You Think You Want A Dog?

May 10, 2012 · 15 comments

in Bad Things, Craziness (hildie's), IMO, Pets

Maggie dog at craft store
I probably don’t know you at all. But I know you well enough to tell you this: you don’t want a dog.  The desire to get a dog is kind of weird; like a biological clock in a way. One day you wake up and think, “I kind of want a dog.”  And then you start looking around and very shortly your mind thinks of nothing else but how badly you want a dog. No, not want; how you simply must have a dog immediately.

It doesn’t make sense. It’s not like the urge to have a baby. Actually it pretty much is. For most women a dog is the thing you get when the maternal urges are just waking up but the thought of taking care of an actual human are beyond frightening.We had a dog-baby the year before I got pregnant. I had zero experience with dogs and we got a chocolate lab. We named her Emma and she was the biggest spaz ever. We were such horrible pet owners because Mister and I were lazy, irresponsible twenty-somethings. When India was about six months old we gave Emma to some friends who lived on a farm. Hopefully she lived happily every after. Although I really don’t care because she drove me crazy and good riddance.

Sometimes a woman wants a dog when her kids are getting older and she realizes her baby days are history. But stupid women! Instead of rejoicing as we toss out the diapers, we feel like our lives must have more poop and mayhem. I know all about women like this because I am currently one of these. When Jasper turned six months old I realized that my newborn baby days were over. I didn’t intelligently think, “I have six children under age ten. It’s good that the newborn stage is over. I’ll still have my hands full.” Nope, pretty much the day that Jasper started sleeping through the night I began a frantic search for a dog.

And ended up with Margaret.

She is the sweetest dog ever but, you know, dogs bark.  And their poop is all over your backyard (or someone else’s yard). A lot of times they leave hair all over the place. And scratch marks. And they chew stuff up and cost a lot of money. (That heartworm medicine ain’t free, you know!)  Fortunately our dog isn’t a chewer or a digger but a lot of them are. Emma was. Emma ate everything she could get her mouth on (stupid Labs! Stupider us for owning one!). If you have a tall dog there’s a good chance your dog will eat something off of the kitchen counters. This isn’t just something that happens in those dumb Disney movies with the Golden Retriever puppies.

Also, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Dogs eat their own vomit (which is a good thing really. I wish my kids ate their own vomit. Especially at three in the morning.) Dogs eat garbage.  Any garbage. Our dog eats any tissue or used bit of toilet paper she can get her grubby paws on. But it gets worse than that. Much worse. Like maxi-pad-worse. And poopy-diaper-worse. I don’t want you to faint so I’ll stop talking about this. But you really should know this stuff. Dogs are disgusting.

This is the worst part of having a dog: finding someone to take care of it when you’re on vacation. It’s either super expensive or a total pain (like when I took care of my friends dog and it ran away without us knowing and someone found the dog and called the number on it’s tag. So our friends who were vacationing in Florida had to call and tell us that the neighbor found their dog. Slightly embarrassing.) A lot of times it’s a pain and it’s expensive.

You also have to teach a dog to have good manners. We kind of forgot this. Which is funny because I’m super into children having good manners. But dogs? Meh, whatever. At some point, though, your dog will interact with society and it could very well be a debacle.

Yesterday I picked Maggie up from the groomers. Which is right by Hobby Lobby. Which I had to get something from. And it was 78°. Too hot to leave the dog in the car (just because I don’t like my dog doesn’t mean I’m heartless!), so Maggie came shopping with me. It went surprisingly well considering she is a weirdo. Except for the time she barked at some feathers. (Hobby Lobby can be very echo-ey. And having your smuggled-in dog bark inside of a store is mortifying.) Nobody blinked an eye. Even the cashier said nothing.

But I am not planning on taking my dog to the store again. Because my days of shopping with an unruly hanger-on are over. Unlike children, though, you can leave your dog at home in a cage. So I guess dogs aren’t all bad.

But I guess my conclusion is this: if you want a baby, have one. A dog is not the same. (No matter how many vets and groomers hand me my dog and say, “there’s your mom, Margaret!” and I have to point out that I bought her; she is a pet.)  Or don’t have a baby. Whatever. But don’t get a dog. Because, man, they are a pain.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Heidi May 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm

We have a lab. He’s not a biter/scratcher/chewer/digger like many labs, thank goodness, but he is a shedder. Honestly, it’s making me lose my mind. He’s sweet, but when I vacuum every single dang day, I think that maybe I will not be so sad when he’s gone. In fact, I’ll be pretty relieved.

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Carly May 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm

I have to agree wholeheartedly. We had a heaven-sent black lab who came to use grown up and trained and almost perfect. We loved him a lot. But he did shed. And poop. He died the week before Christmas. We were devastated. And yet there was also an underlying sense of relief for me. I had a newborn, you see, and the black hair all over my house and the neediness of my dog was killing me. A few weeks ago my husband brought home a sled dog (long story) who was awesome, but threw up and pooped all over my floors, ruining two rugs. He just wasn’t a good fit for us, what with the pooping and puking and all. It’s just better not to have a dog. Always.

