Note: I don’t really have it in me to write something poetic or artistic for this blog post. I’m pretty broken and disappointed right now. I just need to write about how I feel.
For the last 6 months, I have been researching dogs. All kinds of dogs. Big and small. Fosters and purebreds. Young and old. I have submitted 5 different foster applications—none successful. It has gotten to the point where my Facebook and Instagram feeds consist of all dog and general pet videos. Jack called it an obsession—I’m still debating if that’s true or not.
You see, something awakened inside of me—something deeply primal, instinctual, buried inside my heart and brain—that is longing to take care of another living thing. (It started with a houseplant named Frederick, who I literally treat like baby Jesus.) I am constantly evaluating if this is just an obsessive thing exacerbated by social media dopamine algorithms, or if I actually want a baby of some sort—starting with a fur baby. Lately, I have wanted what I think is…motherhood. And I feel confident enough in my partner where I could handle the trials and tribulations that come with it.
Am I losing it? Can I afford a living thing that would depend on me so heavily? Do I have enough money for this? Does my travel schedule allow for it? Does my lifestyle allow for it? Most importantly, am I mentally healthy enough to be a mom? These are the questions that I think about incessantly, and I know the hard truth is that everything would change forever.
After all that aforementioned research, I finally found a pup that made sense for us: from (what was supposed to be) a hypoallergenic litter of Cavachons in my hometown of Danvers, MA. Cavachons are half-Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, half-Bichon Frise. The pup we wanted was the first born, just like me. He had one big spot—something like a birthmark—on his bum (I have one on the back of my neck). I instantly felt connected to him. We affectionately named him Spot.
When Jack and I proposed getting Spot to our respective families, we were met with resistance on both sides. “THAT IS A FUCKING STUPID IDEA," my Dad yelled over the phone. “Just plain dumb.” And also: “You’ll be tied down for 20 years.” To top it all off, Jack’s family pets recently passed, which added to the poor timing. Yet, seeing how much those pets were loved made me yearn for one even more.
You may have seen my recent social media posts looking for Spot’s fur-ever home. Long story short, we got him—but after 24 hours, we found out that Jack was highly allergic to him, despite information that he was hypoallergenic. But I’ll tell you what—those were some of the best 24 hours I’ve had in the last 10 years. In those 24 hours, I was lighter than air. This small, little creature depended on me for survival. Our one bedroom apartment and lawn were his whole world. I know it, I just know it—he was happy. And for a day, I was his mama. I could tell by the way he snuggled up with my t-shirts because they smelled like me (I gave him one to keep). I see your point, family. I see that it’s a lot of work—picking up poop off our hardwood floor—but it is so, so worth it. I loved him, and he loved me. Unconditionally. For once, it wasn’t all about me and my mental illness—it was about Spot. And I loved that.
However, I feel like I failed at my first attempt of being a mother—and I hate that. I should have done more research when the breeder told me he was hypoallergenic. I feel like I traumatized him by showing him a home that wouldn’t be permanent. The pain I felt when I had to give him back was something akin to a mother in the wild losing her baby. It was a deep, searing emptiness in my core. Total absence of soul. This baby trusted me, and I feel like I betrayed him.
But I had to act swiftly and do what was right. What was wrong was trying to make it work for weeks on end, unsuccessfully, and having him get attached to a mom, dad, and a home that wouldn’t be permanent.
I’m just so scared of doing the wrong thing for a child or baby or puppy. But what I’ve learned in the last two days is that there is no such thing as a perfect parent—I loved Spot, I put him first, I tried to do the right thing for him at all times. That’s all we can do.
I used to want to be a business woman billionaire, a girl boss extraordinaire. But now, my primary goal in life is to be a good mom. And my biggest fear is to not be. One of the first things Jack and I asked our doctor was: Can we still safely have children? I know firsthand that no child should have to grow up with a mentally ill mother. That’s one thing I won’t bring into this world. I have a long way to go before I feel confident enough in my mental health to carry a human life. I thought a dog was a good first step, but even that came with heartache.
To bring this full circle, this is why I was Kanga from Winnie the Pooh for Halloween. Kanga was the loving, nurturing mom I always wanted to have and always wanted to be. I want a Roo, and my heart aches for not having Spot anymore. I hope someday I can continue my motherhood journey—but for now, I have to heal.
If any one of my friends or family is interested in being Spot’s forever family, please send me or Jack a message.