I went back to the pet store and tried to return the dogs. Only two of them: Cocoa and Cappy. I figured the pet store would notice if I tried to sneak Diego in as well. I looked like a mess and pleaded my case to the owner. Diarrhea. Crying. Cleaning. I told him everything. He looked at me with pity. I had Cocoa and Cappy in a bag. It was like Macy’s. Sorta. He wanted me to try to keep them for a few more days. If things didn’t get better, then he’d take them back. A few more days? Was this guy nuts! My mind was searching for a solution to this problem. And then I saw it. Pet Store Boy. Luckily, he was there.
I told Pet Store Boy about my dog troubles. We put them in the back of the store, and they ran around and played. He was petting them and thought they looked fine. I tried to use my feminine wiles, hoping he’d take the dogs, but I looked like hell and smelled like puke. It wasn’t working. I almost started crying. I was having a break down while talking to Pet Store Boy, and he still wouldn’t budge. I guess break down doesn’t equal sexy. I needed somebody to take these dogs. He still wanted to go out. Go out? I’d never be able to go out again. My life was ruined. Someone. Anyone. Take these dogs now!
I put the dogs back in their case and started to close it up. They were panting from playing, and they looked so happy. Cocoa was licking my hand. Cappy was giving me sad eyes because he couldn’t play anymore. Suddenly, I felt bad. How could I return dogs? This was nuts. I looked into their eyes and knew what I needed to do.
Back in my apartment with all three dogs and a bottle of wine, I started drinking. And then drunk dialing. I called one of my Aunts. Every dog she ever had was someone’s mistake. She already had a dog that someone had rescued from the pound right before it was euthanized. I wanted somebody to euthanize me. I needed help. I told her about my problem, and she decided to take Diego.
Love Him But Hate Him would be relieved. Not that he had been any help. Hate him!
Diego left the next day and things became much easier with only two dogs. My BFF came back from her trip, and she took Cappy home. One of my cousins was going to take Cocoa from me in a week. Things were finally looking up.
It was the night before Cocoa was about to leave, and she was curled up on my lap. I was writing material, and Cocoa was falling asleep. I was thinking about how hard it was going to be to give her away, but that it was probably the best thing for her. As though she was reading my mind, she looked up and stared into my eyes. It may have been because I was tired, or because of all I had been through, or because I was getting attached to this dog. But the way her eyes looked into mine, it’s hard to explain. She wasn’t looking at me. She was looking through me. As if she was looking at my soul. I sat there explaining to Cocoa why it’d be better if she lived with my cousin. It’d be a better life. A backyard. Kids. Everything a little dog like her had probably dreamed of. I told her I didn’t think I could handlethe responsibility. The commitment. But she just kept looking at me. Staring. Unflinching. I told her I was sorry, but she was going to move out of the city to the country. I stopped talking, and she rested her chin on my knee and gave a large sigh. It was the loudest dog sigh I had ever heard. It made me laugh. I called my cousin and told her I was keeping Cocoa.
A few weeks later, she started barking. Barking at everything. Every minute. All of the time. People in Manhattan might hate owners who get their dogs at pet stores, but they hate a barking dog even more. But I’ve learned how to navigate the pretentious Manhattan dog world. I tell people she’s a rescue dog, and all is forgiven. It’s not exactly a lie. Rescued from the pet store and from almost being returned. Not exactly a rescue dog, but kinda. Either way, I’m glad I kept her. When Cappy and Diego come over all of the dogs play. They bark up a storm together. Probably reminiscing about old times, when they were almost sold back to the pet store, but their cuteness won out. I’m glad it did.