Sunday morning, I woke up shocked to find that, suddenly, I wanted a dog in the worst possible way. I am a dog person, for sure, but it has been years since the I even considered taking on the full-time, round-the-clock, all the time responsibility of living with one. Seriously. First thing in the morning, last thing at night. Everything in between. I lost all of my freedom in grad school, and since I’ve had it back for a couple of years now, I haven’t even contemplated trading it for more responsibility, more daily time commitments, less sleep.
Let me insert here that I have one houseplant. I find it to be sort of needy, what with demanding to be watered once a week and all.
And so, these are the reasons I absolutely can not have a dog:
1) Dogs require a lot of face time. I work 40 hours a week, and I am out of the house more evenings than not. There is nobody here when I’m out, other than my needy houseplant and my bust of Elvis. Dogs give you the sad don’t-leave-me face every time you go anywhere. The sad don’t-leave-me-face tears me up.
2) Dogs require cash. I do not need to add any further drains on my budget. The Department of Education is fully capable of draining my resources, all by itself. It’s not so much the food and vet bills that worry me- it’s that I would be the dog owner who could deny my dog nothing. The toys alone could break me.
3) Dogs wake you up in the morning. Even on Saturdays.
Probably the most important reason I can’t have a dog is that, right now, my household is peaceful and orderly. There has never been any drama allowed in this household. Fun? yes. Noise? yes. Crowds? yes. Messes? yes. If you need to cry on my couch? C’mon over. But there is no drama. Nobody breaks this rule. I am of course willing to be flexible (You. Stop laughing. All of you.) but what if having a dog changes things? Can I handle changing things? Isn’t that what I kind of really want, and what I write about all the time? Changing and growing and paying attention to the things that really matter and trying new things? Making space? Being open to possibility?
Since I have wanted a dog for exactly four days out of the last decade, I have decided not to make any decisions any time soon. If I still want a dog later in the year, I’ll adopt one for my birthday, and we’ll spend Christmas together. I am not going to get a dog right now. I can’t get a dog right now. I absolutely, positively can not have a dog right now.
Which is why I have spent four days stalking shelter dogs online.
Damnation. At this rate I will have one by the end of the weekend.