Monday, July 14, 2008

Puppy Power

Featuring various cuddly camping canines

I love my cats. I do. They're cute and pretty and goofy and fun. But they're a compromise. You see, I wanted a dog.

'Twas ever thus. When I was a kid I was desperate for a dog, but my Dad hates the whole species with a passion. So, as a compromise, we got a cat. She was a very cute kitty, but not a good feline ambassador as she was a little quick to use her claws on anything that moved. Good little hunter though. RIP.

Maggie Scoops: lab/boxer cross, back rub addict, canine garbage disposal machine, and the only exception to my Dad's "I hate dogs" rule.

I've never grown out of the wish for a puppy. I would love to have a dog to go camping with, to throw a ball for, to take for walks. Dogs are also great social ice breakers - thanks to the three dogs with us on our last camping trip, we made some new friends from a nearby campsite who are now invited to our friend's annual Halloween party. So, now that I'm a grown up with a house and small yard, why didn't I get myself a dog?

Eden: pedigree giant Schnauzer, wants to be a lap dog.

Well, it's a lifestyle thing. We both work long hours, and I wouldn't feel right leaving a dog by itself all day. They're pack animals, so we would have had to either get two dogs, sign up for doggy daycare*, or resign ourselves to the house getting totally trashed. Plus it's a lot of work - training, walking, finding dogsitters for vacations. The cats, on the other hand, are more than happy to have the house to themselves during the day, and require only a short daily visit from a friend when we're away. So Google and Saba represent another compromise: this time, with myself.

Fidel: undetermined heritage, huge heart, tiny brain.

I still dream of having a dog one day. My ideal work week would involve two days in an office (for the social interaction) and three days at home (getting work done and playing with a dog). It's not too far outside the realms of possibility if the freelance thing ever takes off, so I'll keep working towards that goal, try not to spend too much time on the SPCA's "pets available for adoption" site, and play with my kitty cats. They are incredibly cute.

I can has bike ride?

*The first time I saw such a business I misread their sign as "dodgy daycare" and I did wonder...

9 comments:

  1. During my adult life I have never, ever wanted a pet of any kind. And dogs aren't particularly ice-breaking for me, rather the opposite.

    I like your attitude though. I don't understand people leaving dogs alone for 10 hours a day, that's just plain cruelty, both to the dogs and to the neighbours who have to live with a lonely and barking dog in the next door flat (yes, I've been that neighbour).

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  2. I don't understand people leaving dogs alone for 10 hours a day, that's just plain cruelty

    You're right, we should've left our dog at the animal shelter where she was locked up in a cage 24 hours a day and would've been euthanized in a few weeks if no one adopted her. That would've been so much kinder.

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  3. Oh man, I knew that part of the post might be controversial. I know a lot depends on the breed* and the individual dog, but every dog owner I know told me the same thing: get two, or stay home, or your house will be trashed. My former boss had to get a second golden retriever to keep her first one company, while other friends have put their dogs into daycare after coming home to scenes of carnage, broken TVs, etc.

    Maggie and Fidel from this post are both single dogs, but have owners who either work from home or are retired. Eden is one of a pair (the other one doesn't like camping), with owners who do shift work but have a HUGE house in the country.

    Just following advice from friends!

    *I like big bouncy dogs, our yard is really quite small, and there are coyotes around... not a good mix

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  4. p.s. the icebreaker thing involved a family who came up to Eden's owners, asking if the daughter could pet her. The girl (aged 6) just totally fell in love with the dog, and we ended up spending both subsequent evenings with the family, who live in Vancouver.

    One of Eden's owners is one of those positive forces of nature, a real people person who loves to host parties and to make sure that everyone around him is having as good a time as possible. He has now invited this family to stay with them, to come to his annual Hallowe'en party, to be friends for life basically! A combination of a man like that and a beautiful, friendly dog is a force to be reckoned with!

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  5. Nah, I had no problem with what you wrote...it was the judgmental tone of the comment above that ticked me off.

    I like big bouncy dogs too, and desperately wanted a golden retriever or a lab. But because I knew we wouldn't have time to give it the exercise it needed, we settled for a smaller dog.

    When we first got Dormouse, I'd come home in the middle of the day for an hour or two to keep her company and help her adjust. Now she's an old dog (about 13 years) and is content to spend the day sleeping on our couch...or on our bed if I forget to close the bedroom door before I leave in the morning.

    She's never trashed our house, but I do have a futon with some teeth marks on the arm and she once completely demolished one of my bras that she pulled out of my laundry basket!

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  6. Well, don't forget that my cats trashed my teapot... and there are white hairs on all my clothes!

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  7. For years, I did not get a dog because I am away at work all day. Then one day a dog wandered into my yard and never left. I found I could leave him home while I went to work all day, and he was always there waiting for me when I came come. Unless I came home much earlier than usual, because he had his rounds to make--one neighbor for handouts, another neighbor with a nice blonde girl dog. I came to wonder how I did without for so long.

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  8. doggies and kitties are both delightful and doggies are often loanable!

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  9. Hmm, timeshare and loaner dogs sounds like a great idea! Maggie Scoops may be available occasionally. We borrowed her "sister" Boots once for a few days of trial cat ownership. She was a good ambassador for her species and convinced Mr E Man that we should get the kitties!

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