I wasn't going to last much longer, either. After a years-long battle with crippling anxiety and depression, I was approaching the bottom of the spiraling staircase that is alcoholism. I was unemployed, and unemployable. I had been thrown into rehab drunk and thrown out of AA meetings even drunker. Divorce and homelessness were the next, and perhaps last, steps.
I was in debt, in denial and in deep. And then one October night five years ago, I was in jail. I had blindsided - blind drunk - a taxicab in the Holland Tunnel, and obliviously kept going. Cops tend to not like that very much.
I came to in a holding pen, and haven't had a drink or a drug since. My drinking started in bars, and ended behind them. It's overly simplistic to say I was scared straight; but that fear, and that humiliation, was enough to get me started on a journey of recovery that, half a decade later, has led to a happy marriage, fulfilling career and, as of this past March, proud fatherhood.
For Vector, the suddenly-no-longer-nameless stray dog, rescue would be far less inglorious. The bars on his cage would be protective rather than penal, courtesy of the modern-day saints at The Sato Project, an organization committed to saving the imperiled packs of unclaimed canines roaming the Dead Dog Beach area. Real food, clean water, a bath. A safe place to sleep, and sorely needed veterinary care.
Shortly thereafter, a flight. To New York City, to a kindhearted foster family. And finally, a few weeks later, to his new forever home. My home. Our home.