If this is a marriage proposal, then it has to be the worst one ever.
After my sister Adrienne died on October 9, 2001, I didn’t expect my relationship with my boyfriend to last much longer. She was the glue that kept us together. So I was surprised when he proposed to me about a year after her death.
I remember we were standing outside in our front yard when my boyfriend suddenly said, “You can have a dog or a ring.”
I didn’t respond right away because too many thoughts were flooding my brain.
- If this is a marriage proposal, then it has to be the worst one ever;
- He’s making me choose between the dog I’ve wanted for five years and a rock; and
- What happened to the man who thought marriage was the government’s way of invading our privacy?
He continued. “You can have a dog or a ring. I can sell my B of A stocks and earn about $2000. So you can have one or the other, but not both. Which one do you want?”
“I want my dog.”
As soon as I said the word “dog” his entire face fell. His eyebrows, his eyelids, the corners of his mouth—everything turned down.
Without looking at me, he replied, “Okay. Start looking.”
When I told my friend Julia about the incident, she thought I was crazy. “What’s wrong with you? He finally proposed.”
“I can hug my puppy. I can’t hug a diamond. Trust me, the dog will last longer.”
Not being a pet person, she remained skeptical. However, my English Mastiff puppy arrived on December 17, 2002. He was eleven weeks old; I named him Winston.
I took Winston everywhere with me. We went on road trips to Arizona and beach trips to Huntington. In fact, I spent my 31st birthday at the beach with a ten-month-old Winston. My boyfriend did not come with us. Five days later, I ended my relationship with him. As I had predicted, we couldn’t make it work without my sister.
More than ten years later, I still have Winston. I don’t know for how much longer. He is old for a Mastiff. He has had problems walking the past few days. He has brought me so much joy that if I think about it my heart might burst. I do know that my time with him is running out.*
When I think about that day in the yard with my now ex-boyfriend, I smile because there was never any doubt in my mind. I never considered a ring to be an option. I always wanted my dog—my English Mastiff—and I got him. I chose wisely.
P.S. Special thanks to my ex who gave me a wonderful gift. Winston has helped heal my broken heart.
*Read more about the best dog ever. Winston died on May 10, 2013 just weeks after this blog post was originally published on April 22, 2013, on my previous blog titled Pondering happiness, hope, wisdom.