Why I don’t have a dog…

I love dogs. They’re awesome. They can be as smart as they are goofy and dumb. But we love them anyways.

Growing up we were never allowed to have pets, except for a beta fish named Sam, oh and a couple gerbils I inherited from a friend in elementary school. My parents said pet dander was awful for your respiratory tract (which I learned to be true later in life) and they thought it was cruel to keep an animal cooped up inside a house – claiming they needed to roam free.
My first pet larger than a gerbil was a rabbit. French lop. She was darn cute. I got floppy
from a pet store during college. I litter box trained her, but unfortunately she liked to chew through wires so I had to keep her in a rabbit cage for the most part. Floppy made the trip out to Colorado after I finished school. Shortly after I adopted a cat, a tuxedo cat, who I appropriately named Gabby. Boy, was she a talker!

gabby-penguinGabby and I were together when Floppy passed a few years later. She licked her ears as she crossed over the rainbow bridge. She knew what was happening. After that, it was just the two of us. Gabby would let me know in her own way when she was unhappy with me – usually when I would leave town for short periods of time. I absolutely felt awful. Eventually I had to surrender her to the Dumb Friends League, the local animal shelter. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. Before that, I asked friends if they knew anyone that was willing to give her a good home. When that search became unsuccessful, I made the heart wrenching decision to give her up. I was traveling so much and the boyfriend I was dating at the time was severely allergic to her. I felt it was unfair to her. She deserved better. She deserved to have someone around to give her all the love and attention.

As much as I love animals, especially dogs, I don’t have one primarily because I can’t provide the love and attention they deserve. Most days I’m out of the house for 12-14 hours, and the thought of having a dog just so I can put them in doggy day care just seems selfish.

 

So…I get my puppy-fix by dog sitting for various friends. It’s like being the awesome auntie. You get to play with them, be temporarily responsible for them, and then you get to give them back, or in this case go home.

Dogs are definitely awesome, but I’m quickly reminded at 5:59am why I’m glad I don’t have one. Some dogs are lazy, but for the ones that aren’t, sleeping in is a luxury. Stinky dog breath in your face with wet noses – such a delight to wake up to. Lol.

Then there’s going away for trips, especially if you live in Colorado. Going up to the mountains on the weekends is part of living here. Trying to find a trusted dog sitter or paying to board your dog – another logistical item that makes spontaneous trips a bit more challenging.

Vet bills. I don’t ever want to be in a position where I’m having to make a choice between my pet’s health and my pocketbook. I don’t know how people do it. You love them, but sometimes there comes a point when you have to do the humane thing and let them go. Ugh.

Dogs break your heart the day you bring them home. I can’t recall where I heard this saying, but it’s so true. Their time on this earth is so limited compared to ours. You know at some point you’ll have to say goodbye. You just hope that day is still very far away.

So to all my puppy parents, my heart goes out to you…but while your furry children are here, I will love them with all my heart…and let them snuggle with me in bed.

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