I never had any desire to have a dog. Cats were okay, easy to take care of, and you could leave them alone for the weekend with food and water and a clean cat box, and they were still alive when you got home. I grew up with dogs being outside pets, and the last thing I wanted was a puppy to potty train and chew on everything in our new house.
“I really think we need a dog for you, honey,” my husband said. “You are home alone a lot, and I would feel better if we had a dog to protect you.” He said the dog was for me, but I didn’t want a dog, so really, the dog was for him.
He brought me newspaper advertisements for puppies, and researched different breeds of dogs on the Internet.
“We should get a medium-sized dog, one that isn’t too hyper in the house, but not a stupid dog, you know?” he said. “There are border collie pups for sale not far from here. This article says they have good temperaments and are very trainable. They are at the top of the list for intelligence.”
Why didn’t he understand that I didn’t want a dog?
“Let’s take a drive out there this Saturday and take a look at the pups,” he said.
I consented to go, understanding that he really needed a dog. There are things we must do for the ones we love.
We drove down the long gravel driveway leading to a large run-down farm. The house was falling apart and peeling paint, and there was farm equipment scattered randomly, looking like it had been left where it broke down. The lady who greeted us had about two teeth left in her mouth, and then we saw the puppies.
She had three tri-colored pups with black, tan and white markings, and two fluffy gray and white pups. As I picked up each one, I noticed welts and bruises. They were weak, and moving slowly, but they gave us happy smiles and wagging tails. I could tell they were dehydrated and suffering from malnutrition, and my first reaction was to get the heck out of here. I looked at my husband, giving him the sign we should leave, but he kept on holding tight to one of the pups. I had placed each one into his arms, one at a time, and he had wanted to hold this puppy again. She had the tri-colored markings of her mother, fewer welts and bruises than the others, and was very sweet.
He looked at me with big sad eyes, and I knew we would be taking her home. I got out the checkbook and paid the old lady. She swore the dogs were purebreds and had been fed top-of-the-line food. She gave me the puppy’s papers, and the three of us headed home.
I looked at the papers, not really caring if she was a purebred or not, but curious. I looked at the date the litter was born, and to my surprise the date was on my birthday in May. I decided to name her May. She was my dog after all, right? I could name her what I wanted.
It’s funny, I have to thank my husband for insisting we get a dog for me, because she truly did become my dog. She’s become my closest friend and guardian angel.
I no longer have a husband, but I have this loyal animal who will always love me and never leave me. I won’t say she was easy, as border collies are energetic and need to run and play. They are herd dogs, and are most happy when they have a task to do. We’ve been together ten years now. We’ve been through puppy obedience school and agility classes, and we’ve moved to many different places together.
I can’t begin to explain what a privilege and a joy it has been watching her grow, training her, disciplining her, loving her. Her eyes never leave me, and she constantly tries so hard to please me. How could I not be pleased? She is my heart and soul, my forever companion, my May.