The question of whether to get a pet or not has loomed over our household for many years…let me rephrase that…the question of whether to get a pet or not has been asked many times over the past 15 years, with the same results every time.
“Daddy, can we have a dog?”
“You know the answer. No pets.”
Every time but one that is. The last time, the question was posed differently and by a different person—my wife Isabel.
“How upset would you be if we got a dog?” My mind raced. Was I coming home to a dog? Was this a test of some kind?
My answer was cautious, “What did you get?”.
“Nothing, I thought since you work late so many nights…and the kids have always wanted a dog…and you had your way for 15 years…and you won’t have to do anything…”
“Stop.” I was a broken man—it had been 15 years of begging. “Go ahead, get the dog.”
I hadn’t given her a chance to get to use their secret weapon, “We’ll name him Bowie.”
Turns out the ever-efficient Isabel had already done some research and decided that the perfect breed that would suit our lifestyle was the Yorkiepoo (the person in charge of naming should be fired). Shortly after she found a kennel and scheduled a visit where the young (and yet unnamed) Bowie had just been born on September 24, 2017. Within days I was reluctantly on a two hour drive with my wife and daughter to select the newest member of the family—they wanted to make sure I was happy with the selection, fair enough.
I stood quietly at the door, hands in pocket, as the breeder and her two peculiar looking children introduced Isabel and Maya to the litter. They asked questions and messaged photos to Noah to get his opinion.
“Which one do you like dad?”
Honestly, I didn’t care and I’m pretty sure my body language was exuding that sentiment. “Not the white one. White dogs always look dirty. Get the black one…I like black”. Very scientific…I can be a real ass.
The next few months were filled with anticipation and the house was prepared for the new puppy—a crate, bed, toys, food, sweaters. “What are the sweaters for? You know he’s born with a coat, right?” Did I mention I can be a real ass?
November 26, 2017 was the day Bowie came home. Isabel and I did the two hour drive and met breeder lady and her peculiar looking children at a McDonalds’ parking lot near her house. I went in to get us some coffee while Isabel conducted the exchange—the money for the puppy—and since I was hungry, I added a cheese burger to the order. When I arrived at the car, Isabel was already there with Bowie sitting on a blanket, shivering in her lap—obviously confused by the recent chain of events. As I sat next to them unwrapping my cheeseburger he seemed to perk up, which made me feel bad—that feeling you get when you’re in a restaurant and you see a homeless person standing outside the window. I still wonder if that burger is the reason he runs to the kitchen every time we open a block of cheese.
Bowie moved in and has adjusted well, as dogs do I suppose, and the family has kept their end of the bargain—I’m not responsible for anything when it comes to him. I haven’t fully embraced dog culture—he licks way too much (yuck), I find it bizarre that “dog people” need to always stop and talk to each other, and that other dog people think my house is now “pet friendly” because we have Bowie.
So, contrary to what everyone said would happen, I like Bowie and find him entertaining, but I do not love him as much as Isabel, Noah and Maya do, and that’s fine. We have an understanding of respect—if we’re home alone, I sit on one sofa with my MacBook doing work and he lays on the other sofa sleeping, occasionally opening his eyes to give me that look of, “Hey Big Guy, you ok?” What I do love is the enjoyment he brings to my family and in essence, that’s the same thing. Visit him on Instagram @thebowiechronicles.
This story is dedicated to the memory of Bowie’s friend Ziggy Pereira.