I didn't grow up with animals, really. We had sporadic experiences with pet hamsters, a couple of different cats for short periods of time, and once, a turtle that we caught on our rural Oklahoma road. There were times we had chickens and ducks, and even pigs, but those weren't pets. They were experiments in self-sufficiency.
For two weeks we once had a black lab mix named Lizabelle. My mom realized quickly that she was going to be the one to have to take care of it. Lizabelle went back to the pound. Guess my mom felt four children (numbers five and six had not yet made their entrances) constituted enough responsibility for one woman.
I waffle. Sometimes I think I don't need any more responsibilities. Sometimes I think my kids need a dog.
Here are the points that make me consider dog ownership.
- I am always a little nervous around animals. I don't want my kids to feel that way. From the photo above, you can see that currently they don't.
- We lived in Salt Lake at the time Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped. I actually saw her at Liberty Park once, during her ordeal, without knowing it was her. (If you remember, her face was covered when she was out in public.) I have always thought there would be a good chance that horrible thing never would have happened to her if there'd been a dog sleeping at the foot of her bed.
- I would like someone to go with me to help me feel secure and protected if I feel like going on a walk in the dark. Or to go with me up a mountain trail. Or to camp with my family in bear country.
- I am horribly allergic to cats. Heh.
I look at pictures of dogs on the shelter web site now, wistfully, in the same way I used to look at photo listings of waiting children when I felt strongly we were meant to have more children in our family. Sometimes I tell myself it's time to pee or get off the pot. I have been thinking about this ever since we bought our house. That's almost a year. A long time to think.
Katy was a good dog. But she got her name because she was such a naughty puppy. If anything was chewed, peed on, or ruined in some other way, my in-laws could be pretty certain Katy did it, so she was named Katydid. She was so funny as a young dog, super smart and charming in a very breed-specific way. I remember her playing sock tug-o-war with my husband and herding us on our walks.
This summer when we visited Alaska, my little puppy-loving Z got to know Katy in her twilight. Katy was hurting, tired, old. Z was enthusiastic, loving, silly. Katy's patience was superb. She let Z read her stories, lead her around, use her as a canine pillow. She was a good, good dog.
Run fast in doggie heaven, Katydid.