Adventures in Costco

I have spent the last three years of my life trying to find a balance between wanting to stay young and free and wanting to do things adults do — like having meals planned out for the week, wanting to own a home and feeling that clock starting to tick. Trust me, it repulses me to know that my brain has begun to acknowledge that there is a clock at all.

Living with my boyfriend has nudged me towards some adult tendencies. I do try to keep a meal plan in line, for instance, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t totally enjoy a dinner consisting solely of cheese and wine when my boyfriend is out with a friend. It has also introduced me to the benefits of Costco membership!

Yes, I had been to Costco before, but it had never been a regular stop seeing as I didn’t have a membership until he linked me to his. And, as a single girl, did I really need 50,000 rolls of paper towels or 40 eggs?

I wanted to share a recent Yelp review I wrote about my local Costco. I thought it perfectly described my feelings (and maybe yours!) about the mega store.

source: Huffington Post

Costco. Why must I love AND hate you?

On the weekend, it’s a zoo. The Costco I hate: Hundreds of people swinging around their giant carts with no care or awareness of those around them; Abandoning their carts in the middle of an aisle so that other people with their giant carts can try to maneuver around them; Sample ladies yelling about their product; Insane lines; The parking lot nightmare.

But then there’s the Costco we all love: The one that lets you have an insane amount of cheese for 7 bucks.  Where you can snag a bag of popcorn as big as your head for 3, and procure a huge case of wine for a better price than any other store. I find myself telling myself that I need something just because it’s double the size. Look at this giant jar of pickled asparagus! I NEED IT. Those damn sample ladies always rope me in one way or the other. I can’t pass up that amazing smelling garlic bread! Now I need 50 lbs of that garlic bread, don’t you understand?!

After you’ve walked around, you work up an appetite and need a hot dog or a slice of pizza that’s like 6,523,451 calories but it’s 2 bucks so it’s OK.

Then you have to wait in line behind all the bozos who can’t pick up the tempo or steer their giant carts just so someone can take a look at your receipt and items. Seriously, who is going to jack anything from this place? Where would you even hide it?! No, sir, I didn’t take anything from here! I am just 35 months pregnant.

More attack of the carts in the parking lot. Followed by people with either too little or too much patience making the parking lot a very dangerous situation. I am always terrified I will be t-boned or shanked by someone who has spent a little too much time at Costco and will kill in order to get home as fast as possible.

It’s a time suck, it’s jarring, and it’s wonderful. Costco, you are riveting. 

Do you share the same sentiments about Costco? Or, are they more mellow where you live? 

Let me know.

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The Guilt of the (Dog) Adoption Process

source: darwindogs.org

Earlier last week, as you may have gathered from my previous post, I was having a tough go of things in the dog-search. Though I’ve spent most days searching petfinder.com and perusing through city and county animal shelters online, I had decided to slow down to keep from overwhelming myself.

Then on Tuesday afternoon, out of morbid curiosity, I decided to check out the website of the shelter near my home. That’s when I saw Mercedes for the first time. The info sheet described her as a hound mix but she had the features of a taller and larger terrier. Red fawn and white coloring, a nervous look on her face, but adorable. I decided after work I’d go visit her.

On Tuesday I stopped by and found her kennel. She wasn’t timid to approach the kennel door, her tail wagged, but there was a faint whine in her exhales. I looked at her age and at 7 years old, realized she was a bit older than I had expected and wanted.  Based on her age and her reaction to being in there, it seemed like she hadn’t been in this spot before.

I went back out to the front desk and asked if I could meet her. The girl at the desk told me they were closing shortly, and closed on Wednesday, so I’d have to return on Thursday to meet her. I did find out while chatting with the desk person that her owners were homeless, and had to surrender her.

She was a little older than what I was looking for, but I thought it wouldn’t do any harm to visit her and see if we “clicked”. I decided to come back Thursday.

I rushed down on Thursday afternoon to meet her, and was promptly told she was just spayed and was recovering, so I’d have to wait to see her tomorrow.

On the third night, I came back to see her once again. My mom, who also lives close and shares my affinity for dogs, met me there. That was when we found out that she was actually about 9 years old, and was already showing some foggy vision according to her vet check sheet. 7 years old was already a stretch, but 9? That made it tough. The employee mentioned that she was more on the aloof side and a “hang out” dog. I was fine with that, but then said she because of her age, she was a little more selective with other dogs. She claimed that Mercedes was probably not a “dog park” dog. Okay, a little older, and not a dog to take to dog parks. A social dog is important to me, so this was another hit. Still, I felt compelled to meet her.

The shelter adviser took her out of her kennel and left her alone with my mom and I in a secured area. Sure enough, she was aloof. She cared more about sniffing around the secured area than she did with us, or toys. But once in a while, I could get her to come to me. She’d mosey over slowly, tail wagging, and greet me. And in the same amount of time she’d move on to smell something else. As time went on, she’d come to me more often and spend a little more time with me. She started to hook me.

