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March Rashness or The Story of How I Got a Dog and Became a Teacher pt.2

Poison. Ivy. I had managed to get poison ivy in the middle of March — and badly I might add. So there I sat on my couch. Most of my body was suspended to allow for air flow, the majority of it looking like a woman’s evening face mask. Earlier in the day I had been on the computer, trying to distract myself from the fact that I wanted to take a belt sander to most of my appendages. Freelance work had been slower at the time, leaving me to do what most creatives do with their downtime — kill countless hours on the internet. Movie news, music news, Youtube, fan blogs, all the familiar haunts. Of course, given enough time, people are bound to land viewing one of two places, porn or puppies. Somewhere in the informational ether, there likely exists a study that proves this inevitable probability.

I happened to be in a rift with a relationship, leaving many reading this to presume exactly where I would head. As it was that day, I was more somber than carnally fixated, so puppies it was. My searches first led me to the general lot of animals doing funny things on screen, to puppies doing even funnier/dumber/cuter things. In my cruising, I kept noticing Animal Adoption banner ads. Whenever anyone sees advertisements for animals — especially ones in need — commence the heartstrings being tugged. Seeing as my general mood was rather washy to begin with, the incessant barrage of sad dog and cat eyes made me even drippier. It made me recall the last dog I had, who at that point had been gone at least a good six years. This naturally led to my searching for collie rescue sites. My logical side warned that it would be highly dangerous to look at collies in need, especially given my “delicate” state. However, it’s worth noting that my brain, is at any given time,  split into several partitions, all with their own sense of logical. Upon hearing one section’s reasoning, another lobe of my brain rationalized that it was ok to go looking because “how could so many collies be in need to constitute their own site?”. As I searched, the click of my keys must have droned out a third lobe’s question of “what do you do when if you DO find one?”.

One Google search later, I’m neck deep in a cascading list of collie rescue sites. Ohio had three alone. Fuck. Scrolling through too many awesome pictures of the specific dog breed resembling what I grew up with led me to another inevitable question “what if…”. One brain lobe rationalized that I couldn’t do it; I didn’t have that kind of money. Think of the responsibility; the free time, the mess. With each picture scrolled through, it’s voice became distant. Then another lobe reasoned that many of my other friends managed having dogs, seemingly, quite easily. This one had a louder, more repetitive campaign. It carried on, reminding me I had a tax return check coming and a yard the dog could be in. By then I had settled on two different dogs, a boy and a girl. One named Wyatt — after Earp, I thought, and one named Sally — after Charlie Brown’s sister, I presumed. Calls were put in inquiring about both.

Returning this anecdote back to my current position on the couch (ivy ridden, limbs suspended like they were broken), my phone rang. Excitedly, I answered hoping to be one of the people fostering my future dog. Instead, the person on the line was a peer from a couple years back. He asked me what I had up to work wise and inquired if I still had an interest in teaching; something that had come up in conversation once. Seeing as work had been slow, I responded favorably. “Great, let me put you in touch with Al,” and our conversation was over. I hung up and looked absently at my white coated shins. Christ did I look ridiculous. I felt like my whole body resembled those idiot’s who baste their whole nose white with sunscreen. The phone rang again. A number I didn’t recognize — the dog fosterer? “Hi this is Al Wasco, is this Anthony?” came the voice. A brief chat about my design credentials and interest in teaching college ensued. “Great, great. Excellent. Can you come in tomorrow to interview? We would like to you start Thursday.” It was a Tuesday. My phone rang again…

Less than a week later, I found myself  teaching college, nursing poison ivy (discreetly, now that I was teaching) and driving down to Columbus to retrieve a collie named Wyatt. Three years later, I’m still teaching and I still have the dog. Though of course thankfully, the poison ivy finally cleared up. Last week.

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