Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How Much is That Doggie in the Window?

I miss having a pet.

Growing up, I always had pets. I’ve had birds, rabbits, dogs, cats and fish. My parents are the type of people who enjoy having pets. Currently, they have two dogs and a cat. The cat was their newest acquisition about a year ago, and her name is SugarBelle. She’s one of those black and white tuxedo cats, and my mom got her from a friend of hers who rescued her when she was only like 6 weeks old or something. Initially, my dad was all in a twist over getting the kitten (pretty much because my mom just sort of came home with her one day without warning), but of course, like all people who are pet-people, he melted when it came to little SugarBelle.

The two dogs that my parents have couldn’t be more opposite of each other. There’s Gizmo – he’s a black and white Pekinese, whom I detest. I never thought I’d have an animal on my Shit List, but if you check it – there’s Gizmo’s name. He’s about 8 years old now, and was cute as hell when my parents got him as a puppy. But that cuteness wore off when we all came to realize that Gizmo had An Attitude. I think one of the reasons why they even got Gizmo in the first place was because we had a kick-ass Pekinese (my childhood dog) who had to be put to sleep in 2000. He was brown and black and although he was as dumb as a box of rocks, he was one of the sweetest animals ever. He was dopey but loveable. His name was Mikey. It fits a dopey, dumb Pekinese, doesn’t it? But back to Gizmo. Gizzy is mean, and he growls and he’s a biter. Luckily, he’s never bitten me or Daughter, but Husband swears, if he ever does, he’s a goner. Yeah…get in line. No one touches my baby, even a little dog. Funny enough, Gizzy is kinda friendly to Daughter (she takes him on walks and gives him cheese), so he sometimes is on the Almost-Off-the-Shit-List List. Almost. Funny enough, Gizmo is my dad’s bitch. He loves my dad. He rolls over on his back and exposes his tummy for my dad and freaks out whenever he sees my dad. Figures, right? He’s bitten my mom. But never my dad.

My parents’ second dog is Annie. She is a mix of a few different breeds, but predominantly a Beagle. She is a very light blonde, almost a white-yellow. She’s old and slow but such a sweet dog (she reminds me of SG’s dog, Rocky, only a smaller version). She’s another one of my mom’s rescue finds – and I believe she was probably abused in a former life, because she’s still kind of timid. I think she’s deaf, but that’s no biggie. She just wants to be petted and loved and fed. Sometimes, she raids Gizmo’s bowl when he’s too slow (or too picky) to eat his meals. Oh well. I laugh and tell Gizmo – “TOO BAD LITLE MAN!” I know, it’s mean, but if you knew him you’d also be gloating in his face.

I like visiting my parents (sometimes) because of their pets. Like I said, I miss having one. I mean, we did have Freddie Fishsticks, but really, a goldfish is hardly a good playmate. I miss curling up on the sofa or wherever, and petting a furry friend.

The main reason why I don’t have a pet is because of Husband. Cats are, unfortunately, absolutely out of the picture – mainly because he’s allergic, and partly because he doesn’t really like cats. I know what you’re thinking – how can anyone not like cats? I know. I’ve wondered the same thing myself. Husband did meet my childhood cat (Diddle) years ago, and he actually admitted she was pretty cool – but that’s because he couldn’t deny the coolness she had. It would be like denying the sky was blue. In my opinion, she was an extraordinary cat. She was so awesome, I have never met another cat like her. She never purred (weird, I know, but we thought she was never taught as a kitten) but you could always tell when she was contented. While she exhibited many of the typical cat behaviors I love so much, especially the “I-don’t-give-a-fuck-what-you-think-of-me attitude she was smarter than most people, and would spend a lot of time outside. She was street smart who always looked both ways before crossing the street. I swear. True story. We used to joke that Diddle was a kid from the ghetto and Mikey was like a kid from private school. Diddle kicked his ass on a regular basis and Mikey was a little scared of her. I’m sure she stole his lunch money all the time. :) *sigh* And she was beautiful. She had blue eyes, and was mostly white, with black, brown and orange spots all over her body. She was a stray that we found when we moved into our new house when I was 12 and she was probably about 9 months old. She actually belongs to one of our neighbors that had a mini-farm down the street – animals everywhere. He didn’t mind we kept her (and yes, we asked permission.) Dang, I miss that cat. She died about 3 or 4 years ago after living about 20-21 years. Toward the end it was kind of sad, because she was like this frail old lady with matted fur and missing teeth. I get satisfaction in knowing she died of old age, and had a really long and satisfying life.

