When I sold my home and bought a van in late 2021, my primary mission was to minimize my responsibilities. I’d shucked my mortgage and utility bills, given away my lawnmower, and stuffed my storage unit. I looked forward to an unfettered future—just me, my van, and my mountain bike.
Indeed, for a few months things unfolded pretty much as I envisioned. I chased a girl to Austin, bought a #vanlife van, and moved in, never imagining that I would soon have a four-legged traveling companion. Not to be cold-hearted, but my kids were both launched and my old old cats had finally died (RIP Kai and Mittens, truly, we loved you), and my mother was safely in the care of Brookdale and my brother. The open road beckoned.
There’s no cut and dried way to explain how Bodhi ended up a #vandog, how I ended up with a dog in my van, but here we are, counting down to nearly a year together in June. Long story long: I met a woman on Match.com early in the pandemic. She had just rescued a Mexican street dog she named Bodhi. I fell in love with that dog, and even when the woman dumped me, I pined for Bodhi.
Bodhi is the perfect dog. He’s indifferent to food. He could care less what I’m eating and rarely, if ever, begs. He’s low-key, not jumpy, not barky, certainly not yippy. He’s loyal and loving, and though he can be incorrigibly needy at times, he can also be independent. He is as cute as a button and unimaginably personable.
I went on Match.com and fell for a dog. Unfortunately, the dog’s owner and I did not part as friends, and when she went away, so did Bodhi. Then, fast forward two years to last June, and quite by accident, I discovered that Bodhi’s owner had recently fallen seriously ill, and, upon reaching out to a mutual friend, I learned she was not expected to live.
I asked after Bodhi. “Where is he?” “Is he going to be okay? Are you guys keeping him?” I figured our mutual friend would keep him—they already had one dog and two kids who knew Bodhi well. I just wanted to make sure he would be well-cared for.
“Do you want him?” she asked, laughing as if she in no way expected me to say yes.
“Yes!” I said without even hesitating. Not a second to contemplate how I had just complicated my life. “Yes. I want him.”
“Seriously? But you just sold your house to live in a van!”
“Yeah, but I love that damn dog! Where is he? When can I get him?”
Reader, I picked him up that very afternoon in June, and he has been with me ever since (except for a few weeks here and there when I just couldn’t have him with me). In fact—he’s the reason I ended up going to Mexico, now that I think about it. Had I not left him behind with my friend and her dog, she of the wine-addled international travel planning in my previous post, I probably would not have spent the past three months in Mexico).
Life sure takes some interesting turns, doesn’t it?