Not quite a year has passed that I have lived by myself in my apartment and it is but a ‘blip’ in my life now. Who knows - I may even long for some ‘alone time’ eventually. Right now I am enjoying my little apartment that filled up recently. Not only did I get a schnauzer to keep me company (which by the way, I named “Schnazzy”) but I also got a roommate.
First let me tell you about my week with Schnazzy. I cannot even describe that moment of ‘un-loneliness’ that I felt right away. Not many people could understand what I had been feeling when I talked about being lonely. Most people would think of boredom – as they would still have either a pet or a child in the home or even an office to go to that is full of people.
I work from home and unless I go to an interview or church on Sunday morning I rarely get out of my apartment. When you are by yourself and you have moved a little ways out from your friends – you tend to hermit-up. I fell into that rut even though I wanted to make new friends or get out and do things. How do you get started? How do you rebuild a social life?
I went to church and tried to make friends, I made new friends as I interviewed people; but no one asked me to do anything. I would still go home and sometimes there would be days in a row where I didn’t leave my apartment or even use my voice. I was in desperate need of a pet. When I posted on Facebook about my new pooch, friends asked me if he was a rescue. I liked what one friend said, “He rescued you”. That was true. Schnazzy brought life into my apartment.
All of a sudden there was something that breathed, something that moved, something that requested me to talk and to give it attention. The Humane Society requires a pet to be spayed or neutered before you take them home, along with a checkup and shots. Schnazzy was quite sore when I got him home. I carried him up to my second floor apartment. He is not small, he is a medium-size dog and probably not used to being carried around. But he needed me. HE NEEDED ME!
This is what I was put here for – to be supportive, to care, to love and now I was able to love and care for something that needed me. He loved me immediately. My world was complete. Yes, I talk to my dog, yes I dote on him – I get joy from doing that. I even get in the floor and lay with him on the makeshift bed I placed in the floor until I could get him a bed. I could tell he was in some pain, he didn’t whimper but he did let out a slight groan as if to tell me that little area hurt.
I got a small pillow and placed it under his leg to give that area “breathing room” and Schnazzy loved me for that. He knew I was here to take care of him. After that first night, Schnazzy wanted to play. Not too much, but he wanted to show me what he could do with a tennis ball. *Pop*! Flat ball. I tried a rubber ball next. It was shredded in little blue pieces all over my carpet. I am learning about “durable toys” now.
My dog’s personality is so much like mine. He loves early Jazz and he loves to be outside and walk. That next day I took him to the recreation center and he had his first poo. He liked that grass better than the apartment grass which has choppy chunks and holes.
For a while, I had been talking with one of my twin sons about sharing expenses and moving in together like we had originally planned last year. We thought maybe down the road. Well, out of the blue I had texted Nathan and simply said, “I think you need to move in with me now.” He said, “Well that was random,” and I said, “It just makes sense.”
He knew I was right. He called me and we talked about it. He was staying with his grandmother. He had moved in with her shortly after his grandfather had died. It helped her and it helped him while he went to school. Later when his twin Jonathan was left on his own to take care of his two children, it made sense for him to move in with his grandmother. She is awesome with children and helps care of them while Jonathan works. And they all went to the same church. Their place became a bit crowded, and recently I had been looking online for a roommate.
Everything pointed to Nathan being my roommate. We like a lot of the same things and we talk. We both like to cook and we are both tidy – it was just perfect to do this now. So we made plans and Nathan moved in with me this week. Now I have a pooch and a pal.
It works for Nathan, Schnazzy and me because we all like being with people – yet we like our alone time too.
When I think about the difference of having the cat I tried out and having this dog – it’s just so funny how it affects me. Schnauzers don’t shed much at all nor have a lot of pet dander. In fact, after a whole week I didn’t have to dust any more than normal. I didn’t see pet hair everywhere either. There was no litter box or any animal jumping up on my kitchen counters.
Schnazzy uses respect. If I tell him no – he listens. If I want to love on him he comes, if I am working, he sleeps quietly until I am ready to play. Nathan can come and go as he pleases. He is 27 years old and will still be going to school and working so I may not see him much, but it is the fact that he is company and he just makes things easier. I feel grounded once again. I actually had to go grocery shopping and think about more than if I am out of coffee or toilet paper. It may not be for a long time, but it was what we both needed right now. God meets our needs and when things change, I trust He will provide again.
It helps to have a second pair of hands around the house. Tonight, I was petting Schnazzy and saw a bump on his schnout (I know how to spell it – but I have been having fun using ‘sch’ in front of all the ‘s’ words lately… I know it’s schilly).
The bump was brown and had legs. Yes, it was an engorged tick that had been feeding on Schnazzy’s schnout for a couple of days I am sure.
You see, even though I put a flea and tick collar on him, Schnazzy is a bit private when he goes to poo. He likes to back into brush and trees if we are walking at the apartment complex. I am sure he picked up a tick from that unless he had it since the pound. Once I knew it was there I couldn’t stand the thought of my pooch having a blood-sucking varmint on him.
I also am a girl and, if I can’t stand worms, imagine how much I hate ticks. Of course, I did what any insect-fearing female would do… I asked the man in the house to get it! We both looked at each other. He felt since it was my dog and I was the mom after all that I should get the tick off. I had lanced my boys' infections, I had removed stitches – I was not squeamish when it came to nursing or taking care of them, but to remove a tick from a canine (and it was rather large) was a bit different.
We agreed that we needed to both do it. I would perform the surgery and Schnathan would hold Scnazzy (it’s just fun to say!). Nathan didn’t hold him very well and I have 45-year-old eyes now and can’t see very well to grab the head of a tick with fire hot tweezers without getting too close to Schnazzy’s schnout and burning him. So we swapped out and I held my dog. Nathan was able to remove the tick and I mothered my dog with an alcohol swab and a kiss. What a team!
The downside to having my son here is that he likes to poke fun at his mother. As Nathan was unpacking I simply asked him if any of his clothes were on white hangers. “Yes” he said, “some.” When he asked why, I gave the perfect explanation matter-of-factly with “because we can swap some - I have a lot of green hangers and I need more white ones.” This made sense to me and I did not understand why Nathan was laughing.
He asked, “Do you have certain clothes you put on white hangers and certain clothes that you put on green hangers?” It was then that my ‘slight neurosis’ was pointed out to me as he looked at one side of my closet with all white hangers and the other side with all green hangers. I tried to back out of the conversation and went into the kitchen to get a drink of water. When I saw the salt and pepper shakers not lined up properly I straightened them and my son burst out laughing. He moved them on purpose to see how long it would take me to straighten them.
You may wonder if I am ready to send him packing at this point, but I think this will be good for me. I think what little orderly things I have done was just because I had nothing better to do when I lived by myself and I had the time to concern myself with how straight the salt shakers were or how all my spices’ labels faced the front. This will be good practice for me to stop thinking everything has to be a certain way. I might even purposely put something the wrong way just to prove to myself that it isn’t that important. Maybe.
Ah-h-h-h it feels good to have my house full!