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suburbancorrespondent May 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm

“I wish my kids ate their own vomit.” You know, even after all I’ve been through, puke-wise, I don’t think that thought ever crossed my mind. Next time though, thanks to you, it will.

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Nicole M. May 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Agree! I had (because once you read this you’ll know why we are no longer friends) some people in my past that i considered friends. Until the day they threw their dog a birthday party and invited my dog. I called and said “You know it’s a dog right? It’s only going to live if you are lucky like ten years. So you got 9 to go.” But, they went ahead with the party. Hats and all I hear.

Then they had a kid. That dog turned into a dog again. It was magical. The ex-friends found out that their 4 legged dog was just a dog. So to make it better they went out and got another dog to keep the first dog company. Idiots.

We lost our dog a few years ago. My son seems into them. I don’t care. We will n ot have another one for many many years to come. I love dogs. I just don’t have the patience and the time to take care of children, husband, home, business, and dare to dream myself along with a dog. I’m selfish like that.

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Missy | The Literal Mom May 10, 2012 at 6:24 pm

This is EXACTLY how we ended up with our dog. Who I barely tolerate. I don’t hate her – the kids love her too much for that. But seriously. Biggest. Mistake. Ever. This coming from the woman who still gets choked up when I think about my beloved first dog that died a few years ago. I was NOT ready for this dog and I thought I was. Now I get to enjoy my decision for 15 or so more years. Hurray, me!

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Mary May 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm

“Dogs eat their own vomit (which is a good thing really. I wish my kids ate their own vomit. Especially at three in the morning.)

Best. Line. Ever.

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Tiffany May 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

Just need to say I told you so.
We have never had, nor WILL ever have, a pet. Of any kind. I don’t care how much therapy my kids need.

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Stephanie May 11, 2012 at 11:08 am

Amen!
We had a dog for a couple of years and the best feeling I ever had was the day we found him a new home. I love dogs, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t love dogs living in my home.

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L. May 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I love your dog Maggie, and you know she loves ME better than all of you put together! But it’s easy to love Maggie because she lives at YOUR house, not mine! A little tender cooing, a bunch of hugs and belly scratches, and then throw her out your back door — over and done!

Though I do love dogs very much, the reason I don’t have one is that they are a ball and chain. You can’t go anywhere! And I am a noted Gypsy! There is only so much energy in life, and I prefer to spend mine on grandchildren! (But I’ll still take Maggie for a weekend if forced to the wall).

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Bethany May 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Oh, my. Maxi pads. Our dear, departed beagle would get into everything (I know. So gross.) growing up. He was a sweet dog. Always good with kids and always a happy puppy. Then he died during the winter and it was too muddy to dig a grave for him. So into the freezer he went. I must point out, I had left for college at this point.
Well, you know how you get accustomed to things and you forget about them, so he sat in the bottom of the freezer for more than half a year (my parents have two large freezers in the garage) and I would ask occasionally if the dead dog was still in the freezer. “Have you buried the corpse of my dog yet?” “Pretty sure you aren’t desperate enough for food storage to save OUR DOG.”
Finally, they buried him. I have no idea where. But he’s no longer in the freezer, which, while I’m not crazy about dogs, felt to me to be a hair disrespectful of him. Also, gross.
I do miss having someone to pick up things I drop while making dinner. Maybe I can train my kid and his future siblings…

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Hildie May 13, 2012 at 11:29 am

When our last dog died, I missed the clean floors too. But it doesn’t outweigh everything gross.

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meredith May 11, 2012 at 6:57 pm

i decided long ago that i will NEVER have a dog, for all of these reasons and many more. i can’t even tell you how many times people have told me that we need a dog for our three children, to which i always say, “having a dog is like having a baby that never grows up. they can never talk to you and you always have to clean up their poop. no thanks.”

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Sharon May 12, 2012 at 9:55 am

You crack me up! This past December…I had a short time period of insanity when I drove TWELVE HOURS away to pick up TWO GREAT DANE PUPPIES! WHY?!? I’ve since come to my senses….but too late. We already had one large dog….plus 2 = insanity. Yes they are sweet, lovable monstrosities. But WHAT WAS I THINKING?!? I will always have a dog in my life (ONE AT A TIME!) ….but from now on…..when those feelings of “wanting another dog” come over me……I’ll run to the fridge for a bowl of ice cream and hope that feeling passes quickly!

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Hildie May 13, 2012 at 11:27 am

Oh man, you are crazycakes! I am so not jealous. Good luck!!!

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Pamela Waling May 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Oh sweet baby Jesus! My husband asked me why I was crying and I simply couldn’t tell him… through the laughter!! We have a Sheltie, who if I saved all the hair I brushed off him I could make a small dog from it. Nasty. I laughed so hard because everything you said could have been me. SO my life.

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