Me - Because I Don't Want a Dog

OK, OK, it's time.  At least one of you has been bugging me for a few days now about writing about why I don't have a dog and why I won't have a dog.  So here you go.

Adolpha is crazy about dogs and she would love to own one.  Easily three times a week she asks for a dog and three times a week I say, "No.  A dog is too much work and too much responsibility for us.  We barely have enough time to spend with you and Gomer.  When would we spend time with a dog?  We like to travel and be gone a lot and that's not fair to a dog.  It would not be a good life for a dog in our house.  When you're older and on your own, you can have your own."  End of discussion:  No Dogs Allowed.

But, why? You ask.  Dogs are man's best friend.  They are our best companions.  Dogs are loving and loyal and protective.  You should have a dog, you meanie.

I blame it on my parents.

Growing up, my brother and I wanted a dog.  We would beg and plead with our parents (Pleeeeeeeeeeeease????).  We would negotiate and over promise (C.B. will pick up the poop and I'll walk him and we'll never fight anymore we promise, promise, promise!).  We would guilt trip our parents (EVERYBODY we know has a dog.  You don't love us!).

My parents never budged.  They never said, "We'll think about it."  There was never a family meeting called where we could discuss the pros and cons of dog ownership.  It was always just straight up "No."  Even when precious little C.B. wrote letters to Santa for years asking for a dog my parents remained stoic - that's just cold.  (For those of you who are wondering, Adolpha doesn't ask Santa for a live dog, because she knows that Santa does not bring live animals, so it's not worth wasting your time on him.  I learned from watching C.B. that I could never say "No" if she asked Santa.)

My mother was (and still is actually) a stickler for a clean house (yes, she cringes every time she steps in my front door, but that's a post for another day).  She was constantly wiping something, dusting something or vacuuming something.  The mess that two little kids made was enough to send her over the edge and the idea of a dog just overwhelmed her.  My dad traveled a lot for work so we were on our own a lot and my mom did not want one more thing dependent upon her or making a mess for her to clean up.  My dad would just say, "Yeah.  What your mother said."

All of this dog animosity rubbed off on me.  I began to see dogs the way she did:  messy, stinky, slobbery, whiny, destructive, sheddy (Is that a word?  Well, it is now.), hyper, barky, yippy/yappy and expensive.

I quickly got on the no dog bandwagon.  C.B. did not.

The first purchase C.B. and his wife made together was a dog.  This was my first experience around a dog.  He was a nice, older Boston Terrier who preferred to lay in the sun or cuddle.  He didn't smell, he didn't bark or whine, his shedding was minimal.  He was actually kind of...dare I say...nice.

I was actually thinking I'd been misinformed.  Dogs weren't as bad as I thought.  This one seemed really very...fine.  And then C.B. got his second dog.

This time he got a puppy.  A stinky, wriggly, chewy, albeit amazingly adorable puppy.  This puppy was so hyper she would play catch with you until her legs gave out from exhaustion.  She would yap and nip and jump.  Ahh...yes, this is what I thought dogs were like.

Don't get me wrong, C.B. and Ida are tough dog parents and set down rules for their dogs, but this was a puppy and she was a handful.  I could never be as strict at C.B. and Ida, so I knew right then a puppy was not in my future.

After a few years, C.B. and Ida were going on vacation and they asked if the Hubs and I would dog sit.  None of us had kids yet, so these were C.B. and Ida's "children."  The pressure was incredible.  What if one choked on dinner?  What if the little one ran away like she does sometimes?  What if the old one keeled over on my watch?  I was an absolute nervous wreck.  I didn't know anything about dogs, but I didn't want to say No.  So I agreed.

I was given a list of instructions that helped.  Luckily, Ida is detail-oriented and she knew I had no dog experience.  The instructions said things like, Feed the dogs 1/3 cup of dry food, 20 minutes later, take them outside to go to the bathroom.  Encourage them with phrases like, "Go, go, go."  (I doubt Ida has ever had to leave such detailed instructions for anyone, but I was glad she did because I am an idiot and "Go, go, go" did seem to make a difference.)

When they dropped them off, the old dog left an enormous shit in my hallway to let us all know he wasn't very happy with the arrangement - he could smell my fear.  I wanted to take a shit in his crate to let him know I felt the same way - and reinstate myself as Alpha Dog.

Long story short, I did not kill the dogs.  I was never calm while they were with me.  I was always on edge that something terrible would happen to them and I would be responsible.  Surprisingly, I was never asked to dog sit again.

After that weekend, my feelings on dogs were firmly cemented.  I like to visit dogs.  I like to pet dogs.  I like to send dogs home with their owners.

My guess is, there are a lot of dog owners who feel that way about my kids and we can both agree on that.

The most ironic part of this story, though, is when Ida and I were both pregnant with our boys - the first two grandchildren for my parents.  My mom was acting kind of strange.  She was getting excited for the two babies that were coming, but she had a weird maternal-ticking-clock kind of feeling too that she couldn't shake.  She thought maybe she wanted a dog.  Huh??

One of C.B.'s friends mentioned she knew about a rescued Boston Terrier that needed a good home, but she was having trouble finding a spot for him.  My mom asked to meet the dog.  WHAT????

C.B.'s friend brought the dog over for my mom to meet him.  After looking into his enormous, goggly, wonky eyes (yes, he has one eye that doesn't track as well as the other) she fell in love and adopted him.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME????  WE don't like dogs.  YOU raised me that way.  WTF??

Her response?  "I was wrong.  They're sweet."

To this day, I blame this adoption on the pheromones and hormones that Ida and I were pumping into the air that made my mom want her own menopausal "baby."  Meanwhile, that "baby" has a better life than me or C.B. ever had.  Sigh.

