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I am not a dog person. I had dogs as a kid, I don’t hate them. But they are not for me. I don’t think it’s cute when they slobber on my child’s face. I don’t enjoy the sound of the neighbor’s dogs barking every time someone walks by. I don’t like the hair all over the furniture or the urine stains they leave on the carpet. Some really smell and the house reeks as a result. I’m guessing the owners probably don’t notice as they become accustomed to it.
The problem is everyone around me seems to adore the canines. My sisters, my friends. So many have incorporated their dogs as members of their families. In fact, not loving dogs is as isolating as me being a conservative on the left coast. Dog people seem to have an instant bond; they are part of a club where I don’t belong. Take the movie Marley and Me. That dog was terrible, why did they keep him? Dog lovers relate.
Time and time again I’ve been told that every boy needs a dog and I am depriving my son of the experience. But I don’t want to be the one to tote it to the vet when it gets sick or walk it three times a day, scooping up the poop along the way. I don’t want to worry about it every time I leave the house. I know very well this will all fall to me. That is why he has a cool robot instead.
What about cats, you ask? While I admire their independence, there is still a matter of hair everywhere for indoor cats and many trips to the vet for outdoor ones. Besides that, I am allergic. I like them, but having one isn’t worth being on medication.
Here’s another reason I don’t need a dog. I’ve known three children who have been sent to the hospital by seemingly friendly family dogs who turned on them. Three unrelated incidents with three totally different breeds of dogs. Those kids now have some serious scars. And they were not particularly rough kids. Their parents were SCARED and felt really guilty, too. I think about this every time a dog off its leash comes bounding towards my kid. Clueless owners often don’t see why it’s a problem for their pet to roam free in places where children play. And don’t get me started on the lazy people who don’t bother to clean up after their pets and I end up having to scrape poop off our shoes as a result.
I know dogs can do wonders for people who live alone or have disabilities and I’m not knocking anyone who happens to love dogs. If they make you (and your kids) happy and you are a responsible person, I am all for you having as many as you want. I’m glad that someone is willing to take them in. Some are really cute and I can appreciate a well-mannered pooch. Puppies are fabulous, too. As long as they stay at your house.
One day perhaps we will choose a small animal that our son can learn to be responsible for. But right now he enjoys the the company of R2D2. Oh and zhu zhu pets. Lizards, bugs and butterflies in the garden. Rabbits in the fields. Hummingbirds who are regular visitors to our patio. Even a praying mantis. Easy clean-up and no worrying about who takes care of them when we leave the house. He likes petting other’s dogs but so far his interests lie elsewhere and he isn’t begging for his own. I’m hoping this doesn’t change any time soon.
Well Gen Xers, now that you know my stance on pooches (and that I think Obama Care is a big mistake), I hope you will still be my friend. I’m always happy to watch your children. Just don’t ask me to keep your dog.