following the official theme this week: changing the world.
as you can tell from the header, we have four dogs. charley was my first dog as a grownup. i’d owned a cat and a horse, but due to the constant shift in living and economic situations, i had to give them both away. the cat went to a friend. the horse lives with my sister.
i met charley in 2004. h. and i had been dating long distance for a year. i was in nashville, she in texas. i was still in the thick of being a more public lesbian who happened to work in the christian music industry. (cue eventual meltdown.) i was renting a room from friends who did not want pets. and yet i spent every day looking at the rescue dogs on petfinder. you know: hypothetical dogs for when h. and i lived a life together.
i happened upon charley’s picture one day and fell in love. i arranged to meet her, knowing full well i did not have the money or home with which to adopt her. she was nearly two years old. she’d been dumped by the parents of her former owners. her first years were spent tied to a pole, bullied by local kids with sticks, and birthing two litters of pups.
by the time i met her, she was wary of everyone. very snarly and fearful/aggressive. i don’t know why, but she fell for me immediately, and climbed into my lap. her foster mom was shocked at charley’s affection for me, and said she would approve the adoption right away. i fessed up. i couldn’t adopt her yet. i simply had to meet her.
charley’s foster mom did the unthinkable: she promised to foster charley until i could adopt her. in the meantime, i had unlimited visitation rights. she gave me a key to her house, so that i could come get charley anytime, day or night. four months later, i moved in with another friend for my last few months in nashville, and he was totally fine with charley living in his apartment.
i won’t go into the story of my meltdown, the hospitalization, the horrible season that it was. i will say that charley spooned me every night when my beloved h. was 857 miles away. she never left my side. she slowly learned how to be a stable dog, as i slowly learned how to be a stable human.
…and we packed up my car on december 18, 2004, and traveled together to austin. to h. to home.