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Getting Out of the Doghouse

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:

Did you know that the rare Blue Bulldog is afraid of mirrors?

“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.

Did you know that male Bulldogs can weigh up to 50 pounds?

“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.”

Traitor!

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.

Another post about why we can’t be trusted with pets»

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23 comments

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  1. A Field of Dreams

    Oh you make me laugh with your posts. I love this. In Australia in the suburb where I live, I support a football team with the Bulldog as the mascot. So to support your daughter I will say this “Go You Mighty Bulldogs”. Get her the dog.

  2. Patty

    DON’T cave unless you really want it girlfriend. With no disrespect to your lovely family, you KNOW who would have to buy the 50 lb bags of dog food, feed it, wipe up poop and vomit when the dog is sick, walk it around the baseball field while the rest of us are enjoying our happy hour, etc, etc. And this is coming from a girl who dogeared (no pun intended) the entire dog section of the 1964 World Book Encyclopedia, trying to convince my parents to buy me a dog. They always told me I could get one when I had my own house and now that I know its like having another kid, I have lost the desire for the extra work.

  3. Kurt

    Come on Mom!! Every child deserves a dog. I know where you can get dog treats and food. kurt

  4. Jennifer Ashline

    I have ALWAYS wanted a bulldog. (And I still do actually. I found one on PetFinder that I’m dying to adopt!) As a kid I’d beg my mom and she’d tell me they were ugly. I disagree! But nonetheless, my mom caved (kind of) and got us our cocker spaniel, Norton. We promised we’d walk him (which we didn’t) and clean up after him (which we didn’t). My mom did all the work but I will say we loved that dog more then it probably deserved given his habit of peeing everywhere and it was such a great experience. With that said, remember how much time they need and unless you have someone that can watch the dog, plan on never leaving for more then 8 hrs at a time. :)

  5. Jennifer Ashline

    PS- if you do cave in I think you should adopt one from a shelter rather then getting a puppy. There are loads of bulldogs available on PetFinder.com and if you’re lucky you can get one that’s trained already and skip the housebreaking process.

    1. Karen

      Okay, going on PetFinder is extremely dangerous! Dogs (or children) hardly pull at my heartstrings, but there are some really cute pets out there. Reading about the English Bulldog’s helped secure my decision. Pro: their legs –like mine– are too short so they can’t go up and down stairs easily. Con: health problems and short life.

  6. Heidi

    OMG!!! Same thing in our house! You know that you would be the one doing all the work and then some! It is liberating wiping your own butt now isn’t it???? lol

    1. Karen

      Right! See Anal Leakage post below!!!

  7. Bridget

    A new puppy in the hood?? How exciting. Can’t wait to see you and Kinger cruising the streets at 5 a.m. in your best pj’s with that happy dog owner glow.

  8. Hippo Brigade

    I have a pug. She’s like a mini bulldog. She eats everything that is on the floor, including, but not limited to baby vomit, onion skins, and cheeto dust (we clean, periodically) She poops human sized poop, which sometimes finds itself on the living room rug when we’ve been gone all day; a hearty “welcome home” greeting, I’d like to think. She farts, and has anal leakage, she snores, and has to go to the vet for various reasons like every three months. She pisses me off daily and she smells.
    Still want a dog?
    You can have mine.
    Wait, no. I take that back. I really really love her. A lot. And I’m keeping her soft velvety ears when she dies.

    1. Karen

      Oh Lordy — ANAL LEAKAGE?!!?!? Ugh, don’t they have doggy diapers for that?

  9. Holly Taylor

    My advise GET A CAT! We got delivered by Grandpa one Christmas morning a adorable chocolate lab puppy who has turned my house into land of living dog shit.

    He has pissed all over my $200.00 artifiical Xmas tree, ate a jar of crisco, a chocolate cake, a box of K cups hazelnut coffee, cost 200.00 x 2 for de worming, and sneaks on my counter and eats my bananas every time I buy them.

