In Which I Compromise

I am not an animal person, and I don’t understand people who are. I see cars all the time with those little family decals on the back window – you know the ones with the parents and the two kids and the baby, and now increasing numbers of dogs? The other day I saw one that had about four dog stickers, and a few cat ones, too. I can’t even. (And that’s not nearly as baffling as the rainbow paw-print decal I saw yesterday – is there a gay dog-rights movement I’m not aware of?) Cisco and Snert have been talking about getting a dog for ages and ages, though. Cisco wants something huge and sheddy, but he knows that’ll never happen, at least not before we live on a farm, so they’ve been pushing for a mid-sized dog. I’ve told them over and over that we can get a dog as soon as they invent one that doesn’t poop. It’s simple, guys.

I grew up with a dog. We had a very sweet Yorkie named Muffin, and she was as good as they get. She didn’t shed, she generally didn’t smell too bad, and she wasn’t yippy. My sister got her either the year I was born or the year after, so for the first twelve or so years of my life Muffin was around. She slept on my bed (ew), and every day when we got home from school we could see her through the windows in the door, making crazed four-foot vertical jumps of happiness. She was a sweet dog, and I really did like her.

Then she got attacked by a Dobermin and, after several hours of struggling, died. I wasn’t crazy about that experience, so I certainly didn’t want to get attached to another dog. I think my Mom always wanted one, though, and she finally got one (a Morkie, I think?) when Snert was almost two. The other nieces and nephews were afraid of the tiny spazzy animal (Clementine could fit in a bathrobe pocket at the beginning), but Snert would sit on the kitchen floor with her, snorting and squealing with joy.

Begrudgingly, I admit that it was pretty cute.

Since then he’s done the best he can with stuffed animals – arranging them into tasteful vignettes and taking photos of them. I did not take this.

So, the dog issue has come up. Ultimately, I’d just rather not have one – they make me feel dirty, and I don’t like the idea of an animal living in my house and rubbing things on places. On the other hand, Snert is an only child and a dog would be a nice companion. It might bring out a softer side or something. Definitely a dirtier side. And I know it would make him happy, and that’s a big deal, right?

Whatever, most of the time I managed not to think about it, until last week. We were driving to school, and out of the blue Snert says, “I wish I had a dog. A black dog with white feet and a white nose and a white tip of his tail.” It was so specific that it kind of broke my heart.

All this build-up is to justify (?) the fact that yesterday we got our first pet. I have mixed feelings about it, but it was time. We still haven’t decided on a name, but Cisco helped Snert get it set up all cozy – food and water and whatnot, a bed. I washed dishes and tried not to think about it too much. I can get used to it, right? I don’t have to feel dirty all the time?

Snert’s thrilled. He was beside himself last night, jumping and shouting, “I’m so excited I finally have a pet!!! A pet flying ant!!!”

I will take that Mother of the Year award now.


5 thoughts on “In Which I Compromise

  1. What, what, what…I read all the way to the bottom and was very much expecting this cute picture of an adorable puppy just like your son asked for. I had to read the second to last paragraph about 3 times before I realized what kind of pet he actually got. LOL! Do you have an ant farm now? What did he end up naming the ant? I don’t like dogs very much either, but we do have 2 cats and I have been pretty fond of them. Elizabeth thinks they are super funny and laughs at them a lot. Good luck with the newest member of your family!

    • Thanks, Marie! We don’t have a whole ant farm – just the one ant. Maybe we’ll work our way up to that, and then move on to cockroaches. Ha. You guys have been in my prayers, by the way. Thanks for coming by.

  2. I am so not a dog person. Dogs seem so needy (and smelly). I wouldn’t mind a cat (blessedly un-needy!), but my husband and son are allergic to cats. We do have a low-maintenance pet that is nearly indestructable: a beta fish. They don’t need a tank, you can only have one at a time (or they will fight each other to the death), and you just have to feed them twice a day and change the water once a month. Easy peasey — and you can get one for around $5. They’re really pretty, too — but my kids keep asking about dogs too. Sigh.

    • I like the beta fish idea – my sister has one. Maybe I should get two on purpose, and let them fight to the death and traumatize Snert out of wanting a pet. Just kidding, I don’t actually parent like that…

  3. Oh my gosh, I was totally freaking over here that you had actually gotten a black and white cute pootie puppy and was going to load everyone into the car to go see it – “school” be danged! I don’t know, Rose, I think it’s time. Poopy Puppy Time. If you just surrender yourself to the slobber and worse, you’ll probably end up more crazy about the dog than anyone. Surrender being the Word of the Decade and all that. Seriously, if you get a puppy and I can make a friend who has a swimming pool, we’ll be set and you want me to be happy, right?

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