virtual children by Scott Warnock

There’s never a good time

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We now have a puppy: Little Prue joined the Warnocks last Monday. Those who know me might exclaim, “I didn’t know you were interested in getting a dog!” I wasn’t. Yet we now have a puppy: Little Prue.

I want to be clear about this: At 5:00 last Monday, I had no thoughts about a dog. At 5:30 that very same Monday, I had a dog. That evening, I was on my way home from the train station when I got a call from my daughter. “Where are you?” she said. I figured she either wanted a ride to or a hoagie from somewhere.

I said I was nearly home, and she suggested I instead stop by a friend of ours who foster puppies — just this nice family doing good deeds. “What could it hurt?” I thought. I arrived and saw Prue, white and black splotched, who-knows-what-breed, flopped in my daughter’s arms. My daughter and my wife both looked at me with the “Can we?” look.

“What is going on here?” I thought, but only for a moment. I shrugged and said to both, “You want this puppy, don’t you?” That was it. Now we have Prue.

If we were ever going to get a puppy, Monday was the day, I suppose I realized. After all, there would never be a good time to get a puppy. In fact, there is a never a good time to do most things.

You’re never set up perfectly to get married. You could always have a little more stability, money.

If stability and money are major criteria, then of course there’s certainly never a good time to have kids. Next year will always be better than this year. You’ll always be a little wiser and smarter so you’d always be a better parent tomorrow than you are today. Might as well wait.

Having that second kid? Third? It’s the same thing.

Buy a house? Let’s just wait a little longer. The dream house of today? — there’s a dreamier one out there for sure. That promotion at work will come through and then you’ll be set.

You could go on. I remember when my friend and InterWeb guru Scott Stein suggested I write a blog. “It’s not a good time,” I hemmed. “Maybe next month,” I hawed. He gave my objections a bored look, and here I am, well over 100 blogs/columns later.

We aspire to cognition, cling to a belief in the power of reason, but we arrive at our major decisions in the most spontaneous, often irresponsible, and sometimes downright idiotic and paradoxical ways. We stumble to the outcomes more than we blaze our way through to the answer. Yet often, we bend those events to coincide naturally with the flow of our lives.

There was never going to be a good time to get a puppy. I’m going to end here with unapologetic schmaltz and treacle: I love that little Prue! How did we ever get along without her?

Scott Warnock is a writer and teacher who lives in South Jersey. He is a professor of English at Drexel University, where he directs the University Writing Program. Father of three and husband of one, Scott is on two local school boards and coaches all kinds of youth sports.

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6 Responses to “There’s never a good time”

  1. And now it’s finally a good time to find a new blogger to read….

  2. Aw, little Prue is just adorable and I agree 100% there is never a great time to do anything so if that is what people do they will never experience anything! So excited for your new addition to the Warnock family – enjoy!!!

  3. Best decision ever to get a dog! Unconditional love for the entire family! Enjoy!

  4. Scott, Congratulations!
    We have always had a dog at our house. It really is unconditional love. They dont get angry with you, They don’t want sympathy. There is no drama. They appreciate the smallest things and any time you have available for them. They are(with one year of good discipline) way better behaved than children. Mine is
    a great excercise buddy too.

  5. Congratulations! They really do become a part of the family. Dave often says I love the dog more than him. Not sure if that’s true, but he’d be out in a dog house much quicker than my little Chico!

  6. I have two adopted dogs. They are Walker hounds. They are horrible animals. They destroy everything. We can’t have nice things. You are making a terrible mistake.

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