The Four-Legged Love of My Life: Mister Wilson
By Jamie Romas
I’m a dog lover who, until recently, had never had a dog. Having lived in tiny apartments in big cities for most of my adult life, dog ownership just didn’t make sense. I could hardly fit my shoe collection in my last apartment, let alone another living being. But everything changed when I moved to Sacramento, the City of Trees, seemingly endless open space, and… DOGS! (Never mind that I had moved into another tiny apartment – everything just SEEMS bigger here.)
In my quest to find my new best friend, I did what any 21st century girl would do – I turned to the Internet. I mean, I had found lots of things on-line – clothes, apartments, tickets to a sold-out Wilco show – why not a dog? (Apparently, some people even get dates on-line, but I’m old-fashioned when it comes to romance, so I still meet most of mine at local dive bars and truck stops.) Anyway, that’s how I found myself on Petfinder.com.
For the uninitiated, Petfinder is a website that lets you search for dogs (or cats, or ferrets, if you’re that type of person) at rescue organizations, shelters, and pounds across the country. You can narrow your selection by location, age, gender, size, or breed. No offense to any “designer dog” fans (I’m looking at you, Paris Hilton), but buying a dog from a pet store or breeder was never an option for me – not with an 3-4 million pets being euthanized in the U.S. every year.
After ruling out some adorable pooches, many of them purebreds, I had a feeling that I had met my match. And so I set off to the Sacramento County Animal Shelter to come face-to-face with Wilson, a 20-lb, red Queensland Heeler mix whose owner, an elderly woman, had recently passed away. (I know, I can hear your hearts breaking now.) Anyhow, Queenslands are known for being neurotic (just like me!), eager to please (ditto) and hard-working (and that’s where the similarities end…). But all Wilson did when we met was curl up in my lap and look up at me with his big green eyes. I was toast.
After my application for adoption was approved, Wilson and I were headed home – I, less sixty-five dollars (the cost of his neutering procedure, a requirement for nearly all shelter dogs), and he, minus his…. well, you know what he was missing. After a few hours of hiding in his crate, he finally emerged, which may or may not have had something to do with the massive amounts of Pup-peroni I plied him with. I am not above bribery, people.
Nine months later, I can easily say that adopting Mister Wilson was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. (My friends and family added the “Mister” to his name, although we’re still not sure what his first name is.) He’s slowly coming out of his shell (but still terrified of vacuum cleaners, traffic cones, and skateboarders – and who wouldn’t be?). What’s more, he made my adjustment to Sacramento much easier. I am now known to many Midtown residents as “Mister Wilson’s mom,” which would make me… Mama Wilson? Mrs. Wilson? Whatever.
Now if only I could build up the courage to try on-line dating….