I'm not always great at knowing when and where to say or do things. I seem to split the difference between speaking or acting impulsively or hesitating and second-guessing for too long until after the moment has passed. They can be equally devastating, in my experience. Knowing when to go with the flow and let things happen, or when to be overly cautious is just really a knack I don't have. Maybe no one does. (If you always get it right, please don't tell me. It will just be salt in the wound.)
Lately, though, I've been of the opinion that opportunities should be grasped. Recent events have confirmed my already-growing suspicion that life is just too short and unpredictable, can change in the blink of an eye, and that, in the long run, these little decisions do matter and make a difference.
I'm sort of a firm believer that a lot of stuff happens for a reason, too. Sometimes it's a really shitty reason, I'll grant you that. But I just don't really buy the coincidence theory.
We've been mulling over the addition of a new pet for a while now, ever since my girl Kizzy died. But there were all these extenuating circumstances, like cat versus dog, young versus old, now versus later...and so on. Choosing a pet is a big deal, and I'm kind of stupid sentimental about the fact that our souls mesh with our animals' just like they do with the people that we choose to have in our lives. It just has to fit, to be easy. And when you know it, you know.
So when I got an email at work last week from a former co-worker whose "grand-dog" needed a home, I just had a feeling. I emailed the hubby and said something to the effect of, "We should get him," and I didn't get much argument. We visited...and "clicked" instantly. I've said before that dogs often look like their owners, or have personalities like them, and because of that, I knew immediately that Baxter was our new family member. We made arrangements to pick him up on Sunday evening after we returned from our planned trip to the lake, and all of us were excited.
We didn't end up going to the lake, though, because as we got in the car and buckled up, we got some shattering news about our dear friend. Again, timing. There's a reason we weren't already on the road, I think, and that was so that we could be here to support her family and grieve with them.
What staying home also allowed us to do, however, was go get Baxter earlier than expected. His appearance in our lives came at the perfect time. Adopting him was not a knee-jerk reaction or grief-inspired, but something that was just meant to be. Bringing him home and allowing him to bring cheer into our lives at a much-needed time, and to fill a void that had been left for months, and giving us something to focus on besides our own sadness...well, I'm thankful for that.
He has wagged his way into our hearts in a very short amount of time, with his water-logged ears (they hang in his water bowl), his slobbery jowls, and his selfish hogging of two-thirds of the bed. Each one of us thinks that he is our special buddy (even though I know it's really me that he loves the most), and I am so, so happy that I didn't hesitate and miss out on a chance to have this dog in our lives. Timing is everything.