Dogs & Fate
“Logan! Thanks for coming to help today. We’re going to be busy on this beautiful Saturday morning.” Holly, the director and volunteer coordinator from the animal rescue, welcomed me in her overly excited way.
“Glad to help, as always. I already dropped Cookie off at the corral. She’s such a good girl, I’m hoping she gets a great application for a permanent home today.” I vaguely pointed towards the giant puppy pen where my foster had been deposited.
“Kenneth can get you set up at the information table. There’s coffee and donuts over there too.” Holly scurried off while I found Kenneth and the donuts.
“Hey, Logan. You already know the drill. Applications, flyers for future adoption events, mailing list.” Kenneth pointed to all the piles of stuff in front of both chairs.
“I sure do, this isn’t my first rodeo. How’s Zulu? You know he’s always been one of my favorites.”
“Zu is great. He’s at doggy daycare this morning. He loves going there and he comes home worn out.” Zulu was Kenneth’s border collie mix that I’d fostered when he first came into the rescue.
I sat at the table and arranged the pens and things at my station. Eventually I’d rotate out to the puppy pen and then I was going to be on door duty. I had volunteered for the rescue for close to ten years at this point. I’d been in the rescue community for almost fifteen years.
Fifteen years ago was when I went to adopt a dog after a messy breakup. I tried to date for a few years after that, but when I continued to fail, over and over, that’s when I committed myself to dogs and cats instead.
I didn’t find the right dog for me on that initial visit, so I volunteered to walk dogs for a few weeks while getting to know them and then I’d pick one. I did pick one, eventually, but I never did stop volunteering at shelters and rescues.
That first dog was a senior toy mix, maybe part Chihuahua, maybe not. Her name had been Mama at the rescue but she became my Rosemarie. I had her for five years and she changed my life.
Instead of adopting again after she passed, I started fostering senior dogs. I loved it and it’s still my favorite thing, but it gets really hard. Thinking about the path that led them to end up in a shelter for the last phase of their lives, gets painful to digest.
Someone loved them and then left them. Often we didn’t have any back story. We just knew they were old and needed to be loved, maybe for the first time in their lives. I did that for two years before it broke me.
I still foster a senior here and there, but I also take in adults and puppies now. Mixing it up helps keep it from getting super sad. Cookie, my current foster, was a six month old pit mix. She was a handful and the sweetest animal I’ve met in a long time.
Most of the dogs are great, but Cookie was special. I always called her an angel puppy. She was one of those dogs with personality to spare and that wanted cuddles for days. She just had that “thing” that you can’t exactly name, that intangible quality that only comes along once in a blue moon.
I’d keep her, but I just didn’t have the long term life that a dog like her needed. I was currently living a cat lifestyle. As soon as Cookie got adopted, I needed to travel for work. Cats can deal with that whereas puppies cannot.
Outside of volunteering and fostering, my real life career was as a freelance photographer. I volunteered those services to the rescue as well, but I needed to travel to make money to support myself. The best paying jobs were on the road.
I had a contract in place with the state of Utah. I was going to be doing print work for their new tourism campaign. Luckily the foster puppy overlapped with their worst weather.
Once Cookie found a home, I could schedule my first of three trips. I was going out several times to visit different areas and during different times of the year to show the vast varieties of Utah’s seasonal appeal.
Holly had told me that she had several promising applicants for Cookie, plus we were at an event where most everyone that came would be walk-ins.
It was a large local pet show with hundreds of vendors, so the patrons were coming here looking for pets and supplies and hoping to see innovative new products. We always did quite well at this show.
At nine o’clock, the doors opened and people filtered in. We had a premium spot just inside the door. Everyone saw us while coming in and again as they left. The booth began to get crowded. It was time to smile and schmooze.
My first hour at the table went by quickly. I handed out applications, talked with new volunteer hopefuls and reminded everyone to come see us next month for the big adoption event at the humane society.
My second hour was with the puppies. I stood in the pen and answered questions to the people all around the fenced corral area. I also introduced families with approved applications to the dogs.
By the time my second hour was up, Cookie was clearly xnxx over being in the puppy pen. I put her on leash and let her accompany me for my third hour, spent at the door. We were steering people into our area and introducing the rescue group to the passing patrons.
