Which wedding anniversary gift is traditionally a dog? Tell me it’s the 7th.
“You know what I was thinking?”
“What?” Scott said, as he gathered his sunglasses, wallet and car keys.
“I think I’m ready,” I started. “I’ve been feeling ready for awhile. I don’t go out as much as I used to. We are financially secure. We live in a house with plenty of space. I feel ready for that next step. I think we’re ready for a dog.”
“We are not getting a dog.”
“But I’m ready! I feel it!” I said, as we walked out the front door.
“We are not getting a dog.”
The weather was beautiful and we were on our way to the countryside for a walk. We passed fields of sheep and horses. Bluebells and daffodils. Scott had put in a post code of a sculpture trail but something didn’t seem right. We were heading in a different direction to what Google Maps had said when he researched this before leaving the house. I got out my phone and searched for more details of the sculpture trail.
“This website says it closed in 2007.”
“We’ll find something else. Look at all these public footpaths.”
We drove for a couple more miles, right past a dog rescue center.
“A dog shelter!” I said, excitedly. “It’s a sign!”
“It’s not a sign.”
“It is! There is a dog in there that needs us. We never drive out here, but we did today. There has to be a reason.”
“We chose to drive out here. We are going for a walk. That’s the reason.”
Scott pulled the car over to the side of the road to study the map on the sat nav screen.
“Hey, there’s a path into the woods. Why don’t we just go there?” I asked.
Scott shook his head and muttered something. I watched a family of four walking on the edge of the road. The mother was wearing a dog rescue center hi-vis vest and she was holding a leash. A terrier wagged its tail as they waited to cross the road. The little girls kept bending down to pet the dog. They beamed at the dog and each other. The younger girl did a little happy dance.
“Oh my god, look! How cute! The kids are so excited,” I said. “The parents probably thought, it’s a gorgeous bank holiday Monday, let’s go get a dog!”
“I imagine they had been thinking about it longer than that.”
“But how exciting! I think I’m going to cry! I’m so jealous. Should we just go take a look?”
Scott entered a new address on the sat nav and we pulled away just as the family and the terrier disappeared into the woods.
We walked around a quaint churchyard and through some fields. It smelled like manure and I was starting to get itchy from all the pollen. It wasn’t what Scott had in mind. We got back in the car and I said, “There was a path right near the dog shelter. We could just go back and–”
Scott cut me off. “There is no way we are going back. We will end up with a dog.”
A few miles on a single-track road later, I tried again.
“I’m telling you, there was definitely an entrance to the woods from that road near the dog shelter.”
He drove in the opposite direction. Fast.
“We are not getting a damn dog.”
Sure sounded like he was telling himself more than he was telling me.
I’d say it’s only a matter of time before he cracks. Possibly six days or so.