Last Friday night, Howard and I were at a gas station in Paducah getting beer. When we pulled up, I saw a little Jack Russell terrier wandering around the parking lot. He came over to me and I picked him up while looking around for his owner. He had his vaccination tag and an ID tag which stated his name was Barkley and he lived in Mayfield, near where I work. On the tag there were two phone numbers so I took out my phone and dialed the first one. It was out of service. While I was dialing the second one, an older man came over to me and asked if I was going to take him home. I laughed and said, "No, I am trying to call his owner, I just took in a stray dog a couple months ago and I can't take anymore". He then laughs and asks me if I ever take in stray men. I know I mentioned he was older, but did I mention the crutches and the eye patch?? Without even looking at him, I point inside the store and tell him my boyfriend is inside and go back to dialing. The number goes straight to voicemail. Howard comes out of the store and asks what I'm doing with the dog.
H: Nah uh, no way, we are not taking him home Dana.
D: But he has a home, he has tags!! I'll drive out to Mayfield tomorrow and find his house, I promise.
D: Fine, we will stay here until I can get a hold of the owner.
D: Well I can't just let him go! What if he gets run over?? Huh? Then how will you feel?
H: Dana, we live in an apartment, we cannot keep another dog. Kentucky isn't like Virginia. His owner probably dropped him off here and they don't want him anymore.
D: But...but, they would take his tags off of him if they didn't want him anymore!
H: And if you can't ever get a hold of the owner? Then what?
D: I'll take him to a shelter. (Both of us knew I was lying)
Ugh. So I called the owner again on the way home and left a message stating exactly where I saw the dog and to call me as soon as she got my message. And then I cried. And wouldn't talk to Howard for a while. I tried to explain to him how I would feel if Jack got loose and how I would much rather him get taken in by someone like me then left out on the street.
And then the owner called and said she was on the way to get him and "thank you, thank you, thank you". I resumed crying but out of happiness this time. And Howard admitted he was wrong and should have listened to me about the dog having an owner.
In his defense, if he let me take in every single animal we come across, we'd be running a farm. As I have said before, I blame my mom. I am way to soft-hearted when it comes to animals and other people's problems and I always want to make it better even when it's ridiculous like the following examples of two times I have cried in the last week.
I cried watching Hook on Saturday morning. It was at the part where Peter Pan (Robin Williams) comes back to Neverland and the Lost Boys led by Rufio don't believe it's really him. But then the little boy feels Peter's face and says, "There you are Peter!" and some of the boys start crossing the line drawn in the sand to stand on Peter's side. Except I wasn't crying for Peter Pan, I was crying for Rufio because I felt bad he was going to lose his power.
I cried during the Thursday night Steelers/Titans game because Hines Ward fumbled the ball. Hines Ward is ALWAYS smiling. And I mean ALWAYS. We've nicknamed him "Smiley". He fumbled the ball and then he wasn't smiling anymore. And that made me cry.
Luckily Howard has had 3.5 years to get used to this and he deals with it well now. He used to say things like, "What are you crying for?? This isn't even sad! It's funny!" or "What did I do?? Did I say something wrong?" But now he thinks it's completely normal that I cry because Smiley stopped smiling. I mean, that's a big deal.
Again, all blame is on my mom.