Two decades ago, I was a single 30-something guy with a great 1BR condo in a brownstone only one block from the fountain in DC’s Dupont Circle. I had a good circle of friends, an exciting job at Georgetown, and a fulfilling volunteer role with the NAMES Project preparing for the display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt on the National Mall. I was dating a good amount; friends joked that I was King of the Coffee Date. I kept the three Dupont area Starbucks in good business with these first dates and many of the baristas laughed when I came in after work or on weekend afternoons looking furtively around for the person I was to meet.
August 6, 1996 was my last first date. I had scheduled an hour (my usual for such meetings) between getting off work and needing to be at a NAMES Project meeting. I met this guy at the Starbucks south of the Circle and quickly knew that he was ‘second-date material’. Yes, I came to snap judgments even then. We had dinner several days later, and then I invited him to a Mary Chapin Carpenter concert at Wolf Trap for the following weekend. The rest is history.
So although Virginia’s legal documents recognize that Brent and I have been married only 22 months, we (as many LGBT couples denied legal recognition then) measure relationships differently. I celebrate today as the 20th anniversary of that coffee date that changed my life for the better. Love you, Brent Jacques.
So, after that Hallmark moment, what did I do? I brought home a new dog.
|She rode home just sitting behind my seat.|
Her name is Athena, and she is a goddess, as you can see. She's less than a year old, about nine months, I believe. She was dumped by her owners for the sin of having a heart murmur. That's the story they gave anyway, perhaps believing that it would make them seem less like heartless bastards than dumping a dog who was just too young, big, and energetic. We will get her to a cardiac specialist next week and see what is going on. In the meantime, she came home and met the pack today. That's a lot of new dogs in a short period of time, but she did well and I was proud of my dogs, they all accepted her.
Athena is in heat at the moment, which means getting her spayed is on hold. If it results in a parade of unneutered dogs from the county showing up at our door, we may start our own TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) program. If we could also do that with the human inhabitants of this county it would result in some real improvements of the gene pool.
Athena is with Green Dogs Unleashed. She will be available for adoption, but Clay is a keeper.
|The Great Dane faceoff. Athena on the left, Gigi on the right.|
|She was a little freaked out by it|
all, but handled it very well.
|Looking out the door with Bella|
|This is Maya's standard greeting. It looks like it could be trouble|
but it never is. She just lets everyone know who's in charge.
|Like Gypsy before her, Maya would prefer it if I took up|
another hobby, but she knows I probably won't.