The first time I heard my mom was finally going to agree to get a dog was from my sister over text eight months after I moved from Arizona to California for school and two weeks before I was supposed to come home for the summer. After confronting my mother about it, she sent me the sweetest picture. It’s of her holding the most adorable three week old Great Pyrenees puppy. That dog looked like it belonged with my mom. My two sisters and I all agreed that it would be a crime against the universe if she didn’t take her home. They belonged together.
She agreed to get the puppy three weeks after I came home. We even had a name picked out: Cassie, after my family’s never-ending love for the TV show Supernatural. She called the lady, a friend of hers, but she didn’t answer. Something we would soon learn would be a recurring theme. She left a voicemail, unbothered, and told me that she isn’t very good with answering calls from her phone so she’ll shoot her an email tomorrow.
Well, sure, someone can be bad at answering their phone, but when they’ve gotten calls, texts, emails and very nearly a carrier pigeon, you have to assume something else is going on. My mom wasn’t too keen on stalking the poor woman so we enlisted the help of my oldest sister whose daughter is friends with the woman’s daughter. She reaches out asking if the they could schedule a playdate and sure enough the woman answered. Confused and a bit sad at the prospect of not getting our puppy, my mom and I start taking about what to do. My sister, not quite willing to give the universe puppy up yet either, offered to talk to her about it. We agreed that this was in fact a good plan and that we’d wait.
So, we went about our business, Cassie’s cute little puppy face still in the front of all our minds but pushed to the side a little bit. At this point, all my friends knew about her, just as eagerly awaiting her arrival. This dog was the first and last thing I would talk about with anyone. She was going to be my best friend, my confidante, my dog soulmate. The universe deemed her so. But if that was true why was it taking so long to bring her home?
One weekend my family and I decided we wanted to go to the pride festival just outside of town for some fun. We got dressed up, bought body paint, and were ready for a good time. But for me, every time I saw a dog, I just wished we had Cassie. At this point, she would have been about a month old. The perfect age to carry around at an LGBTQ+ pride festival, to show off to every passerby. My beautiful baby girl. My Cassie. It made my heart hurt a little bit.
Finally, the littles decided they wanted to play on the bounce castles. The parents happily agreed, the idea of safe fun and a way to wear out even the most rambunctious child sparking their tired interests. On our way over, I spot the local humane society with a couple kennels set up with various dogs and cats playing inside them. I asked my mom if we could go see them, thinking that I might just get my mind off of Cassie for a moment. She shut me down pretty quickly though, saying that right now we were focusing on the bounce castles. I didn’t argue.
After maybe 15 minutes there, my mom suddenly turns to me and asks if I’d go with her to see the puppies. I looked at her in pure shock. This is the woman who wouldn’t even let me show her pictures of dogs because there was no way on god’s green earth that she’d let me get a dog. The woman who I had to argue with for four weeks just to consider asking the woman who had Cassie if we could take her home. The woman who hasn’t had a dog since our 17-year-old Pomeranian died when I was three. And then she just asked me to go look a puppies. Something was up.
Of course I agreed. I wasn’t gonna so no to puppies. So we walked over. I sat in some kennels, played with some squeaky toys, fell in love with absolutely every animal there. However, one had caught both mine and my mom’s eye. His ears were down, pressed gently against his sleek, black head, eyes wide as he looked right up at us. He was thin and small; probably the runt of the litter. His white paws, speckled with little black dots, danced excited as we walked up to him. I reached over the fence and scratched his little white stripe right between his eyes and smiled as he pressed his little head against my hand. He was the calmest puppy I had ever seen, and when you work at a PetSMART, you see a lot of puppies. My mom threw his little toy for him and he sprung into action, chasing it down excitedly.
We looked at the name the society had given him and what we saw made us both laugh. His name was Dean, and his bother, a significantly bigger puppy with a black coat and white socks, was Sam. I picked him up and I knew. It was him. It was always him. Cassie was not meant to be ours, but he was. So we adopted him. Though we liked that Dean still fit with the Supernatural theme, Dean just didn’t fit him. We thought about how he came to us and how that entire string of events was just completely off and it just seemed like a glitch in the matrix. And that’s where we stopped. A glitch. Our perfectly timed Glitch. Our beautiful baby boy.
He’s not what we expected. He’s a cattle dog but he’s long and lanky like a Greyhound but his face is tough and chiseled like a Shepherd. He’s silly and fun and he loves with his entire body. He is a people person but couldn’t care less about other dogs. He greets me by dancing on his hind legs, speckled paws reaching up for me as he does so. He’s smart. He’s so, so smart. His favorite thing to do is visit my grandparents. And he is the love of my life
Glitch has taught me three things in the time he’s been with us.
1. That not everything turns out the way you expect it to and usually it ends up leading you to a better place than you ever thought you could be. Maybe the place you are in now is hard. Maybe you’re a little sad, or hurt, or whatever else, but things happen for a reason. They happen even if we don’t know why yet. Had I gotten Cassie, Glitch would’ve never come into my life, and though I’m sure I would have loved her deeply, I can’t imagine life without my boy.
2. That my heart is capable of loving in ways I didn’t know were possible. The minute I saw him, I was his. Completely. And it was the easiest thing I’d ever done. Those big brown eyes were just too perfect to not love completely.
Which brings me to my last thing.
3. That I am loved. Always. Unconditionally. For the rest of his life. And after too. For love like that doesn’t end with death.