So lately, I’ve been longing for a pet. Since cats are off the list, my only choice is a dog. As birds, rabbits, and anything in the “rodent” family (gerbils, guinea pigs, etc.) are also a no from Husband. (Yeah, I know he’s a pain. But he’s MY pain.) Now, I know there are “dog people” and there are “cat people” and even though I’ve had both, I have always considered myself more of a “cat” person. Dogs are smelly and have bad breath. They need exercise and you have to pick up their poop (as opposed to just emptying the cat litter). They are loud at times and sometimes are sloppy and want to lick you. It’s rather undignified, if you ask me. That’s why I love cats. They clean themselves so they don’t stink, they do their business in litter which only smells when you are lazy and don’t change it regularly, and they are never loud or sloppy. They mind their own business and don’t jump all over you. Dignified. Regal. Cats would never find themselves begging or doing stupid tricks for a treat. (We make Gizmo dance around on his hind legs for cheese. DAMMIT! HE DESERVES THE HUMILIATION I TELL YOU!)

Lately, I’ve been thinking that since I must settle on a dog, I wonder what type would be acceptable to me. Short hair is a must. Small in stature is also a must. Both of these are related to my wanting to be able to bathe them on a regular basis (to minimize the “smelly” part). Husband threw in the stipulation that the dog also must not shed. Ugh. Great. That’s going to narrow down my list considerably.

Over Easter, we had dinner at Husband’s cousin’s house. Her name is Angie. Angie has two long-haired dachshunds, named Rocky and Charlie. I love these dogs. They are playful and outgoing. And according to Angie, they only shed when the seasons change. Not bad. Daughter about when apeshit over them, because they love chasing balls and toys – so she had a couple of playmates on Easter.

I am not saying I’m going to get a dachshund, but they’re on my list. I mean, look at those faces on the pic in this post. I'm DYING over the cuteness of the dachshund babies...LOOK AT THOSE FACES. I COULD JUST SQUEAL...But actually, I’d prefer to get a dog from the Human Society or a rescue dog. I don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for a purebred, when I know there’s plenty of dogs in shelters that are in need of a good home. Plus, most of those dogs are housebroken, and I don’t need a puppy. I once was looking on the web for toy breeds, and found a breeder who was offering miniature pinchers who she actually litter trained. Best of both worlds right there. But they were hundreds of dollars AND she lived on the other side of the state…strike two. Maybe someday when I’m rich I can afford to buy a little dog who shits in cat litter – but today is not that day. I’m going to have to settle for a dog who shits outside like all the others, and who’s genetic history is as varied as mine.

Husband’s aversion for pets, I’m sure, comes from his mother. My mother-in-law is a decent-enough person, but she doesn’t like animals. She just doesn’t. So Husband never had pets growing up – which in my opinion, is akin to child abuse. Every kid should have pets. I don’t want Daughter to grow up and not know what it’s like to care for a pet, because she ADORES animals. She even has said she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up (and I understand that at 6, she doesn’t know enough to know what she wants to be, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up becoming a vet.) Her preference is a cat (just like me) but she knows Daddy is allergic and will also settle for a dog (just like me).

Hmmm. I need to think some more about this. After all, I’m not running out to get a dog anytime soon – I need daughter to get a little older so she can help out on the responsibilities of caring for the pet (you know, everything has to have a life lesson). But it’s been on my mind since visiting Rocky and Charlie. Damn they were cute and I feel bad for Daughter. She needs a pet since it doesn’t look like she’s ever going to get a brother or sister. The least I can do for her, right?


Kylie said...

I cannot imagine growing up without pets! That is like child abuse! They say kids who grow up with cats have higher self-esteem. It's probably just the same with dogs. My SIL has a rescue that she found on
I would start there and see what they have. All 6 of my kitties are either rescues or strays that just showed up and we took them to the vet and they came inside to live.
Best of luck in your journey to find a great pet!!

Samantha Grace said...

a. Pets are essential to raising a good child. I believe that for a fact.
b. Dogs are smelly, but they'll love you more than anyone ever has ever.
c. Adopt and do not buy.
d. Be prepared to run your life based on when the dog needs to use the john.

Seriously, how can you not have animals?!?!?! DANG IT PETE.

They can be huge pains in the ass, but they make a house so much more lively.

mytruth1118 said...

I LOVE dogs, I wish i could have one, but much like your husband mine thinks animals belong outside and while he did have a dog growing was kept outside. I actully got rid of the sweetest lab mix (spca dog) that i had because he made me. Luckily my brother took the dog and I get to see her whenever I want. My daughter has been bugging me for small breed dog for about a year...we'll see. BTW we do have a sweet soft cat.