone headphones if I left them on the bed. He never mentioned that he loves to bark at the TV whenever anyone on the screen yells even a little, or that TV dogs were his worst and most hated enemy. But I'm sure he doesn't love that I often shower and dress and put my make-up on ALL before I take him out in morning. (He actually doesn't seem to care about that. He just sleeps.) We're doing quite well. Thanks for asking.

SO the dog dating thing worked out quite well. The men dating thing is proving more difficult. How could I be so good at finding the perfect dog, but not the perfect man, you ask? Not sure. As I mentioned, I've been on some dates, and the dates have all gone...fine. But that's it...just fine. (That's not entirely true, I've been on one or two that did not go fine. Where thoughts like "I can't believe I shaved my legs for this" and "I'd much rather be home watching GIRLS with Jasper than this" kept floating through my head.) But mostly the dates have been fine/good/nice. But nothing special. And that is not to say that these guys aren't special. They DO NOT have aggression issues, or are aloof, or hyper, or nervous. They have all been very nice young men. They just, maybe, didn't have that "special something." Or maybe I don't. Maybe choosing Jasper was so easy because I was open and ready and looking for some doggie love. Or maybe it was just meant to be. And, I hope, my next relationship with feel that way too, sparks and all. Until then, I have Jasper, a borrowed HBOGO account from my sister and lots of wine. I think I'm gonna be just fine.