cockersThe first dog breed I can remember being introduced to as a child was a buff Cocker Spaniel. He was full of energy, and I thought his long ears and curly fur were so cute.  I am still a dog lover with Cockers being my favorite. I had one once, but he suffered from separation anxiety after we moved to a new state so that I could work full time. I gave him to someone who could give him the attention he needed but still wanted a pet. I told myself I’d wait until I had a yard before getting another pooch, but the itch wouldn’t go away. Almost daily, I’d look at Cockers listed on and other local classifieds for months. I even had the app on my phone. I saw one I really wanted, but my boyfriend at the time didn’t share my enthusiasm for the breed. Once that relationship ended, I was back on the hunt for my perfect Cocker.

In December I saw a 5 year old, neutered, black Cocker Spaniel listed at a shelter 2 hours from my residence. I was planning to drive to my hometown for Christmas and would pass through the city where he was located. He was such a catch; I hoped no one would adopt him before I had a chance to. Christmas day fell on a Friday. I knew they would be closed, so I went the next day on Saturday. To my dismay, the sign on the front door alerted me that they had not resumed their normal business hours and were still closed. The following Monday, I called ahead of time to make sure they would be open. I left work early around 2 o’clock. According to my GPS, I would arrive by 4:30 p.m. Even with the 30 minute buffer I thought I had, traffic derailed my plans delaying me by an hour. Again, they were closed upon my arrival.

reallyI had had it. After driving to this location twice, I decided I was not going to make the trip for a third time. Instead I went shopping for essentials like dog food, a collar, a leash, and so on. I went to a Japanese restaurant for dinner, watched some of my favorite shows on Hulu via my phone, and slept in my car that night. By morning, I was ready to see about my dog.

He was a lot hairier in person than his photo but nothing a little grooming couldn’t fix. After filling out some paperwork and paying his adoption fee, the doggy formerly known as Pepper was mine! It’s been a month now, and I’m so happy things worked out. He’s mild-mannered, housebroken, gets along with my 9 year old, and has no signs of separation anxiety. We renamed him Hamilton. In fact, he has a full name: Hamilton Coley Gordon. Hamilton comes from my favorite soul singer, Anthony Hamilton. Coley comes from my favorite gospel singer, Daryl Coley. And Gordon comes from the Spanish word for fat which is gordo. (His weight is under control now.)

I don’t mean to ruin this touching story by being a Debbie Downer, but I cannot take some guys seriously. Please excuse the foul language, BUT


Quality time, communication, and consistency have and always will be important to me in terms of relationships with the opposite sex. To have a guy I’m dating text or call me after days or even weeks of silence to say hello as if we can pick up where we left off is inconsiderate. When I think about all of the effort I put into making a dog my own, there’s no excuse for a suitor to be so aloof during courtship. So yes, I’m likely going to either ignore you or have an attitude in response to the annoying, “hey stranger,” text. I want to be married one day. The way I see it, whomever I’m dating is a candidate to become a boyfriend. Once a boyfriend, he is now a candidate to become a husband. Don’t spouses see and/or speak to each other every day? Therefore, frequent communication is both a prerequisite and a requirement when dating and beyond (assuming we have the same end goal). Pay attention fellas, or you’ll be in the doghouse. kanye