I grew up in Omaha, NE and attended college at Texas Christian University. I thought I was street smart when I moved to NYC because I was an adult. In Omaha, the streets were so tough that my biggest feud was with the rival high school’s show choir that won contests playing the fiddle to “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. We had one guy in our grade who was Creepy McHandy, but all the girls knew to never share a table in class with him, and that was that. When I was at TCU, someone tried to break into our house and my response was to play dead. This was my background that prepared me for NYC. My parents were a wreck.
I worked at a racketball/personal training gym when I moved to Manhattan because I could do laundry there for free. One of the personal trainers asked me if he could show me around the city. I accepted. My roommate asked me if it was a date. I said no. We worked together (I had watched a lot of Melrose), he was 40, and I was 22. Clearly he would not ask someone that much younger out. She asked me if he knew it was a not a date. It went without saying right? Nope. My first clue should have been when he became annoyed when some guy talked to me while I waited in line for the bathroom. Over dinner, he told me about his rescue cat. I love all animals, particularly ones that have come from hard times. He asked me if I wanted to go see his cat. Smarty pants said yes. We walked into his apartment and he immediately put the moves on me. I pushed him off and asked where the cat was. He showed me and I started to pet it. (Seriously says older me???) He then tried again. I told him we worked together and this was not going to happen. I reference this story with humor because God’s hand was on me that night in that it was only an awkward, and not dangerous, situation. We did not socialize after that night and I had learned a big lesson.
I often think about situations I have put myself in when animals were involved. I don’t regret them. Today, two of my greatest joys in life are my rescue dogs. My big guy, Cooper, and I have a soul connection. I have never felt safer in my house, or out walking alone since Cooper joined our family. Rescue dogs have an innate appreciation for life, and I believe they are more affectionate because of their past. Cooper had some aggression when we got him. He tried to bite me when he thought I was taking a treat away on our way home with him. He also stalked all visitors who came over. We got a trainer, were consistent with him, and today he is the best dog who trusts humans. He guarded baby T from danger when we brought him home, and goes from room to room with me all day. He is a gentle giant who would have become a raging giant had he been with me the night I “went to see a cat”. There are so many wonderful animals in rescue groups or humane societies waiting for you to bring them home. Every day my day is better because of sweet Cooper and wild Ernie Bob. If you cannot adopt, support or volunteer, if you are able.