Cookie was perfect for this job. She sat by my feet and wagged her tail and beamed at every person that made eye contact with her. She charmed the hell out of everyone. She was incredibly cute, on top of being an amazing dog. The perfect good girl.
“Who’s this?” A guy asked as he made love eyes at Cookie. He let her sniff and lick his fingers while he smiled down at her.
“This is Cookie. She’s six months old and the best puppy in the world.” I said it very honestly.
“She’s adorable. Is she available?” The man now looked up at me and smiled. It was a dazzling smile, if ever I’d seen one.
“She is. I know a few people have put applications in for her, but nothing is decided yet. What kind of dog are you looking for?”
The guy got into a comfortable stance and started talking with me about his search for a companion. He explained that he led an active life and he wanted a dog to take everywhere. It really would be perfect for Cookie.
“I jog almost every day. I like to walk around in the city, going for brunch on the weekends. I like to sit outside so a dog could be with me. I want to take her in the car, to hiking trails and stuff like that.”
“Cookie would love that. She’s very well behaved and extremely social. She’s good with cats and other dogs, but she loves people. She could keep up with you on your runs and hikes.” I nodded as I looked between my girl and the handsome guy.
He was the kind of guy I would never date when I still dated. He was quite a bit hotter and exactly the opposite type than I’d been with. This guy was really gorgeous, now that I stopped and took him in.
“I’m Logan, by the way. I’ve been fostering Cookie for the last five weeks. She’s really an incredible dog.”
“I’m Heath. Do you have an application I could fill out?” He shook my hand.
I pointed him to where Holly and another female volunteer now manned the info table. He went over there and as he was filling out his paperwork, Holly made eye contact with me. I nodded and smiled to indicate I thought he was a good match for my baby girl.
When my third and final hour was up, I said goodbye to Holly and the new batch of volunteers that had shown up for the second shift at our booth.
With five applications in for Cookie, I took her home until a decision would be made. She didn’t need to stay in that craziness any longer today either. I could tell she needed a snack, a nap and a fetch session, in that order. Home, we went.
On Monday evening I got a call from Holly’s second in command, Saed. He called to set up a home visit for the top applicant for Cookie. I agreed to visit and view the house and yard and meet with the potential adopters for the final step before adoption approval.
I wrote down the address and phone number for Heath Zimmerman and his partner, Seth. I felt really excited for Cookie and a strange pang of disappointment for myself. He was in a relationship.
I reminded myself that it didn’t matter, even if he wasn’t taken. I didn’t date anymore. I traveled, I took pictures and I fostered animals. No more men for me. I didn’t need one.
Fifteen years ago, my relationship ended when my partner of two years left me for his ex wife. The ex wife I hadn’t even known existed. Did I mention he also had an eight year old child that I’d been unaware of? Because he did.
After that one, I dated casually for about three years, but it was just a series of horrible, embarrassing and unfulfilling situations that finally made me just stop trying.
I’m Logan French. I’m thirty nine, less fit than I’d like to be and completely average. I’m five foot, eleven inches and I weigh two ten. I used to weigh around one eighty five, but that was probably ten years ago.
My hair was still a dark rich brown, without a single gray hair. My dad barely had gray hair at sixty two. My eyes are blue grey with flecks of dark silver in the right light.
I’m an excellent photographer. It’s what allowed me to travel freely, volunteer tons of hours and still afford a beautiful home and drive a nice car. My work was very respected and I had a waiting list of clients.
I own a vintage Spanish style home in East Palo Alto with a glimpsing view of the water. I drive a Tesla X. I enjoy fine dining and expensive wine. I’m extremely gay and part of a wonderful group of friends. I just happen to prefer being single. At least that’s what I’ve convinced myself.
Before the guy that left me for his ex wife, I dated really butch guys that were into flamboyant, nelly queens, like myself. I imagined myself as the perfect feminine foil to the big burly bears, especially when I was so young, in my early to mid-twenties.
It turns out, I’m not really into brazzers bears. The one I thought might be a great guy was actually a hateful, mean spirited dick. He liked me when we were alone, but he mocked my very gay mannerisms wherever I wasn’t with him.
