I named him Byron. I drove five and a half hours away to get him at a decent price. I would find later that he was more than worth the price and if he was at the original farm I was shopping at, I would’ve paid their price. Byron was among five other dachshunds jumping around, whining to be picked up. The breeder picked up Byron and threw him into my arms.
“Here he is,” she said. Byron licked my face and was shaking. “He’s the most adventurous one,” said the breeder. Little did I know how true this would become. She sat down on a couch in the next room. I took that as an invite to sit and stay a while. I set Byron down next to me, keeping a close watch on him as I pulled the cash out of my wallet and handed it to the breeder.
Byron wasn’t necessarily named yet, but I would soon discover on my way home from the breeder’s farm, that Byron was a fitting name. The breeder went over documents and vet recommendations that I soon ignored. I was eager to take my almost three-pound puppy and get back on the road. The breeder then offered for me to meet my new pup’s parents. I was curious, so I agreed.
In the backyard of the breeder’s home were small fenced-in areas. Two of these fences contained two dachshunds, mom and dad. My pup whined in my arms as we got closer, using that sixth sense of saying goodbye for the last time. I lowered him to his mother, dappled and overweight from giving birth only eight weeks prior. They licked each other through the fence and my pup nudged to his father, a piebald dachshund that sat patiently waiting for the first of his litter to go home.
The interaction Byron had with his parents told me he was ready to go home. He had said his goodbyes and I shook hands with the breeder, assuring her that Byron would be raised in a good home.
“Good luck on your car ride,” she said. “His Ma doesn’t do so well in the car, pukes every time.”
I waved and headed towards my car hoping what she said wouldn’t be hereditary in my new pup. Byron was still shaking in my arms as I carried him. I had brought blankets and a small box with me, not realizing how small an under three-pound pup really was. The breeder gave me some cheap sample of dog food and I had a water bowl in the car. I was somewhat prepared.
The pup sleeping in the pile of blankets next to me was a mixture of his parents. The breeder called his coat “piebald dapple”. I would have to do some research on how that was determined. The pup has a white belly and legs, with a speckled brown along his back and head. His face shows a red snout and each ear differs in color. He is beautiful and distinguished. I found Byron to be a fitting name.
I picked Byron out on a website filled with fuzzy pictures of puppies. The website was messy to say the least and didn’t compare to the marketing skills of the breeder in my town. With what she was charging for dachshund pups, I could see why she could have perfected pictures of brand new sleeping pups.
I randomly picked Byron out of the fuzzy pictures of the next website and emailed the breeder. She said she would hold him for a deposit and I Paypal’d the money over. Two weeks later, here we are, five and a half hours away and now I have a new dappled companion named Byron.
Byron was chosen to fulfill a purpose. I’m divorced, two years now and Byron was picked to be a bit more than a companion. Byron was going to be an Emotional Support Animal, or ESA for short. When my doctor suggested that I get an “Emotional Support Animal”, I thought that was for little old ladies who lived alone. In fact, in my mind, these dogs had super powers to push the Life Call button hanging around said little old lady’s neck when she fell. I knew little to nothing about ESA’s and I felt less manly with the thought of carrying a little doggie around with me for “emotional” support. It’s not like I was breaking down crying in the middle of the grocery store and needed a puppy. Or did I?
Okay, maybe the diagnosed depression was justified. I went to see my doctor for my regular visit. I’ve had panic attacks in the past and well, my doctor knew that me leaving my ex-wife may bring back the panic attacks. What I confessed while at her office was that I was having suicidal thoughts. This may or may not have triggered doc to talk to me about getting an ESA. As I was telling her about my anxieties of losing my job and leaving my wife, I realized that I was in my worst slump ever. Leaving my wife was supposed to make things better for me and in all honesty, my ex-wife as well.
I’m probably not going back far enough. Let’s start over. I have a dachshund name Byron. I have been divorced from what turns out to be the biggest bitch I ever met. My name is Rick Montgomery and I can see ghosts, but not without the help of Byron.
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