I am not a “dog person.” I may not even be a “cat person,” though I can imagine being an old lady and having a cat in the house, purring next to me on the couch while I read books. (because when I am old, I am certainly hoping I will have more time to read)
I have two daughters who are dog and cat people. It seems they have loved animals ever since they were born. Beth continued to love dogs even after a neighbor’s dog nipped her face and her uncle’s huge dog knocked her down and ran over her when she was a toddler. Now, I can remember wanting a dog when I was a child, and wishing for a pet, but ever since I became an adult, babies were enough for me; enough love, enough tender loving care to bestow, enough potty-training, and yes, after giving birth to eight children, more than enough work. I have no desire to have a dog or a pet of any kind.
Try telling that to a dog person. They don’t get it. How could anyone sane not want a dog? Perhaps childless couples feel the same when someone tries to explain how wonderful it is to be a parent. How could anyone not want at least one child, I have often wondered.
“You will love Buddy by the time we get home from vacation,” my daughter insisted before she left Friday morning.
It has been less than 48 hours and I beg to differ. We are watching her bulldog puppy today, too, and I have to say this experience has only reinforced and increased my antagonism towards dogs in general, and puppies specifically.
Oh, Buddy (the Pomeranian pictured) is nice enough. Polite, in fact. But at least twice I almost tripped over his leash in the kitchen, and once actually did trip over him. I don’t want things underfoot in my kitchen.
And Buddy smells. It doesn’t matter if Beth just bathed him, there is still a dog odor in my house. All day I have smelled wet dog, and I don’t like the smell of wet dog.
And he barks. I have enough noise around here without hearing a yipping barking over the least little thing; another dog across the street, a bicyclist going past, someone at my door.
He also chews on toys. Abby left a Schleich parrot on the floor and Buddy destroyed it in nine seconds flat. I bought that for Abby’s stocking last year and Schleich toys don’t come cheap.
And he bit Abby when she was trying to get his leash on.
The puppy is much worse. It has accidents. Ewww…
Yes, I know the same can be said of children. They are noisy, they get in the way in the kitchen, ruin toys, have been known to bite, and they have accidents. But they are human, and they grow up to be people. You know, family.
Oh, I can hear all you dog (or cat) lovers out there shaking your head in dismay, raising your fists in fury. “How dare she! My dog is practically human, he is my baby, my little snookems, a part of the family.”
And hey, I can understand that. Our dog Shadow was like that. While basically my son Michael’s dog, once past puppyhood, Shadow was kind and gentle and loving and I could imagine Shadow saving one of the kid’s lives someday. She was Michael’s best friend and a part of the family. When she died I cried. I loved Shadow.
But I still don’t want a dog. Or a cat. Not right now, anyway, and maybe never. And I probably won’t pet your dog, or kiss it, or talk baby talk to it, because I just don’t want to. But I won’t kick it or yell at it either. I will probably pretty much ignore it unless it is doing some amazing, cute trick or chewing on my pant leg. Please don’t take offense if I don’t automatically love your pet. It isn’t you. It isn’t him. (or her) It’s me. I’m just not an “animal person.”
I am grateful for two things this week as we babysit Buddy the dog: #1) unseasonably warm weather so that Buddy can be outside, and #2) It is just a week.
So, no, my dear daughter Beth, you are not going to come home from vacation and find that your mother loves your dog.
But she still loves you.