It starts with a dude named Megadeath.
In 2000, my boyfriend (now husband) was recruited by an out-of-town company to come work for them full time. It meant moving to a bigger city, 5 hrs away, and us becoming a long-distance couple. We were both committed to making it work though the larger goal was clear: get me to move.
During the months that followed, we would spend time talking about what our life would look like when we lived together. What neighborhood we would live in. How we would get around the city. What we would spend our free time doing. And the recurring conversation: would we get a pet? The answer was a dog. The breed was a Shih Tzu. His name would be Megadeath.
About 6 months later when I did land a job in that big city and we did move in together, we quickly realized that dog living was not going to be right for us. We were both young upstarts who were working crazy hours to prove ourselves and were rarely home.
Plus my boyfriend revealed a bigger secret: he didn’t really like dogs.
So we got two wonderful kittens from a vet down the road. We carried them home in a backpack. Maggie and Milhouse proceeded to harass our downstairs neighbour with their tireless attempts at catching each other; they moved with us to our next apartment where they would literally climb the rafters and contract a wonderfully fun case of fleas; they moved with us again to our first house where they learned what life was like when the human babies started arriving; and they moved with us one last time where they discovered the joy of being allowed to run in a backyard plus run away from your loving mother when she’s otherwise occupied with a toddler.
Maggie passed in 2009 and Milhouse, just this past January. Before Milhouse’s passing, we had numerous conversations about what we would do when we were pet free. Being two tired parents of three small children, as much as we loved our fur babies, the idea of having a few less creatures to care for sounded perfect. We agreed we would live pet free till our kids became quite older, more independent, before welcoming another cat.
Here was the problem: within a week after Milhouse’s death, I signed up for notifications from every dog rescue in a 500km radius. I missed having a fur baby around almost instantaneously and my heart was telling me it was time to try being a dog owner.
My husband has no idea.
And so, the deep dark secret continues. Don’t tell him. I don’t want to betray our agreement that we were supposed to be living pet free. And I definitely am not ready to broach the subject of “I want a dog” to the non-dog liker.
Until I can tell him, I’ll just keep secretly looking at online dog photos and fantasize about our future with Megadeath.