My Mom Won’t Let Me Get A Puppy

Bill and I have always had a dog.  Growing up, Bill had Heidi, his Dachshund.  I had Dalmatians – Duchess and then Pepper.  Mom even had a Cairn Terrier during her first years in Phoenix.  My kids grew up with a Miniature Schnauzer followed by a Giant Schnauzer and they both have dogs now.  Bill and I have had a Cocker and then two Bearded Collies – the absolute best, most amazing dogs ever.  Our Beardies died shortly before we had to move to Arizona, which is probably a blessing since the summers here would have killed them any way.

After we’d been here a little over a year, I was getting the “itch.”  You animal lovers will relate.  When a beloved pet dies, some people immediately get another because it fills an painful void  and serves as a comfort.  Others take longer, for whatever reasons – grief, misplaced guilt, fear of experiencing another lose.  Whatever the cause, a true animal lover will ultimately crave the friendship, unconditional love and company of another pet.  And that’s what happened to me.  I was done grieving and  wanted a dog back in my life.  And so did Bill.  And like any good child, I asked my Mom if it was okay.

“Nope,” she responded.

“Nope?” I repeated, somewhat stunned.  “Why not.  You love dogs.”

” I do,” she said.  “You know I had a Fox Terrier growing up.  And then I had Camie when I moved here.”

“I remember her,” I said.  “She was a Toto dog.  She was really smart but she liked to eat her own poop.”

“Well, yes, that was one little problem.  But she was great company before I remarried.”

“So, why can’t we get a dog?”

“Because I can’t take care of a dog.”

“No one’s asking you to take care of it.  That will be Bill and my job.  Just like we take care of everything else around here.”

“But what if you go out, like to the store.  I can’t let it out if it has to pee.”

“We’re never gone that long.  We’ll let it out before we leave.”

“What if you go away on a vacation someday?”

“We’ll take it with us.”

“What if you go spend the afternoon at the pool?”

Well, she sort of had us there.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  Cage train it.  Get a doggy pee pad.  Lock it in the garage.  None of this logic mattered.  She didn’t want a dog.  And to prove it, she started reading the Pet section of the want ads every Sunday and pointing out to us how expensive dogs were.  Purebreds cost a fortune; mutts were now Designer breeds and cost hundreds.  Vets were expensive and what if something really terrible happened.  We were on a fixed income.  Her logic was infallible and decidedly daunting.  But, damn it, I’m over 60 and I WANT A PUPPY.  Maybe if I hold my breath until I turn blue?

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