It got back to me that he was imitating me, very negatively, to his friends. He started doing it while I was out with him, but on the dance floor or at the bar grabbing a drink and not by his side. I came up behind him as he pretended to be me, to his best friend. The two of them were howling in laughter at my expense.
I still didn’t break up with him. I felt like it was my fault for some reason. I should make him happier and then he wouldn’t treat me like that. I made every excuse in the book for his behavior. But the fact was, he wasn’t into me like I thought he was. He left me, too.
After three bad endings to three bad relationships and a period of being used and abused by random dudes at the bar, I gave up. I devoted my spare time to animal rescues and used my new furry friends to fill the void.
Every wedding invitation or house warming party for couples I knew, twisted the knife in my heart more than I cared to admit. But every time I tried, I got hurt. The hurt was worse than the loneliness.
As I aged and reached my late thirties, I’d even given up of random hookups for sex. I used to go online or to a club and go home with a stranger when I really needed it. Now I didn’t need it enough to put myself through the stress and the risk.
I hadn’t had sex in almost three years. I owned a wide variety of toys, in every description you can probably imagine. But that doesn’t really count as sex. Not really.
I am definitely more of a bottom in personality and actions. However, I’m built like a top in my pants. I have a big dick. I’m almost nine inches when I’m fully erect.
I have several Fleshlight type devices for the times I’m feeling dominant and my hand isn’t enough. I also have a collection of dildos and butt plugs. My favorite way to masturbate, when I’m really wound up, is to fuck a tight, slick hole while riding a massive silicon dong or a big fat plug.
Even giving and taking all at once, isn’t the same as another warm human body beside you. I missed being with a man. I missed getting plowed and I missed giving a guy a good hard ride on my cock. I missed falling asleep thinking of someone, even when we’re apart.
My mind didn’t usually go down this path when I’d meet a good looking gay man. And Heath was not my type or available, so what the fuck?
Heath was probably a few years younger than me. He looked put together and successful, even on a Saturday morning at a pet show. He did look extremely fit and trim from head to toe, I remembered.
He was kind of your normal, run of the mill, average gay man. He was good looking, without being annoyingly so. He was built beautifully, while not being an obvious gym rat or muscle head. He wasn’t overly butch or obviously flaming.
He wasn’t extreme in any way. I always tried to date guys that were easily labeled as a type. Leather daddy, bear, biker, and toxically macho were usually what I thought I wanted because they were so different from me.
I couldn’t see myself dating a twink or another queeny guy, like myself. I wasn’t usually attracted to men like me. And guys like Heath, kind of in the middle of the road, weren’t different enough for me.
I’m sure I was just stuck on Heath because he was probably going to adopt my Cookie girl. My attachment to her was stronger than the average foster bond. I was beyond happy for her luck in landing an owner like Heath. And his partner. Yet, I couldn’t help feeling a little bitter.
I guessed the next day would be interesting either way. I would get to see Heath and his home, the inner workings of his life, really. I’d be meeting his partner, Seth. I would have to be unbiased and I needed to keep Cookie in mind. This was only about her.
My job was to check out the physical home and yard for safety issues and overall lifestyle. I was also tasked with getting an impression of the adopters in general. The home visit was standard practice.
I had expressed my interest in being the one that visited my foster’s prospective homes several years ago. I knew that animal the best and I was more than qualified to do the home visits. Cookie and Heath felt different and I couldn’t shake it.
The next day, I paid the toll and drove over the Dumbarton bridge to Fremont, where the adopters lived. I didn’t know them, so I needed to keep it professional and remain impartial. I could do it.
I pulled up to the nice, middle class house and admired the perfectly groomed lawn and flowers. It was a beautiful home and from the street, the back and side yard looked large and securely fenced in. All good things.
I rang the bell and smiled in a friendly way as the door opened, revealing a tall, blonde man. “Hey, come on in. I’ll get Heath.” He turned and sikiş izle left. Was that Seth?
A few seconds later, Heath came in and recognized me right away. “Logan? I’m so glad to see you again. How’s the Cookie monster?” He shook my hand, happily.