Hey wait!  I just had a breakthrough.  (Who needs a shrink when I have a blog??)  Maybe that's it.  It's not that dogs are smelly or messy, etc.  It's just that I'm jealous of a dog's life. They get to sleep all day (bliss).  Someone feeds them and walks them on a regular basis (no need to cook).  They get snuggles and love and someone to play with them and give them treats when they're good.  Dogs have no responsibility (let's face it, I would never be a service dog) and no one expects much from them.

That's it, I don't want a dog, because I want to be a dog.  Actually, after reading the headlines this morning, I've decided a cat's life is more for me.  I want to be this cat.

94 comments:

Julia said...

My daughter wants nothing more in life than to have a puppy. However, Mommy is WAY TOO MEAN to let her have one. Not only are my hands full with her (even though she is darling and sweet and light and goodness), my husband travels and I am not going to be outnumbered by non potty users in my house. Growing up, my grandmother enforced the same set of mean rules on my mother. As a result, we did get a dog. He lasted ten days as his preferred method of pooping was in the middle of the custom rug in the living room... In related news, I have a cat that is looking for some new roomates...

Melanie B. said...

I loooooove the ending of your story - your mom got a dog. Love it!!

I have 2 dogs, 2 cats, and 4 gerbils (and 3 kids). :-)

Anonymous said...

Ugh,right there with you!!! My kids would love to have a dog. My husband would love to have a dog. I would rather take a fork to the eye than get a dog. I hate dogs!! I don't like the way they smell, I don't like the way they look at me (I just know they are waiting to chew my leg off!!!), I don't like to pet them...there is nothing I like about dogs! I keep telling my family it's either me or a dog....So far, I'm still winning :)

Abbie said...

I will never get a dog for the same reasons. I did get a cat and I love her, but dogs are way messier than any cat.

Julie said...

We got a puppy the same time I was potty training my son. I was cleaning up pee from one or the other ALL the time.

Allison Crawford said...

my husband and I think that people who don't like dogs have no soul ;)

Anonymous said...

My mother was absolutely NOT a dog person when I was growing up... They were smelly and dirty and she didn't want them to slobber on her. She and my Dad now live on a huge piece of land in Tennessee with SIX dogs. Why Tennessee? Because they didn't have enough room at their place in Florida for the dogs. I left New Jersey to live near them in Florida and they moved out of state for the DOGS. They do not come to visit because they can't leave the dogs. They do not go anywhere that will keep them away from home for more than a few hours because this upsets the dogs. My mother is frequently awake by 6 am because the dogs are ready to go out and have breakfast. It is difficult to even talk on the phone with mom without being interrupted by assorted barking followed by her loudly yelling " Molly (or Willie or Jack or Maggie, etc) stop that this minute!!" After which she proceeds to tell me how wonderful they are. My siblings and I would like to know when aliens took over the mother we grew up with.
(Incidentally, I love dogs. I own a dog grooming business and have a dog of my own.)

Anonymous said...

Get a cat! I have both but cats are 10x easier to take care of.

Sandee Wagner said...

I relented and allowed my family dogs while my kids were growing up even though my upbringing was like yours. Once, my SIL asked if I would watch her small dog while she was on her honeymoon... and I said yes. That dog barked the entire time. Until he stopped. We rushed him to the hospital, but the emergency vet said he either got snake bit, or had a puppy aneurysm. Most people who hear that story don't ask me to dog sit. spw

Anonymous said...

I have 2 dogs and I can definately see why people don't want dogs: if they are inside dogs, you have to base your new floor choice on what will hold up to them, you have to vacuum/dust at least twice a week, depending on the breed, to clean up their fur, if you don't want to bother someone with dog-sitting you have to pay an extra $40-50 a night for boarding, you feel guilty if you don't exercise them. Why do I have dogs again? I think the draw to dog ownership is that is so easy to make a dog happy and feels very rewarding. It is a pretty simple relationship between dog and owner vs human and human.

BadDecisions said...

I'm 30 and still begging for a dog... only now it's my husband. You would think I have some womanly prowess that I could use on him. NOTHING WORKS!!!!!! He feels the same way you do -they're "sheddy."

Good Luck & God Speed Adolpha... I feel your pain girl.

Christine said...

I'm one of those people who considers my dog something approaching a child (although I do not paint toenails or dress him up, and if I did, he'd probably go to town on me while I slept in a way that would make the Florida bath salts zombie look like a Care Bear). It's hard for me to truly understand not caring for dogs, but I think it's great that you know how you feel and don't get one as a result. Too many people give in, and then the dog ends up chained outside, or relegated to the basement or a crate ALL the time, or is otherwise excluded from the "pack." Not good for the family or the dog -- far better to know that and hold fast.

And even though I'm completely a dog person, I would never suggest a puppy for someone who already has a baby or a toddler. That's along the lines of suggesting another baby in terms of work. That's just plain nuts.

Nicole D. said...

I thought you'd enjoy this since its extreme like that cat owner haha

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2154283/Cats-away-Artist-turns-dead-pet-flying-helicopter-killed-car.html

Anonymous said...

I don't want a dog for the same reason I don't want a 3rd kid-too much work.

Rebeccah said...

Oh I totally want to be a cat. To achieve that level of aloof superiority...ahhh...bliss.

Jennifer said...

We have five kids - enough animals in the house without a four legged one! And yes my husband and I both grew up with dogs and cats. I'd like a grand-dog in fifteen years or so!

Anonymous said...

Every time I think of getting a dog I think of walking it in the rain or snow. No thanks. If it can't pee and poop indoors and in a toilet, it's not "like a child" at some point your child stops relying on you for it's bathroom needs. A dog never does.

Kristen said...

