Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

April 1, 2008

In the Dog House?

Although our moving date is two months away, Wine Guy and I are both eager to secure a place quickly. Neither of us want to go through the torture of apartment hunting, scheduling visits, credit checks and all that crap. So when a co-worker told me about a house that is about to become vacant just around the corner from my current place, we jumped. A cute craftsman in a cool, walkable neighborhood, right price, nice neighbors - seemed perfect. So what if the landlord sounds a little nutty and it doesn't have as much space or storage as we envisioned? Despite these creeping doubts, we were still pretty excited about it and awaited a return call from the landlord.

Meanwhile, another option emerged as a bit of a surpirse. Wine Guy's friend Kansas Cad wants to move out of the townhome he owns to a more bachelor-esque studio rental downtown (he is a committed cad after all). At first we joked with each other about renting it from him because we thought we were settled on the cute craftsman. But the longer we sat with our doubts, the more we realized this might be a real opportunity. When we asked Kansas Cad about it, he reacted enthusiastically.

To be honest, I'm not thrilled with the neighborhood. It's "beach adjacent" which is a nice way of saying the slums of the beach (if anyone is from LA, think about what "Beverly Hills adjacent" means in an apartment listing -it ain't pretty). But it's in beautiful condition, new hardwood floors, redone kitchen, washer/dryer (a big deal for me as I am way OVER laundromats), a fireplace, a garage, two bedrooms, one and a half baths, and a new deck. Plus, it practically overlooks the tennis facility I use all the time (well, when I wasn't a gimp) and the location near the coast makes it easy for Wine Guy to hop on his bike for his weekend rides. Throw in the fact that the rent is reasonable and we know the landlord is not a nut (a player sure, but a sane one), and now it's sounding like a pretty damn good deal.

But all those great features are not why I want to rent the place. There is one, singular reason I am willing to live in the Beach Slums as opposed to the hip/cool gay neighborhood I have lived in and loved for six years.

I can have a dog.

Kansas Cad's place is one block from a grassy dog park and a five minute walk from the famous Dog Beach. I am the first to admit that I have blatantly transferred my potent maternal instincts on to my ferocious desire to have a dog. I look for excuses to visit my friends who own dogs. I volunteer to dog sit for my mom's dog when she goes to the theater on Sundays. I subscribe to The Daily Puppy. I even lurk around Dog Beach pretending I'm there with my [imaginary] dog just so I can watch the frolicking.

Screw Disneyland. To me, dog parks are the happiest places on earth. I love the way the dogs all play together, like kindergartners in a slobbery sandbox. I envy the way the owners all socialize, even though they would probably not even say hello if they passed each other on the street sans dogs. There's just something about dog camaraderie that brings out the goodness in people. Well, most people.

I want to be a part of that. I want to have a reason to rush home at the end of the day. I want to have something there that needs me. I want to have something that Wine Guy and I can nurture together (like Gouda and her boyfriend BabyFace did just recently). And since I'm not the kind of girl to get knocked up without the knowledge and approval of my partner, I think I at least deserve a damn dog while I wait.

Awhile back when WG and I had the "moving in together talk," I asked him if we both wanted the same things. He responded, "Well, what exactly do you want?" Without hesitation I said, "To get married, have at least one kid, and a dog. And I don't care what order that happens." It sounds blunt but, hey, he agreed.

So perhaps the dog will come first. I sense Wine Guy is a bit freaked out by my absolute insistence on this. "I will only live at Kansas Cad's place if we can have a dog. Period." Perhaps he was just stringing me along all this time and now that it could actually happen, he's balking. We did have an "incident" with his doggie tolerance early on in our relationship that still lurks in the back of my mind (as does my semi-retraction a few hours later).

We'll see if he really means it. In the meantime I'll start checking the listings on Petfinder. And if anyone knows of a Shiba Inu that needs rescuing, let me know.



Melissa said...

So many exciting things to think about! A quick question, though: Do you think you should a wait a while (say, 2-3 months) until after you've moved in together to get a dog? You'll already have a lot to deal with by moving in together -- it'll be quite an adjustment for you, WG and your cats to cohabitate in a new environment and I'm worried about everyone's stress levels. Sorry to ask, but it's just a thought...

Dating Trooper - Dating is Warfare said...

Good question, Melissa and definitely in the plan. I would not get one until we are settled in (at least one or two months) and then it will probably take a month or two to find my "dream dog" at a shelter or rescue group anyway. The point is not to rush but that I can now begin thinking about a dog without it being a pipe dream (like it feels when I think about having a baby!)

mimi of sexagenarian and the city said...

omigod -- first the cats, then the furniture, now the dog, then the baby -- i sure hope you don't have any PLANTS!! but hey you're a californian, so you probably like green growing things. how will they factor into this emerging family?

Nicole said...

If Kansas Cad is a friend, consider whether you're willing to lose the friendship when you move into his place. If something major goes wrong and needs to be repaired, is it going to be an issue?

As for a dog - I agree, give it some time before you make that jump. You need time to enjoy each other first before adding a 4-legged child! :)