“She’s great. I’m glad you’re her potential adopter. She really clicked with you. Can we take a look at the back yard?” I kept this home visit on track.
“Oh, of course. Right this way. She will have a doggy door in the sliding door when I’m home. I have a crate for her when she’s home alone.” Heath rambled just like any typical, nervous client would.
We moved across the small deck and I walked the fence line. It looked extremely secure and the entire backyard was a doggy dream come true. Plenty of space, sunny and shady. It was completely lovely.
When I turned back to address Heath, Seth was standing next to him. If the tall blonde was actually Seth, that is. Heath looked nervous and Seth looked disinterested.
“Your yard is perfect. Any dog would be lucky to live here.”
“It won’t be so perfect after we get the dog, but at least it’s nice now.” The man that I still assumed was Seth was clearly not as into getting a dog as Heath was.
“Come on in and look at her room. I put her crate in here so she can have a nice quiet spot to call her own.” Heath led me into a small spare bedroom that had tons of brand new toys and a perfectly sized crate for a pit mix.
It was recently painted a purple color on two accent walls. There was dog themed art and a fan, secured to a mounting bracket, out of reach for an average dog. The toys were all age and breed appropriate. The food on the shelf was a premium brand.
Heath watched me as I took a good, long look at everything. He clearly had gone above and beyond for a dog he didn’t even own yet. It was another great sign.
I was given a tour of the rest of the house. Seth was absent the entire time. At the end of the tour, Heath and I stood around his kitchen island and chatted about the dog and my general notes about the home visit.
Seth finally came in and joined us, leaning on the other counter, rather removed from the conversation while still being present. It appeared he was reluctant to be here and probably also about the puppy.
It was my only real worry. One half of a partnership not being on board with getting a high energy dog, is not a good thing at all. I had valid questions, but they all seemed judgey and critical. I was going to leave that to Holly and Saed to deal with.
I thanked them and ended the visit. Heath walked me to my car on the street. “I know Seth was distant, but he’s really not against this.” He spoke like he’d read my mind.
“He doesn’t seem to be on the same page though. Like, at all. Cookie is wonderful, but she’s still a crazy puppy. Is that going to be too much for him?” I couldn’t help asking now that the opportunity presented itself.
“I honestly don’t know, but I also don’t care. That sounds terrible, but Seth doesn’t dictate my life. I’m lonely and I want a best friend. I need this dog in my life. Please don’t let Seth ruin this for me.” He looked scared of being denied and maybe of something more.
“Are you two a couple?” That was none of my business. But the way he talked about him, it didn’t seem like it.
Saed had called him his partner, but partner had a lot of connotations. Maybe they were roommates and partners in a less committed way. But then again, I’d only seen one occupied bedroom.
“Yeah. I thought that was clear on the application.”
“I’m sorry. I haven’t actually seen your application. I’ll give my review of the home visit to the rescue director tomorrow, so you should hear in a few days.” I smiled and awkwardly climbed into my car.
I stopped by the rescue to talk to Holly in person. I didn’t know what I was going to tell her. I wanted Cookie to be with Heath. I didn’t want Cookie living with Seth.
It had nothing to do with my weird thoughts about Heath as a man. It was my true feelings about the vibes of the two men and my favorite pup. Heath was perfect for her but Seth was going to be a huge part of her life.
It was after hours, so Holly and I sat at the table in the front reception area. She’d pulled out Cookie’s file and sat down with a near-bucket sized coffee in hand, like always.
“How did it go?” She took a giant gulp of her fuel of choice.
“It was a perfect home visit. The house and yard are incredible. Heath has tons of stuff for her already. He will love her so much.”
“I can hear the but. What’s wrong?”
“His partner doesn’t seem very happy about getting a dog. And Heath basically said as much. He also said he doesn’t care what Seth thinks. It’s kind of a recipe for disaster.”
“Would you adopt her out to them?” I knew she was going to ask me that. She respected my opinion in general and she’d never gone against my wishes on any of my personal fosters.
“Heath is perfect for her. She’s perfect for him. If it wasn’t for Seth, I’d take her over there tonight. Heath basically begged me not to let Seth ruin this for him. I wished I knew what was going on with them, because she will be affected.”