I don't blame you one bit. I've had dogs all my life except for a period after my last (and best) dog died and I was living in apartments with no one to help with bills and care. So when my Honey and I got together and his animal-loving daughter begged for a dog, I thought, what the hell. We went to the shelter and adopted this big, sweet, non-hyper retriever. Well, he's sweet and non-hyper because he has had so much trauma in his life that he's scared to do anything - fetch, ask to go outside, play ... even stay in the same room when someone else walks in. He scales the fence to go find us if we leave him outside and pees in the house if we leave him inside (he has destroyed two crates so we gave up on that idea). The hair and oils he leaves just from laying on the floor make a mess, and don't get me started on the drippy-mouth when he drinks water. He hurt a ligament in his knee in his fence-climbing adventures and needs surgery for about $1K. For what it will cost to board him when we're on vacation, we could get him his own plane ticket to come with us. Yet I keep trying to convince my husband (who never had a dog before) that he's good because he doesn't jump on people, or chew up anything like shoes, or get on furniture. We actually had him on anti-anxiety medication (at $50/week) for several months to get him over the worst of it. Best of all, the kids have decided he's boring and gave up on him and are now asking for a DIFFERENT dog. So when this one moves on to doggy heaven, I am getting new carpet instead.

I forgot to mention that I'm an idiot and when the kids asked for a cat over Christmas break (you know, to keep the dog company) I gave in and went back to the shelter. I mean, the carpets were already pretty wrecked. Now the cat takes care of destroying everything else and leaving all the LIGHT colored fur everywhere. Great move, huh?

I've decided that I like the idea of having pets better than the real thing. But at least we've said no to the ferret and guinea pigs that my stepdaughter has at her mother's house. Stay strong!

Derpina Derp said...

My parents aren't "dog people" either, so I was surprised as crap when they adopted a half starved chihuahua that my dad found by the freeway a few months ago. I had to laugh when you said your mom's terrier has a better life than you do, because the amount of attention my parentals lavish on that snippy little bitch is nauseating. She has a jeweled collar and clothes, and my mom is seriously talking about buying a purse to carry the dog in while out in public!! OhEmGee! And don't get me started on what the animal does when I try to hug my own dad. That's HER man and I'm not allowed to touch him in her presence, and "her royal bitchiness" doesn't care much for my kids either. She's the spoiled brat mid life crisis baby for sure.

Addie B said...

Having your own dog won't cause you to be as nervous as watching your brother's dog. There might be the right dog or you out there. I always wanted a dog growing up but my mother was terrified of them and my parents also lived like hoarders so it was probably for the best. I did get one as soon as I got my first dog after college. Had her for a long time but she died when my firstborn was a toddler. When my youngest turned 3 we got a puppy (puppies truly are a HUGE pain but they out grow that) and my daughter, who loves dogs like Adolpha is sooooooo happy to have this dog to love. She is 9 now and these 2 are sooo close and so sweet together. I HATE vacuuming dog hair and walking her in the winter ananda worrying about another living soul I have grown to love but I wouldn't change it for the world.

Sammi said...

I have to disagree. My poodle was way cleaner than my sisters cat. The cat tracked litter everywhere, shed everywhere, and destroyed her leather couch. It threw up furballs everywhere, would leave pieces of food all over and steal my nieces toys. My poodle didn't shed, potties outside always, and kept her food and water in one place. I think it depends on the animal and how its raised. Also, specific breeds don't shed, so providing you've trained them well, there's virtually no mess.

Submommy said...

This is how it went down in our house:

"Mommy, can I get a dog? Pleasepleasepleaseplease?"

"When was the last time you fed the fish?"

"Um, I don't know."

No dog.

Anonymous said...

My grandpa was never a dog person and was never super comfortable with either of my dogs... until he married a woman who has a shih tzu.. and spoils it like crazy, which is so funny. it sits on the couch, it sits on his lap, eats food off the table.
AND this is the best part. they bring this stupid dog everywhere. they've snuck it into mount rushmore AND one time they even brought it into a church with them... ahhh

Shelley in So. IL said...

I am on your side. Like we need something else that poops. No dog for us.

I will confess that we had both a dog and a cat when my kids were born. But I never loved the dog. I did love the cat and she was at least 13 when we finally couldn't take the pooping on the drapes anymore (don't even ask how the cat managed to poop on the drapes) and returned her to the humane society with a nice donation so the cat could poop on someone else's drapes and they wouldn't have to pay an adoption fee.

The dog escaped from his underground fence one morning, was hit by a car, and $800 later had to be put down. I was sad for Jake, the dog, but that dog never liked me. He thought he was in charge and was so hyper that when we sent him away to doggy boarding school to learn to be a good dog, he had to stay on an extra month.

The trainer called my husband to explain the extra time. Here is the conversation between my husband and me:
"The trainer called and said that Jake is a really good dog!!!!!!"
Me: "Um. Yeah. What did he say after that?"
Hub: "He said he didn't know if he would ever come back the first time he took him out."
Me: "Bingo. You just got parent-teacher conferenced. You lead with the positive then tell them the tough part. The most important part was that Jake is prone to running away. We already knew that."

I am still sad at Jake's tragic ending, but I really don't miss his vanishing acts, willful disobedience, and snarky attitude.

No dog for us. If we ever got another Jake I would need a lot more wine!

Anonymous said...

I hear you. I love the companionship and knowing that someone else is there with you, even if the rest of the family is out. They're so intuitive and will just give you love. And with two daughters living in NYC, I love how people react to seeing my huge dog (German shepherd mix) with my daughters. I feel like it provides them a bit more safety, and I know he'll protect us. What cat would do that? Cats would wait for you to die so they could eat you.

Rob said...

I'm with you Sammi. I have an awesome dog who doesn't chew on things, does her business outside, eats neatly, and is very well behaved. Her only shortcoming is that she sheds a lot in the spring when she drops the winter coat. On the other hand, I've got a cat that gets litter all over the basement, takes food out of his bowl and leaves crumbs everywhere, throws up food and hairballs, and chews up power cords, tissues, plastic bags and Barbie appendages. I still love the little bastard, though.

RachRiot said...

