Turn, turn, turn

Life is complicated, no?

I went to a shelter this weekend to look at dogs. Actually, I planned it as an outing for my friend and his friend who is visiting from Colombia, including driving through some beautiful areas and maybe going for a nice walk in the woods. I’ll admit, I made an assumption about the place and didn’t call ahead, which was silly of me. I thought that I’d read somewhere that they had open hours on Saturday mornings (turns out that was another place) and went without any intention of bringing home a dog.

As it turns out, they didn’t have open hours and there was no one even there. I called (because my friend was there – alone I might have just driven away) and the caretaker was very apologetic, offering to turn around and come back from her errands. By now I was back-tracking because I knew I wouldn’t be trying to take a dog home today, but she was really set on showing the dogs so we waited. She ran her errand and graciously came back to show us some dogs.

After talking a few minutes, she decided to introduce me to J.

J 20160326

Gorgeous, right? His only issue seems to be that he doesn’t have any leash manners yet. He’s an owner surrender, so he doesn’t seem to have too much of a trauma history. He’s friendly and not dog aggressive at all,  walked right past a big Rottie snarling and throwing herself at a fence to get at him.

The leash thing is a bit of an issue for me, since I only have a little yard, and would need to be able to walk him right from day one. But I’ll be honest, that isn’t my main concern. My main concern is this: if I go bring home this sweetheart, I’m turning toward him and his care (he will need a lot of attention up front) and possibly turning away from a foster child. Because even though Rottweiler isn’t an automatic no (like a Pit Bull would be), it is going to be some time before I’d feel comfortable saying, “Yes, this dog is safe for kids.” I mean, he could turn out to be a great big sweetie, for sure. But how long will that take?

I believe that what we do in life is largely made up of turning towards or away. Towards higher education, away from traveling the world, towards one person, away from another, towards work, away from relationships, towards play, away from work. Some turning is gentle, and can incorporate other paths, like towards university and towards a semester abroad, or towards career and towards health.

But some turning towards seems to inevitably lead to turning away. People who become lawyers or doctors, for example, often find themselves (willing or unwilling) to be turning away from family/relationships – at least as they are getting started. People who turn towards family are sometimes forced to turn away from careers while their kids are young.

Up until now, even while saying how important family is to me, I have turned towards other things, many times. In fact, all of the times. And now that I’m trying to turn toward family, I find myself drawn towards other things, almost like being drawn away from broccoli and towards red velvet cake. I recognize, with my frontal lobe, that the cake is only going to be delicious in the short term, but my lizard brain says, “Who cares? It’ll be completely worth it for 10 whole minutes!”

Anyone looking to adopt a great Rottweiler? I know exactly where to find one.


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