Well, I wasn’t sure this was something I would ever do, but about a week and a half ago, I got a dog.
I guess I always knew I would get a dog at some point, but didn’t expect it to be this early. I’ve always been concerned about being able to care for a dog. I knew I was responsible enough, but wasn’t sure my future plans, schedule or lifestyle would be good with a dog in it.
I often work odd hours and — before getting the dog — spent a lot of my free time away from home.
I watched people get pets in college, which horrified me. I couldn’t imagine anything worse. People would split the cost of a cat or dog with their college roommates, never thinking about what would happen when they moved away to different places, or all wanted to go out of town the same weekend.
I didn’t want to be that type of pet owner.
So I held off. Friends of mine got dogs and I loved hanging out with them, but I knew even though I wanted one, it wasn’t for the best.
Then one day, I said to hell with what’s best. I found a young beagle — just barely still a puppy — online that needed rehomed. When I saw him I thought “If I’m going to get a dog, it’s going to be this one.”
So I went to pick him up.
I’ve always liked beagles. They are a good size, they’re active and they have that awesome howl — although my dog has yet to do it.
I brought him home and wasn’t sure what I had gotten myself into, but I dove in head first. I set up an appointment with the veterinarian, I bought food and toys and a bed, and I gave him a name.
I named him Dish, which is quick to bring a raised eyebrow to everyone I tell. I named him after Dishwater “Dish” Boggett, a character in Lonesome Dove. The novel by Larry McMurtry is possibly the greatest Texas story ever written — unless maybe you prefer the dark, brutal world of Cormac McCarthy. Either way, the novel — and especially the television miniseries adaptation — is one of my favorite stories.
I could have named him Woodrow or Gus — after Lonesome Dove’s epic heroes — but Dish just seemed to fit. I found out later it fits even better than I thought.
Dishwater Boggett got his nickname because he was once so thirsty he drank dishwater. And my Dish is always thirsty. He’ll drain his dog bowl as quick as you can fill it up sometimes.
We’ve had ups and downs in our short time — he likes to tear up his dog bed when I leave him to go to work — but overall I’m figuring this pet thing out.
I’m glad to have a wagging tail to come home to each day, even if I’m still not sure what I’m doing.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun, and is tired of people saying he should’ve named his dog Shiloh. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.