Committing to a Life Partner on the First Date

Kristi Keller

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Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Getting ready for a first date during Covid isolation is surreal. It was the first time I had opted to put on jeans instead of sweatpants or pajamas. This date provided an actual reason to get out of the house for something other than groceries.

In the days leading up to my date, I was a little apprehensive because what if it didn’t go the way I was expecting it to? What if I knew within the first five minutes that it wasn’t meant to be? That familiar “back to the drawing board” feeling is so full of letdown that sometimes it’s just easier to just not to show up.

But it was time. It’s been six years since I lost the love of my life and I hadn’t even put in the effort to look for new love, so it was high time to try again. You can’t know if you don’t try.

As I drove the winding country road to our meeting place, the single photo I’d been studying online for days stood out vividly in my mind. This wouldn’t be a completely blind date. The photo I obsessively drooled over seemed like a winner but ultimately, a favorable gut feeling upon first meeting would be the deciding factor.

When I arrived at the meeting place I had to wait in the parking lot. Due to social distancing rules, they were only letting in two people at a time. Our date was scheduled for noon, I pulled up at 11:55.

Precisely at noon, the front door opened and a woman stepped outside to ask if I was Kristi. I acknowledged and got out of my car to follow her inside. The woman then led me through two more glass doors.

And there I stood. In a sea of swarming, noisy puppies.

It took me one second flat to pick her out of the crowd. The baby girl from the photo I’d been oogling over for days, and the opportunity I’d been waiting for, for months.

My new partner in life sat quietly looking up at me while her six brothers and sisters brazenly mauled my legs to death.

But not my baby girl. She was the shy, reserved one who instinctively knew that if she didn’t join in on the ruckus, she would naturally draw attention to herself.

She was everything her picture portrayed and my gut feeling was exactly what I had wanted it to be. It was love at first sight and I was convinced we were soul sisters meant to find each other.

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Photo by author.

Dezi has been in my life for nine months now and I feel like she was my destiny from the moment I saw her, hence her name — Dezi. It’s a shorter, cuter snippet of the word destiny.

She was born on March 14th, 2020 — the day before the pandemic left me jobless. Shortly after I was laid off I had decided to give new love a shot and open my heart to another canine partner.

My last life partner of 14 years was Mojo and it took a long time to get over losing her. I’m not sure I ever really have and I wasn’t sure I’d ever find another I could love as much as I loved her.

After Mojo left me, a long string of tragic life incidences hit my family, non-stop, one by one by one. It seemed as though life would never return to normal. It’s still not normal but it’s calm enough that I could think about opening my heart again.

Little did I know how difficult it would be to score a pandemic puppy. It seemed as though the moment isolation began everyone suddenly wanted some puppy love.

I submitted my application to the Humane Society and waited. And waited, and waited. Every single day I sat in my loneliness refreshing their website, hoping and praying I’d get a call when new puppy litters arrived.

After two whole months, on the exact day I had finally given up and stopped checking the site, the call came. I was next on the list and would be granted the first pick of a new litter.

This is the part where destiny comes in.

I logged on to the website to look at the puppies and the cover photo for the litter of six was a tri-colored, sad-eyed, shy-looking puppy named Mojo. That was the temporary name the shelter had given her.

She was a hopeful little face staring back at me with the same name as my last soulmate. And this news came six years to the day that my old Mojo left me.

We were meant to be.

Since Dezi joined our family my heart continues to explode every time I walk into a room and look at her. I can’t stop touching her, hugging her, and loving on her. And she can’t stop looking so damn cute. We’re a perfect couple.

My desire to make her feel loved and protected is overwhelming. It’s been a long time since I’ve been responsible for the comfort and nurturing of a little life.

Now that Dezi is here I’m perfectly happy getting my clothes dirty with puppy dirt. I want all the puppy dirt! I want puppy defiance, and I want puppy slobber and chew toys strewn everywhere.

It has been years since I’ve felt so liberated, wasting hours laying in the grass doing nothing but looking at the sky. All the while she snoozes at my side because one burst of energy at the park knocks her out cold.

Dezi has given me new faith in karma and kindred souls, and she has allowed me to start living in a more carefree manner again.

Do I need to write a story or take a shower? Not before cuddle time with Dezi. Do I need to get on Facebook and socialize? Sure, but only with pictures and updates about Dezi now.

They say when you’re choosing a new pet you should let them choose you. From the moment I saw her photo online, she stole my heart and she made sure to follow through on our first date.

For those who don’t believe in love at first sight, maybe they just haven’t found their soulmates yet.

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I'm an old school travel writer who's been flung into another writing world through life experience. I have a compassionate eye, a different opinion, and strong words for this world we live in. I also know a thing or two.

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