so I met someone

A few days ago some guy comes into my work carrying a puppy. It's massive, which is to say it's about the size Chaucer was at six months: an armload and then some. I don't even attempt to be chill. My jaw falls open like he's just brought in a unicorn, and he smiles when I come running over to meet this incredible creature. 

Him: "Guess how old she is."

Me: (usually very good at this) "Six months."

Him: "Six weeks."

At this point I'm losing it, because I'm doing some quick calculations based on the size of her paws, and I'm realizing that I am in the presence of 1) a giant breed, and 2) a giant breed I don't recognize. And there isn't much I love more than getting to meet a giant breed dog for the first time - in no small part because I consider it research for my own next dog.

She's clearly some kind of shepherd, but with coloring I can't attach to the usual suspects. Her body is fawn and white, but she's got a black muzzle. She's utterly amazing and my face is clearly communicating boundless delight, because the guy sets her down at my feet and steps away to order food. She is now mine, all mine, for the next five glorious minutes. 

"What is she?"

"She's a Gampr."

"A Domper?"

"A Gampr."

"A Gomper?"

"A Gampr. G-a-m-p-r. It's an Armenian breed. She just got here, that's why she's so tired."

"You mean, like, to the US? Like you just landed?"

"She did. She came through Paris. She's been traveling. She's exhausted."

As if to agree, this absolute angel then sits right between my legs where I'm squatting down to pet her. She lifts her head to look at me, and I pull my mask down so she can see my whole face. She gives me two small kisses on the tip of my nose and my heart leaves my body forever. I sink down exactly as I am, my legs split awkwardly and uncomfortable - but I don't dare risk disturbing her. A second later, she too sinks down, puddling sleepily in my lap. I am now having an out of body experience, the joy is so intense.

The guy orders while I softly stroke his puppy. Gampr, I think to myself. Never heard of it. Her fur is softer than I remember any shepherds ever feeling, but then I've not had much experience of shepherds, tbh. I notice her ears are cropped and I comment on it.

"Yeah," the guy says. "Not my choice, but it's the breed standard."

Another few minutes elapse. Her eyes close and I pet her as lightly as possible, wanting to let her sleep but desperately needing to touch her. My twisted legs are starting to cramp up but I don't budge. I realize that this is the happiest, most content, most fulfilled, most delighted, and most myself  I have felt since...since Chaucer. I am meant to be a dog mom. It's the only role, other than student, that I have ever excelled at. That's just facts. 

When it's time to go, she doesn't want to. She refuses to get up, even when her owner reaches the door and calls for her. I gently hoist her up but she lingers around my ankles and I have to force myself to walk towards the door so she'll follow. 

I'm useless the rest of the night. Totally distracted. I have to get a dog. I have to get a dog. I have to get a dog is all I can think. 

---

One of my favorite things to muse about is what kind of dog I'm going to get next. I was pretty solidly on Team Great Dane, and then someone brought a mastiff to my work and threw a monkey wrench in my plan of not repeating history. But now, after meeting this Gampr puppy, I'm leaning back towards Anatolian Shepherd...

Here's hoping someone brings in one of those.