I'm never getting a dog!
Here's the thing - I have kids. I have been raising them for over 19 years. The fact that they have each gained independence to the point that my oldest one is planning to move away from home is a big deal. I am proudly a kid person.
And because of this, the mere thought of getting a dog terrifies me.
It seems strange. I already have 5 kids so what's the big deal with throwing a dog in mix? No big woof! Pun intended.
I know how wonderful dogs are. Dogs are pretty cool. Unconditional love and all that. Yet the fact remains. I am not on board with having a dog.
And I don't agree with the notion that dogs are the same as kids. They aren't. With my kids, they can learn to do all types of useful things - reading, cleaning themselves, cleaning up, cooking, putting stuff away and using the toilet.
With a dog, I'm going to have to wake up every day to walk the damn thing. I'm going to have to train it not to pee on my floor and eat my furniture. I'm going to have to carry a bag of poop around for 16 years.
And then there is other dog people. I'm not used to them. In a previous life I was a cat person. Cat people run a wide spectrum. Cats don't. Cats are generally jerks.
As a parent, I have to meet with other parents. It's a side effect of the fact that my kids go to social settings like school and make friends. It's usually convenient as it enables my wife and I to play bridge (actually Cards Against Humanity) with other parents. But go to a dog park and hang out with other dog people as my dog sniffs butts? Yeesh!
Dogs are also expensive. They eat better food than I do. And if they get sick (and they will) it's costly. And then there is the whole mini tragedy as George Carlin termed it which is devastating for all involved.
No dogs. Not ever!
And then my dog stance started to erode.
I met Montie.
While on vacation in Montebello, Quebec, I met Montie, a beautiful golden retriever who lived in the hotel. Of course I was hooked on the big lug but I was fully aware of the power of the dog (I am also aware of the power of babies but their effect is not as strong). Unfortunately, so was my family, especially my youngest daughter Charli who has been dog obsessed ever since.
How obsessed you ask? Well she has a plush toy golden retriever that she names Montie. She feeds him, walks with him and sleeps with him. It's probably just a phase you say? Well she's been doing it for over a year and now has a kennel of dogs
Naturally, my daughter's obsession with having a dog has transferred to me. I now picture a life with a Montie of my own. I've been looking at Rescue Dog sites and have even considered volunteering as a Therapy Dog Handler with St. John Ambulance. I've also talked to a few people and they say that dog insurance is not too expensive. I also hear that guide dogs routinely drop out of training because they are too friendly. And some of those dogs are so smart they can fetch and open beers.
And what about the kids? Won’t a dog teach them to be responsible for a living being and teach them the importance of routine?
And what about the future? Sure my kids are young now, but they are going to get older and not need me anymore. So what the hell am I going to do with all my free time when I'm an empty nester who is retired and needs a hobby and some new friends?
We're probably getting a dog....
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