Even though I think you are a weirdo for not liking dogs, I gotta tell ya-- having a dog while your children are little is double the work. Take it from me (and my 60lb. hairy baby that I now take care of. Just one more messy beast that doesn't clean up after himself). Your kids will be hugging you, but yes you will be punching yourself. Speaking of punching, do you know who I wanna punch the most? "Choupette" Karl Lagerfeld's spoiled-assed cat.

Anonymous said...

Parents who don't want, or don't care for dogs really shouldn't ever get one just because the children want one...it never ends well. The children grow bored of said dog, resentment grows from parents who never wanted the dog to begin with, and poor Fido lands in the pound.
Kudos to you for cont. to say no.

mod mom beyond indiedom said...

It's funny, but in my household the reverse seems to be true. I have three pugs and my two boys could care less. They consider them to be my dogs and since at least one of the dogs has been around since before they have, they are just part of the woodwork. What they really want are Chihuahuas. What? Our small dogs aren't small enough for you boys?

Kristin said...

I used to leave notes around the house asking for a puppy. My mom never budged and my dad went along with whatever my mom said. Now, my husband and I are the only people we know who don't have a dog. Oh, he wants one. I just don't want to take care of one. I'd rather just have a baby, because at least you can take a baby places with you! I absolutely inherited the non-animal-loving gene from my mother.

Jami said...

@BadDecisions-You should do what I did. I went ahead and came home with an adorable dog. What was the hubby going to do...divorce me? ;-) Now he is in love with our sweet, smart, NON-SHEDDING (very important) dog. He was even the one to suggest that we get our second dog (the little sister to our other dog) a year later.

Amanda said...

My mom raised us the same way! Grandma accidentally taught my oldest to say "damn dog" accidentally at a very young age. I still do not have a dog and hubby is on board BECAUSE he came from a dog home. Yes he was jealous of the treatment the dogs got. There were times MIL would brown hamburger for the dogs and tell him to eat lunch meat out of the fridge.

Melissa H. said...

We have a dog, and although she is nearly perfect in every way, I still secretly wish we did not have her. We don't have extra time to devote to her, with two full time jobs, two kids, a large home and traveling constantly as your family does as well. It's simply not fair to the dog, and we should not have her. But we can't get rid of her now, because the kids love her. But I complain every day when we have to find the time to feed her (yes, that extra two minutes is not something I have in my day!), walk her, bathe her, play with her, clean up her dog hair (they ALL shed), etc. Dogs aren't for everyone. And once this one is gone, I will NEVER have another one.

Jenn said...

OMG.

My mom was that way too, but with cats. I asked for a cat all the time, I ALWAYS wanted a cat.. Cats are dirty, cats are smelly, cats make a mess and we're not getting one is what my mom would say Cat Cat Cat that's all I ever thought about.. Then I moved out... Didn't get a cat, BUT my mom sure did! she got THREE!! I was soo freaking pissed off. lol Now, she's 57, has 1 cat (and only because the one cat doesn't like other cats or she'd have 14), a TON of strays that come to her house and eat, she also feeds squirrels, birds, a couple raccoons and even a rat (or several, most likely several) And she's freaking insane about anything animal related! we spend a good 2 hours on the phone daily talking about what animals she's feeding today, what funny things they did, who's sick, who's fighting with who.. UGH. SERIOUSLY. As for the dog situation, I was going to apease the family about 4 years ago and get a dog.. I ended up with a panic attack instead and on the day we were suposed to pick it up, I called and told them I didn't want it. lol I'm not good with animals. I don't want ANY animal. We've had little caged things over the years, Fish mostly, but I'm always relieved when things die, not sad, because I'm tired of taking care of them. It's like a weight off my shoulders. And you shouldn't feel that way when something dies. lol

Maybe when we're menopausal we'll want animals too, but as of right now, get me away from them.

Holly L. said...

LOL! I could have written your comment word for word. I'm with ya!

Anonymous said...

Yes! I agree! Finally, people who are like me. :) I am always afraid to say these things out loud. I am surrounded by dog lovers. I'm afraid I'll get the reactions "GASP! You don't like dogs? What kind of person doesn't like dogs?" (While they look at me like I've sprouted a new head that looks like the devil.) Me, that's who! Unfortunately, we have one (I gave in during a moment of weakness). All he does is shed, drool and lick his butt all day. Stupid dogs...

Anonymous said...

I for one love dogs, and loved having one growing up. It was just great to have a companion and always friend. Plus, they're cuddly. I guess it's hard to explain if you've never had one.

Also, they are protectors through and through. http://shine.yahoo.com/pets/dog-rescues-abandoned-newborn.html

Anonymous said...

Here in Iowa, there was a story 5+ years ago where a heroic labrador saved his 10-year-old owner from being hit by a car when he was riding around a curve in the road on his bicycle. Said dog was hit by the car instead and lived and is fine.

So that's why, when my boys were born, I insisted upon getting them a dog. Because boys are stupid. They do stupid things like bonk their brothers on the head with a mallet. Dogs are smarter, on average, than your typical small boy.

A month ago we finally got our dog. We opted to adopt an older dog (6 years old) who has already been potty trained and discipline trained. She's wonderful. Sure, she kind of annoys the kids at dinnertime by licking their feet, but she goes immediately to her crate when ordered to. She sleeps by my side of the bed and is very conscientious about going outside and is learning to walk beside me on the leash (as opposed to trying to pull my arm from its socket).

So I think that what you don't want is a PUPPY. I think you need an adult dog :) Rescues and animal shelters for the win!

Anonymous said...

I cringe everytime my husband asks to go to his mom's house, where there are two huge dogs. Dogs have dog hair and I am not a fan of dog hair. Therefore I am not a fan of my mother in laws house. I dread weekends. I wish it was monday-fri all the time just to avoid the whole situation!

Anonymous said...

I have a dog and a child.

I love both to bits.

The dog was easier to raise than the child. Here's why:

1. Crate train the dog. You never have to drag the dog anywhere it doesn't want to be which means no temper tantrums in public places.

