For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of listening to me yammer on about him in person or had the grave misfortune of sitting next to me on the plane the other day, it might actually be news that there is a new man in my life. Don’t get excited just yet. He’s 9, he’s got red hair, and oh yeah… he’s a dog. That’s right folks, I finally broke down and decided “eh, why not? I’ve managed to keep myself alive this long? How hard can it be?”
Well, that’s actually a tricky question. So far we haven’t run into any real problems (except his gas at night and in the morning which seriously rivals mine) but the relationship is still new. Sure, we did some training and bonding exercises for a couple of weeks before I was even able to bring this guy home, but Karl’s got… history.
Cue the Sarah McLachlan music as I tell you this tale of woe. Karl’s a rescue dog. He’s had a bit of a rough life so far, spending several years as a guard dog even in the harsh Chicago winters. His ears are actually scarred over on the edges from a likely combination of frostbite and flea bites. To top that off, Karl’s been in a shelter for the past two years. According to the good people at the adoption center, this brings Karl to the ripe old age of 9. Now, somewhere along the way (not sure if it was in his backyard or they had one at his boarding facility) but he managed to find the Fountain of Youth, because there is no possible way I would have guessed he was 9 years old. He’s always up for a walk and he’s constantly stumbling (hardwood floors this guy? Hasn’t quite mastered ’em yet) around his new home. But that’s another thing, this is his first time in an actual home, if you can call a studio apartment a “home.” Still, it’s the best Karl’s had for awhile.
In the past fifteen minutes it’s taken me to write this, Karl has interrupted me for belly rubs about three times. It’s not that I’m not paying him any attention, but this level of individualized attention, not to mention the several chew toys he’s managed to rip through in the first night, are all luxuries for this guy. It’s pretty much a new chapter of his life. And mine too.
Now, I made a promise to a good friend of mine that the moment I got a dog, I wasn’t immediately gonna turn into one of those people who can’t shut up about him, but it’s still new. After all, I’m a proud new papa.