When the adviser came back in and asked me what I thought, I was speechless. I told her that I didn’t know, and I actually didn’t know. Mercedes tugged on my heart strings in a weird way.  Maybe it was the fact that any interest in people that she did show, it was in me. Or the fact that I knew she would be a really “chill” dog — a perfect introduction dog to my boyfriend who had never owned (and never cared to own) a dog. But I knew there were a couple things against her.  I put her on hold so that I could think about her, and talk to my boyfriend about her.

Once I left the shelter I felt the most torn I have in a while. When I got home and my boyfriend asked about her, I explained the internal debate going on in my head. He immediately vetoed her based on age, and I burst into tears.

I can’t tell if it was because he told me no, and I had gotten attached to her in our short visit or that I knew she wasn’t the right dog for us but again, I had found myself attached.  By the end of the night, I realized it wasn’t a right fit and I was going to have to release the hold on her, but it wasn’t without sadness. I shed tears both that night and the next morning. Even last night when I thought I had it under control, I was overcome with emotion again.

Now I’ve committed myself to waiting a month or two to try to find another dog again. The emotional rollercoaster I went through just for this one dog will kill me if I have to do it again, or too soon. I also don’t think I can go to that shelter or visit their website while she is still there. It will break my heart too much.

Because of her age, I know that it will be more difficult for her to find a home than it is the other dogs that are nowhere near as easygoing as she was. And I hate that I am one of those people passing her up based on her age. The guilt is immeasurable.

Have you ever been attached to a dog and logic (or partners) overruled it? How did you handle it? Do you think it happened for a reason?

Let me know.

#AdoptDontShop is Ruining My Life!

#AdoptDontShop is the worst. It’s ruining my life. Okay, I’m over-exaggerating. Before you start thinking I’m a horrible person, I’ll retract my previous statement. Whether it’s ruining my life or not…that’s up for debate. Okay, fine. It’s not really ruining my life. Quickest debate ever. In the past few years, #adoptdontshop has been a huge social media campaign to bring awareness to the overpopulation of puppies (and kittens) that are being sold, oftentimes from “mills”, when there are plenty of homeless pets out there who also need homes. Dog shelters, rescues organizations and Adopt Don’t Shop supporters have promoted rescue as well as spaying/neutering pets as soon as possible to avoid overpopulation.

Most of the dogs in my life growing up were rescues. We had incredible luck with these rescues, mostly because my mom has this uncanny ability to pick dogs out a shelter that fit perfectly with our family. One of these dogs, Keiki, had a huge impact on my life. She was a family dog but she was my girl.  Whenever I had to step outside at night, I’d call her up from her bed to follow me. She’d groggily get up and stand on the front porch, watching over me, until I came back in. She always greeted you with the most love you could get. She was sweet and silly and one of the most valued members of my family. When she was diagnosed with cancer, I wrote about it in a blog I was required to make for a class. To this day, reading it makes the tears well up.

Now, a little over two years after she passed, I am finally living in a place where having a dog is doable. My boyfriend and I live in a house with a sizeable fenced backyard, and I’ve since graduated and no longer have 14 hour days on my hands. I’m ready for a dog. Or so I thought. The truth of the matter is, shelters have very few dogs these days. At least from what I remember. I attribute this to two things:

1. Adopt Don’t Shop. It really is a great campaign, and I am glad it is helping homeless dogs find safe and happy homes.

2. In Seattle, there are actually more dogs than there are children. We love our dogs (affectionately called fur-babies) and it shows.

It really is a good thing that there are fewer dogs to choose from, but it has made it difficult for me to find the right dog for me. The dogs are either too big or too small, they don’t like children or they don’t get along with cats, they don’t like getting along with other dogs, or they’ve been through such trauma that they’re exceptionally nervous. On the few occasions I’ve been able to meet dogs in shelters, we haven’t “clicked”.

As far as getting a dog from a rescue organization, that’s a whole different ball of wax.  In order to even meet the dog, you have to fill out a 6 page application detailing your job, your partner’s job, how long you’ve lived at your residence, your veterinarian’s number for reference, three separate references that can attest to your pet ownership, your training and disciplinary style, pictures of yourself, your house, your yard. I think that if you actually want to adopt the dog you have to submit fingerprints, a vial of blood and your social security number! All the while, someone else could have adopted the dog you want while you’re still writing your whole life story on an application!

Ok. Again, I am over-exaggerating. But it’s an exhausting experience. I spent half a week trying to contact a rescue home only to find out after I finally emailed the director of the organization, that the dog was going through the adoption process with someone else. And for some odd reason, there are tons of rescue orgs from Texas trying to get dogs adopted in the Pacific Northwest. Yes, they’re cute, but how am I supposed to know they’re right for me if I can’t meet them? And is it really okay to put a dog through a flight like that?!

Part of me wonders if I’m also subconsciously holding back because I know they won’t be like my Keiki. I know it’s not fair to compare, but she set the standard high. I also know that in order to find the right one for me, I just have to have patience and deal with rejection when dogs I fall for get adopted.

Has anyone else had a problem finding the right rescue dog, when they didn’t before? Am I just being a high-maintenance dog finder? Am I just being crazy?!

Let me know.