This post originally appeared on The Chicago Moms blog — a mosh pit of writers from the city and ‘burbs.
I am not a pet person. I don’t have anything against animals. I have no problem patting a friend’s dogs a few times on the head and remarking that the canine is cute. But the thought of owning anything with turds bigger than a piece of rice is not appealing to me.
Eileen started a campaign to own an English Bulldog. Every day for the past week, I have found notes on my bed, computer or at the table. Each plea includes interesting facts about Bulldogs and clever cartoons:
“I think if we had a Bulldog, our family would be closer and more healthy. We could play with the Bulldog. Fetch would be soooooo much fun! Plus, you are always telling me to exercise, right? English Bulldogs are the most loving breed, they love children and are awesome watchdogs.”
Let’s face it, as much as everyone says that they are going to help with the dog, pick up its crap, feed it and vacuum up all the hairballs, I am the one who will be doing all the work. Our yard is not completely fenced in either, so that pooch will need walking and scooping. No thanks. Now that my kids are 8 and 10, I am finally back to just wiping my own ass. It’s liberating!
Pet lovers: I am not heartless. I really do feel badly when I see my neighbors walking their dogs at 6:30 a.m. in the frigid weather, stooping over a steaming poop. They patiently stand in the rain, waiting for a whiz. One good friend plans on having her two beautiful golden retrievers stuffed once they pass on.
They are selfless. I am not.
I don’t think I could even take my kids outside every time they needed to relieve themselves. Never mind carrying around a Jewel bag of warm, mushy dung. Or not being able to travel. Or the fact that I can barely operate an obedience school for my kids — or husband for that matter.
Maybe all of these thoughts stem from being a traumatized 11-year-old when my dog passed away while my parents were on vacation. Poor Kelly the mutt died begging at the dinner table while my uncle was watching us for a few days. One yelp, thud and giant puddle of pee, and Kelly was gone.
As the oldest, my uncle said that it was my decision to bury Kelly, throw him in the garbage (?!) or bring him to a vet to be cremated. So I decided on the vet route and we brought Kelly to his final resting place. My uncle let me fill out all the papers with our information. A few weeks later, I got a letter from a bill collector: my uncle’s check had bounced! Where the hell was the money for my dead dog? My parents settled the bill and life went on.
“I will try to work my hardest to earn money for the Bulldog and will be more responsible with my actions and items at home and at school. But I think I deserve a dog.”
I also believed that my husband would always side with me and never approve of getting a dog. Not only was he bit in the face as a child, but also he is the son of a mailman! It’s in his blood.
“Aidan and Dad are on board, but you aren’t.”
So, once again, I am the mean mommy who doesn’t let them do anything. I really thought we dodged the dog pound since we own a couple of dwarf hamsters. Apparently not.
“Moooooooooooom, what is the answer?” she begged in person. “Are we never getting a dog?”
“Honey, as Justin Bieber likes to say,” I insert a dramatic pause, “Never say never.”
Judging by her eye roll, I think my daughter just called Bulldog Shih Tzu on me.