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On dog sitting (and wanting one of my own)

For the past week now, there has been a furry little critter calling my apartment home. He’s a welcome one of course--my friends’ Yorkshire Terrier, Chewie, is cohabitating with me while his owners trek through some of California’s most famous hiking trails.

I have always been a dog person. My parents brought home a golden retriever puppy, Max, when I was one-year old and we essentially grew up together. I walk down the streets of New York cooing at mellow malamutes and affectionate affenpinschers, and I am the person who hangs out outside the Madison Square Park dog run just to watch the pooches play and romp around. My friends often roll their eyes at the invisible magnet that seems to lure me toward all cuddly canines.

Because I am not allowed to own a dog in my current dwelling--nor could I realistically take care of one solo with all my traveling--I have accepted the fact that I must admire all huggable hounds from afar. That is, except when I take a volunteer shift at Animal Haven (what I call my puppy therapy). So when the opportunity presented itself for me to dog sit Chewie for 10 whole days, it was hard for me to constrain my excitement.

The first day I had him, I spent the entire morning at my desk thinking about how he was doing alone in a new space and how I couldn’t wait to see him. So, logically, I went home for lunch because I didn’t want to wait until 5. Since then, we have taken walks to the LIC waterfront, hit up official and makeshift dog parks (which I can actually go into now as a non-crazy person!), and collaborated on some pretty cute Instagram shots. When I cook, he sits by my feet. When I motion to give him a treat, he simultaneously gives me a high-five and rolls over. When I work from home, he makes himself comfortable on my lap and it’s all I can do to not stop my work and take a catnap (excuse me, dognap) with him. At night, he curls up next to me--as close as possible--and snoozes soundly until the morning sun breaks through my window.

It’s a pretty doggone great life.

But I can’t escape the fact that Monday morning, the California traipsing will be over, and I’ll have to give him back. I already know that night will be quiet, lonely, and depressing, and I’m definitely not looking forward to it.

It’s amazing how we judge our lives to fit into one mold, yet when things get entirely and totally shaken up, it still seems to work. I know that my time to have my very own dog will come soon, but right now I feel like it cannot come soon enough. Until then, do you need a dogsitter?

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