Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Girl's Best Friend?

Meet Dakota... wrapped in a loving embrace.

I have mixed feelings about dog ownership and I find that it all makes me sound callous and unloving to the little creatures. Of course when they are all soft and adorable at this age who could turn one away? For me it's a series of other dogs I've known over the years that spoil the experience for me. I have issues with dogs that jump up on me, the crotch sniffers, their hair on my clothes or all over a house, slobber, urine stained carpet or a house with that dog odor however faint, and the barking... oh Lord, the barking. A number of breeds have been eliminated from my list of preferred dogs and one might think that because of what I just wrote I don't like dogs nor do I want one. That couldn't be farther from the truth.

I have longed for the day when I have a house where I could have a dog of my own--the day when I either live close enough to work or share a home with someone else so the dog wouldn't be neglected during the day. I long for the day when I get to pick out a puppy or adopt some loving older dog who needs me. Yet, somehow this stage of my life continues to elude me.

On the downside, I watch friends who have dogs struggle to find a place for them when they travel. I hear complaints from non-dog owners when dog owning friends show up for a visit with multiple dogs in tow. Both children and dogs alter one's life but at least children are more portable. And I've seen owners with good intentions neglect their little furry friends because their lives are simply too busy to truly accommodate their pooch and thus it remains kenneled for hours a day. I grew up on a farm where the dogs roamed free and there was no poop picking up. I loved that our dog could wander free but still had us right there taking care of it. I realize that's not a likely scenario for my future with dogs since I no longer live on a farm, but I want to have a dog that isn't lonely, neglected, or stinking up the house. It's a delicate balance.

I have breeds of dogs I do like. Mainly based on a few good little canines I've loved. One breed I love is based on two dogs... Casey and Sparky--two Shetland sheepdogs (miniature collies), sweet quiet well behaved, tender dogs. I didn't know either of them as puppies and so maybe they were just well trained or grew into their kind mellowness, but I would welcome one of them into my home, despite the ridiculous amount of shedding. Maybe. (I really do hate the shedding) Another inspirational pooch, is Rosie, the best dog ever--a little black shih tzu who loved me completely and I was only the "babysitter." This doggie didn't bark or misbehave. She was well trained and sweet tempered and cuddly and playful and well the list goes on. If I could clone this pooch I'd get a dog today and sacrifice every lunch break to go home and let her out. Of course I can't have dogs in my apartment, but that didn't stop three other tenants from doing so. Still, somehow my own selfish desire for a Rosie-girl, doesn't seem fair to the dog. Not yet.

I guess I know where I can visit a new little bundle of fur, and escape when I've met my limit. Welcome to a Family of Five, little Kody.

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