Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Should Not.

I've been agonizing for more than 24 hours about a little Yorkie named Nickel. I wouldn't consider getting a dog at this point in my life and in the school year, but for a few specific reasons.

1. He's 8 months old... though that's still puppy, malleable in a training sense, 8 months implies housebroken, potty trained which is pretty important in my apartment dwelling lifestyle.

2. He's only $300.00 for his big bad full-breed current shots and neutered self complete with toys, treats, doggie kennel/carrier. I always like a bargain.

3. He's used to being kenneled for even longer than what I would need to do while I was at work from 8-4.

4. He's cute as a bug.

5. He's a small dog which means I can tote him around with me, with ease... possibly on airplanes even?

6. I read about the dog breed and Yorkies don't shed and also are fairly non-allergenic. Not shedding scores big points with me.

7. It's an energetic dog, but it likes to run around indoors more than outdoors. Not that I require this in any sense of the word but really long long walks in subzero temps is less than ideal at this time of year.

8. Did I mention he's so cute I could eat him up?

9. I had even thought of a list of nicknames. Fantasized about having him sleep in a little round cushiony bed in my bedroom. Imagined him tucked in my lap while we watched Wed. night TV line-up. Pictured him listening to NPR on a small radio while I had him kenneled in the kitchen with a doggie gate so he'd have room to roam but also the comforts of home as in tiled kitchen rather than carpeted everywhere else and so forth.

................................... Then I met him. He's still got the face of an angel... but the magic wasn't really there for me.

1. He was TWICE as big as I pictured.... 10 lbs... instead of about 5. Not a big deal, but for some reason it was a wee bit disappointing. Not sure why. Suddenly lugging him around in my red thrift store purse peeking out and woofing at strangers seemed highly unlikely. I had a hard time holding his squirmy body. I wanted to put him down and immediately he piddled on their couch... I KNOW small dogs do this. It's excitement. They can outgrow it. It's fine. But it was unfortunate.

2. He never stopped moving. Not once. He is a whirling dervish. A tornado of energy. He only barked when I arrived and I noticed he was pretty calm on the barking after that, but his owners admitted it was because we were giving him attention. If we were to get busy and ignore him he'd begin to bark until we paid him his due attention. He's a very attention seeking dog. Hmmm...

3. I probed a bit more about the kenneling procedure for when they are gone. He stays in his little pet carrier/kennel deal which is also his bed for the night. Because its his bed he never has an accident in there. But if they kenneled him in the kitchen for example as I dreamt of doing... well, he'd pee for sure in that 8 hours. Sigh. I guess we still have NPR.

4. I asked about cuddling and so forth. If the dog ever stops and wants to just sit on the lap or whatever... and the owner said about 9 pm poochie slows down and wants to cuddle and sometimes will get in bed with them and snuggle up... however, they don't let the dog sleep with them since a few times it did the dog woke before them and instead of waking them up to go out by barking... it just hopped out of bed and went on the carpet right there in the bedroom.

5. I asked about pottying... Apparently they take it out every 4 hours when they are home with the exception of when they are at work or the dog is kenneled to sleep. The minute they are awake the dog goes out and does both his businesses and does so about four times a day. But it sounds like you have to anticipate this. The poochie will not let you know by going to the door or barking. This doesn't sound like a very potty trained dog to me? Or am I living in some fantasy world?

6. Why are they selling the dog? Because they aren't home enough--gone all day and sometimes in the evenings for college classes too. I am home a little bit more but I am just one person and based on the things they were saying, I think this doggie has the energy for three or four or for kids or another fellow house dog. That his loving needs to be spread around.

Conclusion: I really wanted a dog. I wanted this dog and this breed because I thought based on what I read it would really work and that I'd be suited to it. That it was cute, that it was portable, that it was potty trained because I absolutely cannot housebreak a brand new puppy at this time of year and when I am at work and on the third floor. If the dog isn't coming to me trained and if there's the possibility I may have to work on breaking bad habits that are already there... wow, then there's not really any benefit to having a slightly older dog. Especially when I don't get the privilege of naming nor the joys of pure puppy fun.

I've always wanted a Shih Tzu, after I bonded with a super dog named Rosie. I wonder now if she was a mix or a full breed. Regardless, she's the best dog I've ever known. When I looked up her temperment it acutally called that breed "lazy" and I wonder if THAT is why I clicked. It was a dog that really did just want to hang out and cuddle. :) Maybe things would be a different story if it was that breed and not fairly frantic dashing around? But then again, maybe it would still be a mistake regardless. I may have dodged a bullet, here. Still, the desire for dog was real and I was ready checkbook in purse to return home with a dog if I could make it work.

I guess now my only option is to join a gym. I'm thinking of joining this one. It turns out I qualify for a grandfathered grad membership thanks to my masters degree. And so even though it doesn't have a pool for lap swim, nor does it have a steam room for my therapuetic end to every workout, it does have an almost guaranteed no wait for using the cardio equipment, which is state of the art.

So, I guess the end of this story is that the only little body I will be curling up with at night is my own... if I can manage to lose the 20 lbs I've had my horror-filled eyes on lately. And that might be just fine. For now.

-------------******* UPDATE*******--------------

This morning I checked my email and found a message from the doggie owners saying they'd decided not to sell their dog. As they watched me play with him and told me all about him, they fell in love with him all over again and just couldn't bear to part with him. They plan to try to come up with a better scheduling plan to allow them to be home more for their little poochie. Hmmm... my work here is done. I'm like Mary Poppins for dogs.


E. Louise said...

how about a cat?

Carm said...

Too stinky. (litter box, ugh!) Also not cuddly and independent. Also they shed. I'll stick to plants.


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