This short story is part of The Fever Dream Series: More than Coincidences, Something like a Dream.
Laughing at ourselves for attempting to go for a run, we strolled slowly back to our apartment. As the sun set, we took the long way home to admire our neighborhood—and in that a moment everything felt perfect. I was wishing we could go for a walk like that every night, you know? Imagine if we had a dog, we could do this all the time, I said to Brett. He lit up. That’s when I knew, one way or the other he was going to make it happen.
The thing about Brett is once his wheels start spinning, there’s no stopping him. For weeks, he went on and on about wanting a german shepherd. Eventually I became irritated and said, This place is way too small for us let alone a dog. We were sadly outgrowing our adorable 600 square foot apartment. I said, If you really want a dog, find some bigger apartment options. What I didn’t expect was for anything to happen so soon.
Yet not even two weeks later, we signed a lease on a two bedroom house. Brett was filled with hope and excitement. Meanwhile my mind raced about the new rent and utilities. So when he brought up adopting a german shepherd yet again, I went on a tear. It was all too much at once.
Emotionally, I explained that I didn’t even want a german shepherd. My first dog was a german shepherd. I didn’t want to be reminded of her every day. Plus, our new place was only 20 minutes from my mom and her two dogs. One of them, named Koda, is my pride and joy.
I said to Brett, Why do we need a dog when Koda is right up I-95?! It’d be like I’m replacing her. I went on to explain how anytime I was sad while living at my mom’s, Koda would give me these adorable little dog hugs. She’d lay her paws right over my shoulders, put her nose to my nose, and look me right in the eyes. It’s like her doggie way of saying hey I’m here for you. There’s no other dog like Koda, I emphasized, There’s something special about her. All I want is a Koda and that’s not happening. So let’s just drop it.
After my tangent, it was quickly put to rest for a couple months. Then one day, Brett asked if I saw a friend’s Facebook post. Lo and behold, it was about a dog. I immediately shut the idea down. He pushed back though, No I swear you’re not going to believe this. I’ll admit he had my attention. She’s a german shepherd mix, but barely even looks like a shepherd. You’ll love her, I know it. Looking for another way to shut him down, I asked how much money to adopt her. Smirking, he said, She’s free.
He told me how the owners were moving for a new job that would make it difficult to keep the dog. All they wanted was her to go to a good home at no cost. As if that wasn’t already too good to be true he continued on, And babe. You’re not going to believe this. Her name’s Kota.
I thought back to how weird it was that I said “I want a Koda” in the first place. I didn’t actually mean by name, but still. A german shepherd for Brett that didn’t actually resemble a german shepherd for me. Plus, no adoption fees while money was tight? It all felt too uncanny to be happenstance. Something in me said, You got what you both wanted. Now there’s no excuse. We reached out to adopt her that same day.
When we met up to adopt Kota we had to see if she would adjust well to us. I could instantly tell she was an anxious little thing. The girl giving her up promised she was a very loving pup. But, as a rescue that was formerly abused, she took a long time to warm up to people. She was an extremely shy and nervous dog. As she continued on about Kota’s history, I realized there was a possibility she wouldn’t warm up to me and that would have to be okay. Too good to be true I told myself.
As a last ditch effort, I crouched down to the ground. And what happened next I couldn’t believe. Like it was nothing, she trotted over to me, gently jumped up, laid her paws over my shoulders, and put her nose to my nose. In disbelief, I started to ramble to her owner about all the coincidences and how this was the cherry on top. Smiling, the girl said she had rejected so many people who wanted to adopt Kota, but for some reason she knew she had a good feeling about us.
Now on a regular basis, I go for runs with Kota. Half way through our route we always end up on some kind of detour. One of my favorite traits about her is she literally stops to smell the flowers every chance she gets. Once she starts that, we end up strolling the little corners of our neighborhood together instead. It’s a constant reminder why we adopted her in the first place; so we could slow down and enjoy what’s around us. It was a match made in heaven for sure.