Well, all I ever wished for was a dog.
I don't know why, I don't know what drew me to dogs, but I've always loved them, always been a dog person, from my earliest memories. And I was so jealous of people who actually got to have them as pets.
When I was 12 or 13, we adopted a stray. Got her spayed, got her shots, everything. Named her Lucky. She was part Cairn Terrier and the rest mutt. After a few years of her digging out of the yard and actually learning to climb the chain-link fence, we started chaining her up in the yard. My parents at one point chained her to a tree that was a little too close to the fence... she tried to climb it but the leash wasn't long enough to make it all the way down the other side and she hung herself. Maybe she wasn't so lucky after all.
I was pretty sad about it. My parents started doing research to figure out what the best behaved kind of dog was. See, Lucky climbed the fence and ran away a lot, dug holes in the yard, and barked all morning for no reason. My parents wanted no more of that, and I don't blame them. Finally they decided that Beagle was the breed we wanted, and in 1992 when I was 16 and a sophomore in High School, my dad found a two-year old Beagle for us to adopt.
I still remember going over there to get her, and the drive home. We had bought a crate for her which we took her home in, in the back of dad's pickup truck that had a topper on it. Ordinarily riding back there was a big no-no, but this time he let my sister and brother and I ride back there with Annabelle. That was her name before we got her, and we thought it would probably be confusing to her if we tried to change it. Turns out the name Annabelle really fits her.
She was and still is such a good dog. She's generally quiet, never digs, never chewed. She's spoiled now and will cry if you leave her outside too long, and she pees inside pretty regularly which I chalk up to her being 14 years old (98 in dog years!) and incontinent, but she's been such a great companion to me throughout the years.
In high school, she was only ever allowed in the basement of that house, never in the upstairs area. My bedroom was the only one in the basement, so she and I spent lots of time together, including curling up to go to sleep. Then after high school when my parents moved to another house, the same situation existed. So Annabelle and I have a pretty deep bond. It was hard for me when I moved out of my parents house - I missed her. Of course I lived in apartments and stuff for a while, so I couldn't have her around.
Then my parents started talking about replacing the carpet in the house, and acting like when they did that, they wanted to get rid of Annabelle. They actually said stuff about giving her to another family or something. Well, that is, until my brother, sister and I threw up such a fuss and yelled at them so much that they quickly took it back.
So, while renting half of a duplex, I broke the lease rules and let Annabelle come live with us. Now she still lives with us at our new house. We have yard for her and everything she needs, and I think she's pretty happy. We feed her special dog food for old dogs that's supposed to help with doggy arthritis because sometimes she moves kinda slow and creaky. She's a lazy, spoiled brat and I wouldn't have it any other way. When she's in a room, she will always lay in the sunlight, and if there is none, she will find the softest thing in the room (pillow, blanket, laundry, whatever) and lay on it. Laying around is all she does. She's just adorable.
It's cool that the dog I grew up with, the dog that was my dog in high school 10+ years ago, is still my dog now. She's older and slower and has less energy, and I know she won't live forever, but I'm enjoying having her around for as long as she cares to stay.