One of the side effects of not sleeping well is that I’m especially distract-able. And I’m pretty distract-able to begin with. So I’m going to tell you about my newest wacky plan— to get a dog.
I should not get a dog for the following reasons:
- I live a cat lifestyle. Overscheduled, not really focused even when I’m at home.
- I live somewhere without a fenced yard and with busy streets nearby.
- I can’t talk myself into a small dog. I don’t dislike animals, as a rule, but small dogs are my least favorites. Sorry to people who feel differently. I’d totally be sweet to your dog and you’d never know the difference, but I’m a big dog person. It’s the high energy yapping. I just can’t.
- I have a small living space.
- I have two cats who are going to absolutely hate this idea. They don’t like to share me with each other, or with guests. Another permanent resident who’ll need chunks of my undivided attention is going to be very unpopular.
I’ve always told myself I’d get a dog when I could do it right. When I could be home more, like when I get married and am a stay-at-home mom. I’m not giving up on marriage, motherhood, or staying at home, but I’ve been putting off my deep desire for a dog with that logic for many years, and it’s just not working anymore. If I don’t get married, that means I never get a dog, too? Am I being punished? No pretty dress, princess moment, designer cake and no dog? Am I a criminal?
The only dog I’ve ever had was a puppy given to me by an ex-sister-in-law when I was 8. Her dog had a litter, I got a puppy. It was a very effective bribe. I adored the dog. My parents, notsomuch. When he was a little more than a pup, my dad and brothers were playing football, the dog got excited and involved, collided with my dad while he ran, and my dad needed surgery as a result. Not a great start. We moved back to the house I was born in, and the dog ate a 7′ lilac tree to the ground. He dug large holes in the yard. He jumped up against the fence when the neighbor tried to pet him, and ended up scratching the elderly neighbor and drawing blood (without malice. The neighbor wasn’t mad.)
I came home from third grade one day and the yard was empty. My parents told me he was getting his nails cut. After a couple of days, I asked when he was coming back. He never did.
I choose to believe that he lived a long and happy life somewhere great, where he could just be a dog and not get in trouble for it. I’m still a little angry with my folks.
My defenses are down, and getting the dog is now inevitable. I’m probably going to get a shelter or rescue dog, adult, as much of a medium-sized dog as I can force myself to get. These are concessions mostly to practicality. The dog I bring home will have no prey drive toward my cats.
Don’t bother warning me off this plan. I know. I know about the shedding and the chewing and the barking and the subzero “would you just poop already?” and eating of trash/cat poop and the never again sleeping in. I know. And I don’t care. It’s only a matter of time now.
So given that it’s happening, what should I know? When did you finally cave and bring home your pup?
For the other side of this story, take a look at Part 2.