I lived for many years without a pet. New York makes it costly.
One year and change ago, my sister and her partner adopted a rescue dog after moving to San Antonio. He’d been abandoned–the usual story, there was no knowledge of his undoubtedly grim history. Dusty came with his name and he came with some emotional issues that were clinical in intensity.
He would pee whenever left alone in the apartment, was desperately frightened of a number of everyday objects and experiences, and was hard to read. They were hopelessly devoted. Their hypothetical newborn babe wouldn’t have elicited more tenderness.
Dusty’s adjustment has been a slow magic carpet ride. The first time I picked him up he quivered like a recently hatched chick. Now he seeks me out. He loves both his apartments (Dusty is on the lease at two houses), and floats like a king among his extended family.
I started an Instagram page for Dusty Gunther Ramsey a couple of weeks ago and he quickly surpassed me in followers.
And since this blog is about me, let’s talk about how my life has been enriched. It’s a ridiculous, distracting and fun part of my day to find a picture of Dusty to post for his fans. Is this a good use of my time? Yes, no, maybe. I like doing it.
Then there are the other obvious benefits we hear about all.the.time. He gets me outside, he gets me talking to chipper dog owners, he requires performance of care taking tasks that are emotionally rewarding.
I’ve taken a step of my own that’s less of a commitment but has become just as essential a part of mood management. I adopted a kitten. Over the Christmas holiday the family would sit around and watch her jump in the air like a Flying Wallenda.
When I’m in New York I wistfully stare at pictures and videos of these animals. So let me just say this: even if it seems slightly impractical or expensive, just get an animal. I don’t have my life in total order but I manage, and the animals keep me going when I want to come to a screeching, dust kicking halt.