That was the picture on Craigslist I found when desperately combing through all the “toy poodles” listed for my area.
You see, last December my old dog Champ died. He was a big old chubby German Shepherd/ Basset Hound mix that I love dearly. Champ had epilepsy, and his seizures were dangerously severe. I nursed him and medicated him and drove him to numerous doctors looking for answers for years. Champ helped me become an adult. He helped me take real responsibility. He was a friend when I needed one. He was a helper when I needed one. He was my companion, and when he died I was more devastated than I had ever imagined. I mourned for him longer and more painfully than I have mourned for humans! I even began feeling guilty for grieving so heavily over a dog! It’s a special, innocent relationship to love and be loved by a dog.
At first I wanted no “replacement.” My heart ached only for Champ, but he was not coming back. When I thought I was ready again, I fostered a dog from the humane society with the intention to adopt. After one night with that sweet dog, I woke up crying and knowing that I was either not ready yet, or this dog was not right for me. Regretfully we sent that dog back with a note and a monetary donation, never adopting him. I felt so guilty but seeing him in my house made me miss Champ so much it hurt. (I did keep up with the fate of that dog and he was adopted shortly after.)
Then I was content to be dog-less again for a period: scared of another failed attempt to let a new dog into our house and especially my heart.
I am a believer in fate/divine plan/ miracles (whatever you call it in your mind.) There came a day a few weeks later when I developed an obsessive behavior of searching online for toy poodles. I was emailing individuals, applying to rescue groups, texting sellers, and TALKING about this process all the time! I have no idea where the desire for a toy poodle came from, but I sure am glad it came. Before that time, I hadn’t expressed an interest in poodles since I was about three!
Anyways, so there I was- searching Petfinder, Craigslist, and every humane society around for a toy poodle- the opposite of the kind of dog I was previously attracted too. And I found this guy.
If I said it was love at first sight I would be lying. My desperate searching self was in love with every little curly dog I saw at that time. If I said it was a match made in heaven, then maybe you’d understand.
I sent another email laced with hope, love, desire, and potential, just like all the others I was sending at the time.
I got a reply that he was still available.
I tried very hard not to get my hopes up.
For four days, I went back and forth through email, texting, and phone calls with the owner of the mop-like white dog. She was very frustrating, to say the least. She told me the small dog got on her nerves. She told me numerous lies. (One being that he was a pure bred toy poodle with papers.) She let me down, then got my hopes up, then let me down again. I was beginning to wonder if the dog she was advertising even existed. The more she proved untrustworthy, however, the more i wanted that dog (if he existed) out of her wavering hands and into my loving ones. Finally I asked my dad to intervene. He called her, asking about the dog, only to be told “I don’t have a dog on Craigslist! Leave me alone!” And she hung up.
He called back demanding the truth. After a few more calls and the stern voice of a father, it was decided that she would meet him the following day at a nearby gas station.