So…My dog is back.
For those of you that know me, you’re probably like, “Kam, you have the mindset of a 4 year old on a sugar high, so how the hell can you focus on a dog?” Let me backtrack and tell you the story. Grab some popcorn and then some butter. And then butter up the popcorn. (Complicated instructions, but I have faith in you.)
There I was, a young strapping lad returning to school for his 3rd year. Do I have any idea what I’m doing? No. Do I have a large quantity of friends to room with? Also, no. Do I even have people that like me? That’s probably a topic for a future blog post…
My friend from freshmen year, Jessica, convinced me to room with her boyfriend Jeremy. Jeremy and I got along well, and Jessica was always welcome at our apartment. Jeremy and Jessica had been dating for a while, so I assume they adopted a dog to see if they could handle a child. Either that, or Jeremy was just whipped into having a dog. (I completely supported him.) Jeremy and Jessica adopted Bella, an adorable hyperactive dog. I’m not sure if it was the separation anxiety, the possible Tourettes, or the nature of being female. But Bella would put her head down and barrel into you. She’d then proceed to lick you until you felt the outline of her tongue on your skin, and then run back and forth between her owners. And she loved being carried like a puppy.
After being convinced by Jessica, I decided that I’d get my own dog. I visited an animal shelter and immediately met “Greg”. (By far, the most ridiculous name for a dog. You may as well call the dog ‘Keith’ or ‘Petite Merde‘.) He seemed docile, and extremely quiet. He was really small, and his fur was a smoky grey. Though his posted adoption sign said pit-bull, “Greg” didn’t look like the fearsome pit-bulls I saw online or in other cages. After a few minutes in his cage and playing with him, I realized that he was the one for me. I adopted him around October 2016 and immediately called my mother, and asked her for a dog name. She suggested “Raja” based on the tiger from Aladdin. I’m starting to wonder if it’s because I behave like Princess Jasmine.
We had a 3rd roommate named Sam, who adored dogs. After having Bella around, and being informed that I’d also have a dog, he decided to adopt his own as well. Our dog family grew from Bella, to Raja, and now Daisy. (You could even say we had a DOGHOUSE. Ha! My mother tells me I’m funny.)
Eventually, things started to snowball into chaos. Our dogs were all young, and not fully house-trained. Raja, as a puppy, would have frequent accidents. It was exhausting, because I also had to account for Army training, schoolwork, weightlifting, and maintaining a social life. Eventually, I realized by January 2017 that I needed to re-home Raja. I wasn’t as focused in school, and all my concentration when to Raja. Because my priorities were so divided, I simply lacked the necessary time to commit to a puppy.
I re-homed Raja, by giving him to Jessica’s coworkers. I gave them his cage, his bedding, his toys, and his medical records. I didn’t hear anything until March 22, 2018 around 10 A.M, when I received a random call from a number that I didn’t recognize. Normally, I don’t answer these calls. Whenever I do, the person on the other hand starts breathing really deeply. This time, however, I answered and was informed by a very kind lady that my dog “Greg” had been found. I was shocked; I had forgotten that Raja’s original name was “Greg” and because I didn’t think the family would just abandon Raja. He was found cold and alone on Wednesday night.
Turns out, the family had a newborn baby. They were worried about Raja, and his size, around the newborn baby. To a degree, I can understand the precaution of new parents. But the former dog owner in me went into rage. Pitbulls were known as nanny dogs, doting over small animals and children. Raja constantly played with my brothers, who were 10 and 2 when I needed to re-home Raja. He almost never barked, was extremely submissive, and easily motivated by food. Particularly, strawberries.
I had my friends pick Raja up from Northwoods Animal Hospital in Cary, N.C. The staff treated my friends with kindness and brought Raja out. One of my friends knew Raja from before, so Raja went to him immediately. Elated that he found his friends again, Raja went home with them. Then, when I arrived, he smiled his big teeth smile with his tongue flopping out of the right corner of his mouth and charged into me. And he’s been following me around since last Thursday, March 22nd.
My current plans aren’t honest. I want to keep Raja more than anything. And that’s what hurts the most. I re-homed Raja due to a lack of time to keep up with him as a puppy. My schedule now is less hectic, but I’ll be busy with multiple projects and a bit of traveling. I’ve never truly maintained a stable life, and I’d rather Raja not suffer for that. I want to keep him more than anything, but the increasing worry is that I may have to re-home him once again.
On an end note, look at the picture above once again. When I first adopted Raja, I didn’t have enough money for a cage. The ones for his size were quite expensive. And people had suggested that, in order to establish dominance, I should not let Raja sleep in my bed. As a new pet owner, this advice made sense to a degree. So every night, I formed some bedding with old worn blankets. But I’d wrap Raja around snugly with a blanket that my high school, Newark Academy, gave me upon graduation. This morning, I exited my bathroom and found that Raja had pulled the blanket out from underneath my bed (where I keep all spare blankets for guests). Out of all the blankets he could have pulled, he chose that specific one and was gently sleeping next to it. And so, like an old father, I once again wrapped his blanket around him.