I have a bad case of puppy fever. It’s true. For years it has been this way. After moving to Finland in September 2019 and starting this brand new remote job, I thought now’s the time. But: No happy news, yet.

I have to tell myself that it takes time, that you need patience and that you have to try every opportunity that presents itself. It doesn’t help that my Finnish is not yet strong enough to write an application email, or even make a call to a breeder with a new litter. My girlfriend tries to help and pitches in from time to time, but it’s a stressful and anxiety inducing thing, like writing a job application. That’s why I took over, writing emails in English.

One thing that limits our chances of getting a dog is that the breed of dog we can both agree on is a Corgi. My partner had them as a child growing up (familiarity is important to her) and I read that their intelligence, activity level and size, the general healthiness of the breed and the degree of difficulty to train them - all are within acceptable parameters. But corgis (Pembrokes and to a lesser extent Cardigans) are trendy at the moment. As are smaller dogs in general. The Corona pandemic made this even more pronounced and I can’t blame people. If people can’t leave their homes for a long time it becomes more likely for them to focus on improving their immediate surroundings, their environment. I could see that this reevaluation might lead to wanting things to stay different: More people wanting pets is a probable result, I think.

Having a pet is a nice thing, I imagine. I grew up with a Labrador Retriever called Lucy. Notice that I said “grew up with”, not “had”. Not because I want to underline that Lucy was a family member (she totally was), but because it was not my dog. It was my dad’s dog. I can’t fault him, but it always hurt me a little. The way he told stories about his dog. The way he took his dog with him after the divorce. I got it and I get it. But this observation made me think “I wanna have a dog, too!”

Many years passed where having a dog would have been impractical, irresponsible or outright impossible. I buried the idea for almost a decade. If I referred to this wish of mine I said “When I’m 30 I’m gonna get a dog”. Getting closer to the end of my time at university, around 27, the wish resurfaced. Unclear where I was going to live and with what I was going to make my money, this little itch came back. I want a dog. And not just since yesterday. Now I’m 35. I feel like it’s time.