2. A crate also means you never have to get a baby-sitter for your dog (unless you go on vacation). You want to go to the store? Put the dog in the crate. You want to get a manicure? Put the dog in the crate. Can't do that to a child.

3. Dogs don't need feedings during the night (unless they're too small as a puppy). Once dogs are used to their new house, they sleep through the night.

4. Dogs get fed twice a day. Don't give them choices on food and they will always happily eat. Children? Not so much. They're picky sometimes.

5. Dogs don't need clothes (or their toenails painted!). Which means no laundry. And no whining about the clothes you picked out for them.

6. What does a dog need every day? Food, water, outdoor toilet, and a walk. Sure, take your dog to dog school. You'll still spend less money and energy on your dog than your child who wants a college education.

7. Dogs always love you, no matter what you call them, no matter how you dress, and assuming you don't abuse them, no matter what rules you give them.

8. Ignore the dog, and the dog behaves. Not the case with children.

9. The dog is tired, the dog sleeps or behaves. Not the case with children!

I'm sure I have more to add to that but that's the general idea :) But yes, I do love my child, too.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is when you say "I don't want a dog", people look at you as if you just told them "I like to kill puppies, slowly and painfully". Or the people who tell you how wonderful and well behaved their dog is and when you go to their house the dog is drooling and jumping, humping your leg, scratching you and they are shocked "oh, what's wrong with him, he never acts like this" yeah I've heard this a million times, must just be my animal magnetism.

Alex said...

We are currently on vacation far from home. We left our dog with a friend of ours for the two weeks we are here. She called us Sunday night to tell us he was hit by a car and died. We haven't told our four kids yet. They will be devastated.

Anonymous said...

Self-awareness is an awesome thing. Never get a dog because a child wants one. Get a dog because you want one. You will be the one taking care of it. I'm happy to trade a bit of mess and daily walks (that's not a bad thing, right?) for unconditional love. Lost my 12 year old standard poodle this year, but 14 year old pug/chihuahua mix is still going strong. No one will ever be as happy to see me at the end of the day than that poodle. Sniff.

Ketchup with the Frys said...

My husband & I have been wondering if we were possibly the last people on earth who do not treat dogs as if they are people. It might be my #1 pet peeve. Get it? Pet peeve? But seriously, people and their love affair with their dogs are like overachieving moms taken to another, more annoying level.

Jennifer H said...

Yeah my girls want to get a dog and yes we have come close b/c they give me THEIR puppy eyes and ask so sweetly if they can have the puppy and I just can't do it! I've never been a dog person, they stink, they drool, most of them shed, it's just not my thing! I'll take an independent, sleeps 21 hours a day cat anyday! :)

TheJerseyShoreMom said...

I am a dog person, JerseyShoreDad was not. He had cats growing up. Well I and our younger son are allergic to cats so we went with dogs. Now he's a total mush for our dogs. Here are some pics of our Beltie (my own made up designer breed) and our Jack Russell http://thejerseyshoremom.blogspot.com/2012/04/my-doggies.html

Cynthia said...

I adore our dog - she is a completely awesome dog and she does a great job of protecting us and our belongings. However, I will never have another one after this - she's expensive, time-consuming, messy (just the shedding - but it's horrible when she blows a coat), and ummmm... expensive. Anytime we have to travel, we have to add on the $75 a day for boarding. Boo.... no more spontaneous trips out of town.

Plus, this dog is absolutely freaking perfect - no dog that came after her could possibly live up to the example that she's set.

Actually, I'd probably totally give in and get another dog after awhile, but the hubs will stand strong. Of that I have no doubt.

But... I have to say - even though having a dog has been mostly great for us, you should stand firm if you don't want one. Nothing is sadder than an unwanted dog who isn't treated like a member of the pack.

The Judge said...

Not everyone has to like dogs, just like not everyone has to like children. But saying to a dog lover that you hate dogs feels the same as someone saying to you, a mother, that they hate children - it just feels weird and icky. I love my dog. She's my dear sweet friend. She's funny and she's always nice to me.

Catherine said...

I truly believe that it depends on the specific animal, not the species. Breeds have some influence, but not all. How can I say this? I/we have 2 Australian Shepherds and 3 cats. We also have a toddler and one on the way. All but 1 pet is over 11 years old. I have 50+ fostered animals over a 10-year period, after the kiddo I retired that. Some animals I hate - dogs and cats included. I don't even care for everyone here...but they are good with kids. Some I love and never will forget (An extremely smart PIA 5lb cat comes to mind - she fetched toys and stalked all visitors, inquisitive about everything). Training and boundries are key, as are smarts. Sometimes animals are just dumb, sometimes they are too smart for their own good. Some owners are messed up - MIL does something to every cat she's owned, they have been psycho. Even the vet has noticed this. As for mess, all are messy though cat barf is just plain nasty, though don't seem to smell as badly (breath and bath needs). Having a pet is much like a prep for having a kiddo (already had the high ick tolerance), though you can lock them up and not get arrested. :) And yes, there are days I swear NO more animals after these pass. Upkeep and other costs keep going up! Right, I'm sure I'll be suckered. A suggestion for a kid who wants a pet - see if they can visit someone with one, the neighbor's dog or cat or whatever. A mutual relationship can get the pet more attention, you out of ownership and a kid who respects animals and gets her fill.

The Judge said...

"I don't want a dog" is different from "I hate dogs". I'm a dog lover who understands when other people don't want dogs. Hating dogs? I do not get that, at all.

Megan the Bean said...

