Our roommate relationship started off...well...awkward. We led different lives and had different interests, but we were both ready to start our lives fresh. We were now college graduates and we were "mature". We wanted to make a difference in the world and we honestly thought we could - but doesn't every college grad?
Of course, we started our new careers with a bang - and by that I mean we had a party with all the new peeps that we were starting our careers with. That's just my style you see - when in doubt, have a party and get everyone together and get to know each other. I'm a UMASS grad after all. On a tangent - UMASS might not have been the best college in general (although their School of Management, the one I went to, is definitely amazing!), it is not just some party school. Those parties and dorms teach you something important - how to be social. They teach you how to bring people together, how to combine different cultures, interests, backgrounds and stand together. Well, at least that's how I view it. But back to our first year together - I called the manager at Sightlines and asked for the phone numbers of the "class" that we were starting out with and he didn't mind. Then Jon and I called every one of them and invited them over to hang out and meet each other before our first day at work. Most of them (all but 1) agreed and they showed up the next evening.
Needless to say, we all partied, chatted and got to know each other. Granted there was some alcohol involved, we all felt pretty easy and comfortable with one another by the end of the night. It was amazing. I gazed across the room at my new roommate and thought that this whole thing might just work out pretty darn well.
The next few months went by pretty quickly. We went to work and sat through vigorous training; came home and went to our separate bedrooms to pass out from exhaustion; Jon went out with the co-workers or went home to see his friends and family while I drove back to UMASS to see my bf at the time, Gianni. We were still living pretty separate lives, although we occasionally got together on the couch and chatted about them while watching the Simpsons.
Then in July I finally made a huge decision, one that would change my life forever. I decided to get a puppy. Jon, our co-worker Nate, and I went out and partied all night on Saturday and by the time we got back to our apartment and were hanging out before passing out, I asked Jon if he'd mind if we got a puppy the next morning and he said 'ok'. So there it was. I wanted a puppy my entire life. I've wanted a puppy since I was old enough to know what a puppy was. In college I got a puppy the summer before my senior year - but I had to give her up because I was still living in the dorms and being an RA and they look down on that. In any case - I've ALWAYS wanted a puppy. So although it might seem that this was a slightly in-the-moment decision - it was something that had been brewing for a while.
So Sunday morning we all woke up and went out to our favorite diner in East Haven, CT. I should mention that this diner was absolutely horrible. The food was terrible, the waitresses were hung over, the coffee was always cold. But it was pretty much the only place we knew around here since we all just moved to CT for our new job. In any case, here we were, sitting around, drinking our cold, gross coffee and I announced once again that today would be the day that I would go and get a puppy. Just like that. I looked at Jon, who shrugged and said that it sounded like a good plan for a Sunday.
After breakfast, Jon and I went online and searched the yellow pages for a pet store that was open and found one in Orange, CT. We were so excited. Well, I was so excited; Jon shrugged and said that it looked like we were getting a puppy after all. Of course, I called my boyfriend Gianni and made sure that he would lie and tell everyone that he got this puppy for my birthday but that he would not have to do ANYTHING to take care of this puppy that I've always wanted. He didn't seem to care. So Sunday was the day we got our puppy.
Jon and I got to the store in Orange and looked at all the puppies. There were a few choices, but I saw this little Yorkshire terrier right away. And then I saw the price tag. BOY was this little cute puppy expensive....something about purebreds. So we looked at all the other puppies and played with all the little puppies. I was even pretty close to taking this tiny, very white Maltese home when she pooped all over herself and suddenly her very snow-white fur turned brown. That is what I call a turn-off. We looked at all the big dogs, but our apartments had rules against big dogs, so we were back to the Yorkie. He just sat in his crate, looking all cute, like he just knew that he was the best choice and wasn't at all worried about the competition.
Jon was the first to pick Travis up. The puppy just looked up at him, licked his face and laid down on his shoulder with a big sigh. I grabbed him from Jon right away and snuggled and kissed him. If this was going to be my puppy, he had to be MY puppy. I looked through my wallet, located my credit card and handed it over to the carrier. Broke or not, I just had to have this puppy. I was already in love with him and I barely knew why.
On the drive home we contemplated his name while he sat in my lap in the passenger seat. Colin? Travis? Snickers? Travis? Puppy? Calib? Travis? The name Travis just kept popping up and I couldn't keep it away. So we thought and we contemplated and we decided that Travis was a good name after all. So we pulled over to the gas station, let Travis pee in the small patch of green, and drove back to our apartment with our new puppy.
Now a lot of your might question why this small, insignificant puppy would be such a big part of my story. But the truth is that he is. And I guess you'll just to wait to find out why.
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