The best purchase I’ve ever made


Part 1 of lord knows how many posts about my rescue pup and the importance of #adoptdontshop

Friends, it is time we talked about the best decision I have ever made.  The best money I’ve ever spent. And what has possibly turned into the most money sucking thing in my possession:

My rescue dog, Scruffy.

Scruffy, scruffs, mooshy, bean, little shit – whatever the name, this furry little creature was the single best decision I have ever made in my entire life.  And in true Ali fashion, it was an impulsive decision, even if it was 28 years in the making.

When I moved out of my overly loud, constantly full house into an apartment surrounded mostly by my own thoughts, it was incredibly lonely.  In the adjustment to my new life and surroundings, I was struggling to find a constant companion that I conveniently had built in for my entire life, whether it was my parents or my two younger sisters.  Was I glad to escape the sometimes circus that was my home? Yes of course.  My commute was much easier and I had my own space. But dear GOD. I was lonely.

It is important to note that I have always wanted a dog, ever since the time I learned to speak.  I was lead to believe for a good portion of my life that my first word was the name of my uncle’s dog (it was actually shit, which should surprise approximately ZERO people).  I asked for one every Christmas, birthday, Valentine’s day – any excuse.  It was all I wanted.  My mom refused, every single time.  This was the bane of my entire existence. I had a million stuffed dogs to try and fill that void, but nothing ever worked.

And then I found myself on my own, with a roommate who was totally ok with me adopting a dog. (notice I said ADOPT and not purchase – we will get into this at another time).  So I set out on Petfinder to finally start the search for a pup.  I thought this would take weeks, months even.  The idea of getting approved for a dog was daunting and some agencies had a laundry list of qualifications. Some of the rescue agencies had an alarming number of criteria to meet, and I didn’t even come close in some cases.

And then, when having a bad Wednesday at work, I stumbled upon my little nugget.  There was only one picture of him, but he was adorable.  He was *maybe* housetrained, super small and perfect apartment sized, and was coming to NYC the following week. A chihuahua yorkie mix, he was exactly what I had wanted. I applied for him, put down two of my closest friends as references, and forgot about it. I had been through this a few times before, and despite showing my work husband a picture of him, was trying to not get my hopes up.

And then come the texts.

“Uh, did you apply for a dog? Because some woman called me and wants to talk to me about you.”

“Sooooo someone just texted me wanted to talk about you maybe getting a dog? Did you apply for one?!”

OH SHITTT. That got very real, very quickly.  I was not ready.

“YES I DID OMG I CANNOT BELIEVE THEY CONTACTED YOU” and I believe I added, please don’t eff this up for me.

The agency, Muddy Paws, called one of my best friends on Friday morning.  She talked to them for a little bit, and that was that. And then I got an email explaining that if I wanted Scruffy, I needed to show up to Petco at 9:30am THE NEXT DAY and that there were potentially other people that were applying to adopt him, and it would be first come, first serve. Cue panic.

I can barely take care of myself most days and now I was maybe going to be responsible for another life?! Also, if you are following along closely, this all occurred within a 3 day time span.  Real quick, not a lot of time to process. Also I potentially had to beat out other people for this little furball, but that I was not worried about. I had about 24 hours to make a decision and after about 28 years of wanting a dog, I still felt as if that was not enough time for this. The next 24 hours I was back and forth between yes I will adopt this dog and, wellllll let’s see how this goes. What if the dog didn’t take to me? What if I met him and was like, ehh? OR WHAT IF SOMEONE ELSE GOT THERE FIRST?! I was a mess.

So, that Saturday morning I went to the ATM to get money for the adoption fee and decided that I was coming home with this dog, or I was going to buy a purse.  Either way, I was coming home with SOMETHING.  I got to Petco extra early, because apparently I am only on time for one thing a year, and this was going to be it. I checked in and was praying no one was there yet for him, and I was the first one, so sorry to everything else I’ll be late to now for the rest of my life. They put the dog in my arms and said “ok have fun! Let us know!” and I was like “uhhhh, ok?”

For AN HOUR I walked around Petco, holding this dog in my arms and torturing my friend while I tried to decide if I was keeping him or not. He was pretty calm, ADORABLE, and loved being on a leash, but I was freaked out. All around, he was a great dog and his foster mom reinforced this, saying if she didng have 6(!!!) dogs already herself, she would’ve kept him, he was that great.  After 30 minutes, my dear friend said to me “so do you want a crate? What kind of bowls and leash do you want? I’ll go grab those while you decide you’re keeping him.” I mean, he was right, but I was indecisive and terrified.

So after texting everyoneee I know, including my mother, about this dog, I decided yes. He is mine. I will keep him.  My friend was off gathering everything I needed for this dog HE KNEW I was taking home, I texted my mom and said “Yes, hes mine.”

Now, are we all still with me here? I texted this to my mother, the woman who came up with every excuse in the book for me to NOT GET A DOG my entire life. We remember this? Ok, good.

So I text her this and then I am going down the text chain of everyone who I was live-texting my crisis, and I get a notification from facebook. MY MOTHER, the one who deprived me of this my ENTIRE LIFE, friggen POSTED THE PICTURE OF MY DOG ON FACEBOOK, ANNOUNCING SHE WAS A GRANDMOTHER. A grand dog mother, if you will (her words).  She literally robbed me of posting on social media about MY DOG. After 28 years of her no dog reign, she literally took my social media thunder. To add insult to injury, I looked like absolute HELL in the picture she posted.

This was only my FIRST DAY of being a dog owner, and I had only just decided he was mine.  I am sure you can only imagine how the next two years have gone….

…..to be continued.