I truly love dogs and always imagined I would have one or two as an adult...but as a mother the idea of having to take care of a dog and a child (and the house, and the yard, and my career etc.) leaves me feeling gd exhausted! The last thing I need right now is another helpless living thing depending on me! Maybe once the youngster has fledged...until then we make do with a cat and a couple hermit crabs!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in a dog loving family, so I've always had a dog. My husband is also a dog lover, so in our 10 year marriage we've always had one (and for a few years 2 when I took in my childhood Lab until he died at the ripe old age of 17) We had a pug that was awesome, and now have a chocolate lab who is loving and sweet and nuts. But YES they require a ton of attention, time, money. And he sheds like crazy....so I can see why people don't want to take them on. But to me and my family, a house isn't a home without a dog. :)

Anonymous said...

Most people who hate dogs have been attacked by one, or had to deal with terrible neighbors who left their dog to bark (5 ft) from their bedroom window, all night long for months and months, or had to clean up poop out of their yard time after time. It really seems they don't hate the dogs as much as they hate irresponsible dog owners, but after awhile the "hate" gets transferred because they are tired of putting up with the dogs behavior.

The Judge said...

That said, there's nothing wrong with not wanting a dog. If you can't/prefer not to take care of another living creature, don't do it, for pete's sake. I'm all for people not getting dogs who don't want them. Not wanting another mouth to feed does not make you a bad person.

luvgreen said...

Never had a dog either for all the reasons so eloquently framed. Except, instead of my Mom, it was my Dad who so eloquently said, "I have 3 kids, why would I want a pet?" Now, he comes over and tells stories about his friends' dogs and how 'great they are and why don't we have one?' Seriously? you raised my that way! I would actually like a small starter dog. We have the fence. But, mean old husb is too persnickety too. So mine beg for a cat daily. I give them the "willsee." The kids are going to have to paint the house or regrout the bathroom tile to earn this one.

Marta said...

We have two dogs and I've always had a dog in my life. But I have to say they are A LOT OF WORK. And I kind of have a terrible dog. Terrible in like makes Marley look like a saint kind of way. Oh yes adorable for sure and great with my kids, but he will eat your hamburger off your plate in front of you and then ask for seconds. So yeah. I will never have two dogs at the same time again, but I will probably always have one.

Kelly and Sne said...

We have 2 dogs and 2 cats and would love to have more(although scooping kitty litter is a big point of contention in my marriage!). Though I've decided that the biggest source of pet ownership happiness is to match the fur color to your furniture and major clothing style (white/preppy or black/fashionista)!

Anonymous said...

We are so fortunate that our oldest child has severe allergies. Mainly to tree nuts and pollen, but one can never be too careful. Also, I grew up in the South where it was warm year round. Dogs could live in the outdoors where they belong. Sharing a living space with children is disgusting enough.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a dog for all the same reasons as you. Plus, every time I visit my family and friends with dogs, their dogs come right up to me and rub their noses and chins on my leg and deposit all their gross dripping slime. I could not deal with that daily.
ALso, people need to realize that if you don't have pets it doesn't mean you don't like them. You just don't want them yourself. I love those slimy dogs of my friends and family and they're enough for me. I don't have to clean up after them daily, pay to feed them, pay vet bills for them, or find babysitters for them when I go away. Just the same as my non-existent kids.

Abby Normal said...

My husband and I just got a dog three weeks ago. I really don't recommend it to anyone. I wanted us to get an older dog, but my husband fell in love with a beautiful three year old mutt. Who turned out to be one. And now my husband loves the dog, so I'm stuck with it. He's a puppy, and while I like specific, polite dogs, I've never liked puppies. Not even a little. He chews on everything, including me, and he has so much energy. However, he appears to be housebroken, he doesn't bark, and he doesn't shed much either. I'm sure that I will love him when he grows up, but I have no intention of ever getting another one after this.

Don't get a dog if you are not 100% on board. It's not rewarding unless you really love dogs. If you only kinda like certain dogs, it's not for you.

You should get a hermit crab. You just have to give it fresh water and food every few days. No walks, vets, or fleas and the tank is low maintenance too. They do shed their exoskeletons every once in a while though.

Anonymous said...

Best list EVER! LMAO -Donna S

Wanderlust said...

I HATE cats! We have 2 dogs....love to death and I;m so happy our kids are growing up with doggies. HOWEVER, the one fucker snuck a piece of chicken WITH bones tonight. Now I'm freaked out that she'll pass it without a problem. :/

Carolyn said...

I'm a dog lover, I trained police dogs for a living before I had children. I'd like to support your 'no dog' rule. Only for one reason, if you're not ready and wanting a dog, then it's best you don't. Just like children, unless you really want a baby, they are always going to be more trouble then you can expect.

MB said...

I have to laugh, and laugh. We just got a puppy- a Boston Terrier in fact. He's quite smart and does really well. My cats hate him, my toddler is dubious of him, and I adore him. He's my first puppy ever and only my 2nd dog ever. My first was enough to possibly turn you off dogs forever (he makes that cat look low maintenance), yet here we are with our pup. I am in love aside from the puppy teeth biting me all the time.

MB said...

I agree 100%. We just (last week) adopted a puppy, we took him in expecting a newborn schedule and well it isn't far off. Although I must say our pup is really smart and learning well. He has pre-school on Saturday.

jjj said...

I grew up in the country but it was right next to an intersection of two state highways. We had dogs all of the time - an none lasted more than a few months before they would end up a nasty pancake on the highway.... Because of that I never really got attached to a dog and didn't really care to have my kids go through the heartache that loosing one can cause.
Needless to say it was a hard decision to get a dog. My hub wanted one... I caved. We have had a boston terrier for eleven years now. He was a pain in the ass when he was a puppy. He slobbers, sheds a little, has puked on the carpet, barks at the dumpster truck, and I have to make "arrangements" every time we go out of town. BUT... he has kept my floor clean of any dropped food for years (got kinda pudgy during the "high chair years" of my three kids) and is a fun playmate for the kids. He has sat with me and my kids when we were sick. Made me feel safe when I'm home alone. and he drinks out of the toilet... But I Wouldn't trade him or his eleven years with us.... that makes him 77 years old... Now he is a part of the family. He has earned his spot in my heart and it will break when he dies...
So I agree... don't get a dog. You will love him and it will break your heart.

