I didn’t write down the date I adopted my dog Fumu. But it turned out to be pretty easy to track backwards.
February 22, 2015, I ran the Tokyo Marathon. The adoption agent I’d been talking to at Tokyo ARK* had invited me to an adoption event that day, but I said I proooobably wouldn’t make it. So I joined one the following Sunday. And there was Fumu.
Three weeks later, I picked him up and took him home.
I’d been wanting a dog literally forever. I’d had one growing up, after also wanting a dog literally forever. (But I’m not going to talk about her just now, because there are some sad feelings there, and this post is not about those sad feelings.) I am 1000% a dog person. I am this girl.
So the idea of paying a full month’s rent as a non-refundable pet deposit, interacting with a vet in Japanese, of just plain caring for another creature when I had only a tiny apartment and no yard, did not dissuade me.
And I mean, look at this gangly, snaggle-toothed little beast.
He was 2.5 kilos when I got him, which was about half a kilo less than was ideal. I didn’t think much of the weight difference, and he put it on fairly quickly, but seeing his old picture next to his new one I really see the difference.
Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but good job, Jordan, meeting the basic needs of a small dog.
I was stressed as hell when I first got him, though. Not going to lie. I’m an anxious person and like (do not like) setting impossible standards for myself, so I was gripped with fear when I was away from him and self-consciousness when I was with him and he wasn’t behaving like a complete angel (ie, barking at old women and children, which he still enjoys but is getting better at not doing for the sake of treats, which he enjoys more).
Then, as is always the magic answer to anxieties like these, I reached a point where I was able to not give a fuck.
Was my dog happy? Was he healthy? I mean, as far as I could tell, and though I think he’s smart and has me well trained**, I doubted he was hiding some kind of secret misery from me and putting on a happy face. Dogs are ultimately honest, because even the sneaky ones are not that good at being sneaky.
And now that I don’t care if he barks sometimes (though we are working on it), and he has a schedule so he doesn’t care when I leave for work (the dominant theory is that he sleeps all day, but I haven’t gone to nanny-cam levels to find out), I think we’re both pretty good. I’m certainly happy, and science assures me that this is a thing that happens to people who have dogs. I am still stressed (because I am an adult human), and he is still sometimes a little shit (because he is a dog), but he is my precious darling little shit, and I love him, and I’m glad he’s in my life.
So happy adoption day to my little guy.
*If you are looking for a dog (or cat!) in Osaka or Tokyo, I highly recommend ARK. They really care about their animals and are serious about finding the right fit between people and pets.
**Pawing at the empty food bowl = me filling it, but only because he isn’t an overeater and I trust him to do it when he’s hungry! Really! I have reasons!