    So unless you’re ready to turn your life over to dog poop and pee run run run!

    PS. My lovely dog also filled my cup holders in my van with pee one day while I was picking up the kids at daycare. He does have excellent aim I’ll give him that!

    1. Karen

      Okay, can your dog teach my husband and son to pee straight into a toilet? That is very, very impressive!

  10. Maureen

    A couple things before I come to your defense. First, don’t feel bad for the dogowner. We know there will be cold walks and hot ones. The unconditional love you get back is worth it. As for the poops, you get used to it. Somehow I’ve become the designated walker and poop picker upper. Hated the latter the first week we had Bailey, now it’s old hat.

    Now, on to the issue at hand. While bulldogs are cute, they are high maintenance. Ron has a couple and I always dreaded having to watch them for him. Actually, what I dreaded was having to clean their ears, carefully wipe between the folds of their faces, and likewise wiping their rears so they don’t get an infection everywhere. You heard me. And you just got used to wiping no one’s dupa but your own. Summer can be difficult. They’re at risk for heat stroke so you have to be careful. Hard to tell if they’ve been overexposed to the sun b/c they pant as it is. I must say the worst part is that they don’t have a long life span. I know we don’t expect our furry friends to be with us forever, but when you know you’re limited to a shorter time I think it’s kind of sad. You may not even get to considering these things though. Could be you find one and realize you’d rather spend the same amount of money on a good vacation. Okay, I don’t know how much one costs these days, but it’s not cheap. Me, I’m all for adopting. Too many cute faces out there in need of a home.

    Well, there’s a little ammo for you. Ask Eileen why she wants to clean a dogs butt b/c that’s what she’ll have to do. Or what you’ll have to do when she gives up : )

    1. Karen

      Thanks for all your input, Maureen. My friend just told me that you have to squeeze their ass glands, too. Seriously, I don’t tend to my kids that much — even as babies. This poor dog would last 3 days in our house.

      1. Maureen

        I forgot to mention the cost. Google some breeders, see what they’re charging. Then decide if you want a bully or a nice vacation… somewhere in Europe… without the family. I’ll volunteer to go with you : )

  11. Peg

    Hey sista, if you’re not a pet person I have three words for you, don’t do it!!!! It’s a lot of work and yes, you will be doing it all by yourself. (I have 2 dogs btw for all of those people going wow she’s a bitch lmao)

  12. Sheri

    I’m right there with you sister!! I have also received many notes, including a school essay on the subject. I was actually getting close to giving in so you can imagine their disappointment when they learned they were getting a brother instead! Stay strong!

  13. kate

    Eileen can visit,walk feed and clean the anal glands of Rosie the Bullmastiff (part bulldog) Rosie would love a new house to wreck. I’ll send her over and she cant eat the hangars and put holes in the clothing that Eileen loves, she can crawl into bed with her and then force her onto the floor because there is only enough room for one bullmastiff in any bed. She will eat Eileen’s lunch before it even makes it into the school bag, eat all of her Halloween/ Christmas/Valentines candy because she left it within easy acess of the dog. (Come to think of it, the dog is a good parental excuse to throw stuff out) I tell you that the dog would die in my house if I did not live there.

    1. Karen

      Dying over here!!!!!!

  14. Michele

    Oh wow, the comments are just as good as your post. Absolutely hilarious! I’m a major pet lover, worked as a vet tech for 10 years, among other animal related jobs, and I have to say, a dog is a TON of work. Which is why I only own four barfing felines instead. Good luck with your decision!

    1. Karen

      Michele, I am with you — the comments are way funnier than my post! Ass glands, human-sized craps and peeing in a car cup. Good stuff!

  15. GiGi

    I think this is the funniest entry yet! Don’t do it! I just spent 25.00 on a toy for my dog in California instead of the cute flip flops I wanted. Remind your daughter of all her cute purses she has… without holes in them

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