Anonymous said...

We are allergic. So my kids haven't been in too much contact with cats or dogs. Personally I love good dogs but I don't want to have the extra responsibility.

Then crappily when my son was 4, he was attacked by a dear friend's "good dog, who is great with kids."

I don't blame the friend, it just simply happened. He was pinned down and the dog who was 80 lbs was chomping on his head. So now he freaks out when he's around most dogs. Not all - we're working on it.

One day last fall I asked the friend & her kids to come over. She asked if she could bring the dog. :/

I said it would be ok, as long as it stayed in the car while the kids were outside. Do ya think it did? Nope.

So my son is all scared on the swingset, and I am trying to keep him calm while her son is riling the dog up, running around getting the dog to chase.

Pretty soon, her son is yellin' and cryin', "Mom! Rover bit me!" And he pulls up his shorts leg to show the tooth marks.

She says, "Rover doesn't bite."

(o.0)? Very awkward and jarring moment.

We haven't had a playdate since. It truly makes me sad, but ultimately, I don't want to have to negotiate one more thing to have our kids hang out. It really sucks.

But, I live in the Rockies, in a very dog-friendly town. So we've worked really hard to make being around dogs a less big of a deal. We have to because there are dogs everywhere from most stores downtown to the dog-free playgrounds and beaches. The leash laws seem to merely be suggestions.

Can't fight the tide.

I really love my fish.

Erin said...

I'm with you Christine I'm a total animal lover! I have 3 cats a 2yr old doberman and a 3yr old daughter. I am one of the crazy people that got my dobie puppy when my daughter was only a year old. Yes it has been and is still crazy around my house, it's like having two 3 yr olds the way the dog and my kid play. However, may daughter tells me all the time "Macy's my best friend". Btw Macy's the dog. I do believe it is the way you were brought up. I'm an only child, growing up we had 4 dogs, 2 cats and 2 birds. Those were my playmates and some of the best memories. It's the same for my daughter. I know not every family is able to have a pet. But I feel having grown up with so many the reward and unconditional love they give you out weights all the work and upkeep. My pets are my kids!

TNMom said...

My God!

Kristy said...

My hubs is not a dog person. I love dogs but haven't had one (my parents got a dog after I moved out). I FINALLY got my hubs to relent and agree to a dog once the children are fully toilet trained.

Now that my son is approaching that benchmark I have thought to myself. After 5 years of cleaning up poop (2 children) - do I really want to dedicated myself to 12+ more years of picking up shit?

I don't think we are going to be getting a dog...because I KNOW I'll be the one with the pooper scooper and at some point Mom should get a break from dookie duty.

TNMom said...

Other peoples dogs, as long as they are outside and not drooling and humping me, are ok, sometimes. Puppies are cute, but they are worse than a baby! At least you can put a diaper on a baby! One commenter said it best - sharing a living space with children is disgusting enough. No dogs for me, thanks.
Great Read Jenn!
Devan

Tazi-Kat said...

For your entertainment...your defense...and relief that you are not married to the man in the second letter!

A letter from a child whose Mom would not let him have a puppy:
Owning A Puppy Can Leave You Dog-Tired

and the follow up, after the father brought one home anyway:
Husband In The Doghouse After Bringing Home A Puppy"

Oh, and I want to be that cat, too! Where do I sign up?

Anonymous said...

We had bad luck with the cat and dog we adopted. The cat would take any ponytail scrunchie he could find and throw them under the stove, when he ran out of those it was anything small he could pick up and run off with, namely keys, earrings, my watch. Our smelly, flea allergic dog (how are dogs allergic to fleas!!!!) I swear he would hold his pee and poop forever!!!! I could take him for a 2 hr walk and as soon as he got inside he would run straight to the sitting room!!! Had to be the first room that anyone walked into that stopped by to visit and no matter how much I scrubbed, treated the area it always had that lingering smell. Needless to say when both got out and wandered off I didn't look too hard. I did see someone walking the dog a couple of months later, probably trying to get him too poop.

twinsx2 said...

Thank you for writing this!! Thankfully my kids are too young to start asking for a dog, but at least I know I'm not the only one who will not be having one in my house. They are all those things that you said and more. I've noticed a lot lately that everyone having kids has 1 or more dogs as well; I live in the city and they don't have little dogs they have huge big ass dogs in a tiny house with no yard and now kids...kids that are going to be crawling and playing on the same floor your dog just took a piss and a shit on...dogs that probably just chewed that overpriced toy you got your kid...yuck. Some people I know can't even afford to feed themselves, pay their mortgage, etc but spend 100$+ on dog food...SERIOUSLY! Unless you have serious time to put in to training and grooming your dog or a large outside area you should not have one.

Anonymous said...

It's ok that you don't want a dog (although if you do your homework you can find a dog that doesn't shed, has a great personality and is ALREADY trained). But, IMO every child should have some kind of pet. Having an emotional bond with an animal changes us in some way....studies have shown that kids with pets turn out to be more compassionate people in general. So, maybe a cat or a hamster?

Monica said...

I hate my two dogs. Don't tell my husband and kids, but I can't wait for the day we have to "send them to someone else's house" a.k.a. doggy heaven.

My backyard looks like crap thanks to there scratchy claws always digging up my plants. And, the pointer is always killing small birds and mice and leaving them as "gifts" for us. Thanks but no thanks.

Anonymous said...

Ever since my son was born, I've grown to hate our dog. In fact, I'm pretty sure that my son's first words will be "Fuck you, Molly!"

Anonymous said...

I gave in after a few years of begging from the oldest daughter. We ended up with a Boston Terrier, too, and she is the best dog. I'm a convert, but only to her!! I'm not crazy about other people's kids or dogs!!!

Kerry said...

