Thursday, April 18, 2013

Let's talk about pets...

Scarlett has been asking for a dog since she was two.  She always does it like this:

Scarlett:  Mom, are you allergic to dogs or cats?
Me:  I'm allergic to cats.
Scarlett:  Then can we get a dog?

We always said, there is no room for a dog, which loosely translates to: we don't want to train a dog, we don't want to pick up its poop, we don't want to leave a dog home alone all day, we don't want to worry about finding a "dog sitter" when we leave for an extended period of time and lastly we don't have room for a dog. But then I see Scarlett's eyes light up when she plays with my parents dog or remember the smile that flickered on Dominic's face the first time he touched fir and felt the gentle lick of a dogs tongue on his tiny toes, and I question our adamant "no's".  

I grew up with a normal cycle of pets, hamsters, lizards, and a constant coming and going of dogs big and small.  My parents always gave in to our pleas of "we must have this dog now" and the dogs always ended up a tiny bit neglected in our busy home.  We rarely took them on the walks that as a family we intended to take and my dad was always stuck picking up the poop that my sister and I promised to clean.  Even with the intention of raising them as "indoor" dogs they always ended up in the backyard getting just dirty enough that we weren't too excited when they rushed inside with sticky paws and smelly fir.

I know some day Chris and I will give in to our children's plea and my innate desire to save all living things will end with a family trip to the pound.  A little helpless animal will stick its tiny paw through the jail cell and I will melt, Scarlett's desire quickly becoming my own.  I will be stuck feeding, bathing and brushing and Chris will be stuck picking up poop and my parents will smile. 


P.S.  The dog above is "Dexter", my parents dog.  A dog that stuck its tiny paw in my adolescent thigh and melted my heart.  I had to have him, there was no question that he needed to be saved from that tiny cell he called life. With very persuading promises of being the sole caretaker,  I convinced my parents to take him home and there he stayed.  We call him "the princess" because he is super high maintenance.  And this is precisely why my parents will smile when I tell them "we got a dog and Scarlett promises to take care of him". 

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