Before I say something that could incur the wrath of many, let me first say that without question, I LOVE animals. Especially wildlife. I love to take my Nikon and stake out the owls and bobcats behind my house for hours on end. But, I’m not a dog person. WAIT! Don’t leave! I’m not a cat person either. PLEASE STAY! I like them, I just don’t want one. I don’t want a pet.
That doesn’t mean I don’t “get it”—I do! I love pink puppy bellies nearly as much as I love baby cankles. I also plan on donating large sums of my future lottery winnings to organizations that train service dogs and other rehabilitation programs that utilize animals.
Years ago I would’ve said with
arrogance confidence, “I’ll never have a dog.” I don’t make blanket statements like that anymore if there is any way around it. As soon as I get all cocky with the I-will-never attitude, God swivels His head around in a “Did you really just say that?” way. Then He shakes His majestic head side to side as He chuckles—and promptly reminds me who’s driving.
I’m not making this up—it has become a game with us. I know He doesn’t like me popping off with what I will and won’t do (I bet it’s the way I move my neck when I’m being adamant). But I’m not always able to stop myself, so I leave Him no other choice but to deliver the news to me that oh yes, I will indeed do this thing I’ve put my ridiculous foot down about. I have many examples of this happening, but the one most burned into my memory is when I said I’d never work retail and several months later I wore a badge and was carrying around a walkie talkie at Barnes & Noble, trying to track down A Year of Kama Sutra for a band of gypsies.
So let me tread lightly here in case He’s reading. I … hope to … never have a dog. Wait, that seems too wimpy, so I’ll just ask.
Dear Sweet Loving God, please don’t bring a precious puppy to my doorstep. Especially a too-cute-for-words baby bloodhound. I know I’ll become obsessed and grotesque about it the way the people I love have. I promise to be nice to others’ pets if You promise me I won’t have to take one in. I’ll even hide my gag reflex when I see his red rocket making an appearance. I’ll pretend his hair flying through the kitchen as we whip up a casserole is no problem at all. I’ll try my hardest to not feel anger when I hear him slurping from the toilet. Actually, I can’t keep that promise—and You knew this before I said it. Please give the puppy to the family who won’t hold their nose on the pet aisle at Kroger and who doesn’t mind all the licking and slurping sounds that accompany such creatures. Please forgive me for not wanting to house one of Your creations—I really do find some of them quite adorable, despite my desire to love them from afar. And please also bless Romo with a better offensive line. Amen.
It’s such a bizarre position to be so sure in my head that I don’t want something but also “get it” and understand what it does to people and what it would do to me. I would not be a middle of the road dog-owner. I would be gross. I’d call friends and say things like, “Decker knows he’s getting shots today—that’s why he’s not eating.” I’d start pinning dog quotes on Pinterest and Instagramming pics of him frolicking, taking extra steps to capture his ears mid-flap. I’d tweet, “Glad someone slept good!” and show him on my pillow, in my bed, possibly under my covers with my t-shirt on. I can’t be sure I wouldn’t get vanity plates that said LVMYPUP or MANSBFF.
It’s not even a secret why I’m paralyzed with this seemingly absurd fear. It’s my parents’ fault. They’ve gone from being like me (normal) to full-on, all-out, no-holes-barred dog lovers—and not of their own volition. They were carrying on, minding their own business and enjoying retirement when BAM, they spotted an abandoned puppy on the side of the road. I’m talking puppy-puppy, sweet little bare belly and all. Of course they knew they had to feed him, but that was several years ago and now they say he’s my brother.
My mom purposefully (when it’s just she and my dad) cooks extra food so Scout can have some and accidentally (when we’re there) overestimates how much steak we’ll need. This dog has it made. He’s so much the man that he doesn’t even have to wear a leash. He passes the other dogs on their walks like, “Sup Bro—why you all chained up ‘n shit?” (sorry, I just really feel like he has a dirty mouth when he’s running the streets). He gets longer massages than the ones I pay good money for and isn’t required to tip. He’s a great dog; but why wouldn’t he be? He’s an 80lb canine who eats filet mignon and lives a leash-free life with a woman who grills his food and a man who lets him sit in his lap.
Fears = substantiated.
I guess my disinterest goes a little beyond just not wanting to own a dog. There are other things with peoples’ pets that get me cranky. My brother’s dog has a nose like a missile and its intended target is every butt in the room. None of us escape at least one airborne moment per visit. There is nothing quite like innocently kneading dough with your niece, when out of the blue, the coonhound lifts you a few inches off the ground in an unbridled crack attack. That’s not fun to me. (Full disclosure—it’s beyond fun to witness from afar.)
Hey Pet Owner, you know how stepping on shards of glass hurts real bad? Your dog’s nails aren’t much different and they’re excruciating down my shins and forearms—go figure. Maybe you could perfect “Down, Rocky!” with him before you invite me over for a shrimp boil.
And in the same way I don’t want to walk in on you sitting on the toilet playing Beat Sneak Bandit on your iPhone, pants at your ankles—I also don’t want to happen upon your dog in that abominable hunched-up potty stance with that shameful look in his eyes when we make make eye contact. Sorry, I know he has to “go potty” but once the venting starts, I can’t stop.
It’s not just dogs. I know cats are supposed to be smart, aloof and low maintenance but guess what—apparently I don’t know how to pet them—so they don’t like me. I mean, you’re kidding me right? I rub your fur in an unpreferred direction and you don’t like me? Hot news flash, Felix, I don’t like you either. Your kitty litter stinks and your hungry meows frighten me. Don’t get me started on your mating cries. Do you think a dude cat is going to wanna get with you when you sound like that? Nobody wants a screechy beggar. Pull yourself together or you’ll never have kitties.
Ok, now I’ve said too much. I’ve worked myself up into a frenzy and need some air. If there is a doe-eyed puppy or a cat in heat on my porch, I’ll have no one to blame but myself.
I’d love for you to join me on Facebook … it’s good for your health.