Check your ASPCA/Animal Welfare organizations to see if they run a summer camp program for kids, and promise Adolpha she can go when she's older. Here in Phoenix, they also have birthday parties at the shelter for kids. My niece likes to go and visit the cats, since she can't have one of her own.

Mary said...

I actually have a new puppy and the other day after reading this post I was out in the back yard with her. She did that thing where she peed for half a second and then ran back over to me. I know she still had plenty of #1 and probably some #2 left in her but she missed me.

And then I remembered this post. I said "Go, go, go, go" and SHE DID!!!! Immediately. Your sister-in-law is a freakin' genius!!!!!!!

Susan Drummond said...

Stick to your guns, Jen! Every freakin' time I get a dog (presently I have two, one that is mine, the other I'm dog-sitting [yeah, right] for my soon-to-be-ex-daughter-in-law), I swear to the heavens that I will NEVER, EVER get another dog. Sure, they're loyal and sweet, but they're a gigantic pain in the ass.

And now I have 8 cats, four of which were mine, three I inherited from my kids, because they were inconvenient, and one who has glommed onto us from someone I want to punch in the throat, because they apparently dropped it for someone else to take care of. The last four are living in our barn.

And let me tell you, cats are even more destructive than dogs. Cat claws in the leather furniture, because I don't believe in declawing, shredded upholstery, cat piss down the furnace vent, dripping into the basement. Nothing, and I mean nothing, smells worse than cat piss. I'd rather smell skunk.

Thanks! Now I don't have to punch someone in the throat!

Jen Berg said...

Well I can tell you why you liked your brother's dog and why your mom fell in love - because Bostons RULE! :) But I will say its good that you are sticking to your guns because it never ends!! I now am the proud owner of 3 rescue cats, one stray outside, a Boston and 2 mice and now my daughter is asking for a snake to which I have no problem saying Hell No!

Anonymous said...

My husband said to me once "dogs are like children that never grow up".....
-Marie

Anonymous said...

i agree 100%- Cats can be much more destructive than dogs...had one with a spraying habit. there is no odor quite as distinctive as cat pee & nothing gets rid of it! i wouldn't trade my dog (golden retriever) for a million dollars.

Anonymous said...

I've agreed with almost every blog until this one. I have two rescue dogs who never talk back, ask me to take them anywhere or tell me they hate me. They are glad to see me after I get back from the mailbox. I kind of feel sorry for people who don't get that kind of love. I know the responsibility isn't for everyone, but in my opinion, it's well worth it.

Anonymous said...

I'm a big animal lover but have also worked a number of years in a pediatric plastic surgery department. The number of horrible and disfiguring dog bites (by all breeds big and little) I have seen to kids' faces have convinced me we'll only be a cat household. Not to start a cat vs dog war, but we haven't done any emergent surgeries to sew on a nose that a cat bit off.

Anonymous said...

I am an animal lover, but I am not cut out to be a dog owner. My lovely husband volunteered us to dog sit for a weekend, and we are now approaching day 7. He is a large, stinky, slobbery, sheddy black lab mix. So far he has terrorized my two feline "babies", pulled the tail off a chipmunk, ate some of my recently planted flowers, and rolled in his own poo. I am counting down the hours until he is returned to his owners. The only good thing that has come from this is that I don't think my husband will be asking to get a dog any time soon.

Anonymous said...

My kids are grwon I am now divorced and I have a crazy lon legged Jack Russel who is my best friend and most faithful companion. Her shedding is much less of a mess than my kids made. She never complains about what's for dinner and she cuddles with me when I need love. My kids barely talk to me! The $50 I paid for her beat the $25 I paid for my marraige license any day of the week!

Anonymous said...

I could have done without 20+ fish dying on me as a kid. (Did you know goldfish can be cannibals?)

Not your kid. Back off.

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way about my dog. She is 10 yrs old. I feel like I am waiting for her to die. Its terrible but I have no desire to be a dog owner but my husband feels guilty if we were to give up on her. And her age makes it impossible to rehome especially since she cant be around other dogs. Cuz she goes nutso. I will never never get another dog. Over my dead body. husband.

Deb said...

My husband surprised me with a shelter dog when we first married 13 years ago. We had briefly discussed the possibility of adopting a dog and feeling slightly heroic while also enjoying the dog. I was thinking this would be a few years down the road. I had my third child in high school and my other two away at college. I was adjusting to many new things in my life and was so thrilled not to have anything or anyone to depend on me for potty training, walking and feeding. A huge damper was put on my happiness when he brought the dog home. Like a child who wants a pet and promises to care for it, so is my husband. I am a kind and good person, but have never loved the dog. Not a day goes by that I do not feel sad and very ashamed of this. I am the one who lets who out and in the house day and nite. She has costed us thousands of dollars in destructive behavior and is an escape artist of over 7 foot fences and mutilated herself chewing thru wire kennels. We spent thousands on trainimg her. Neither of us had the heart to take her to the pound. Now I have serious health issues and the dog is mostly deaf and partially blind. Thru all this time I have struggled to find a portion of the great love and immense satisfaction almost everyone seems to find in pet ownership. I enjoy other people's dogs and cats fot five minutes, but regret heartily the day my husband brought that well cared for dog home.

GeebaMom said...

My husband and I argued for 17 years about getting a dog. I wanted one and he had a list of 23 reasons why we weren't dog people. He had experience with dogs, his last one so stupid and distructive that she gave other dogs a bad name. I, however, had never been allowed to have a dog because my mom had a cat and that was enough.

We finally got a dog and when she died another and I am happy, happy dog people. Even the husband agrees that our current dog is the best he's ever owned.

What's funny, however, is my Dad - who never let ME have a dog - has recently gotten a dog to keep him company now that he's retired. My Dad is a big burly tatooed biker dude. His dog is a Yorkie. He carries her around and dresses her in outfits. He calls her my "sister".

I consider it the first signs of senility.

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