Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pet peeve

Every now and then, I think about how nice it would be to have a dog. An adorable little one, like a Lhasa Apso or a Yorkie. I watch “Dogs 101” on Animal Planet to find out what qualities each breed has and which are suitable for an older couple who aren't too keen on frequent grooming. But I also watch “It’s Me or the Dog,” and the problems people face with their unruly pets should probably make me forget the whole idea.

And while most people were watching the Super Bowl this winter, I tuned in to “Puppy Bowl.” If you haven’t seen that alternative to the Big Game, it’s worth switching channels next year to catch a few minutes of it. (Don’t tell the diehard football fans at your party that I suggested it.)

The idea of getting a dog came to me as I watched my mother-in-law deal with widowhood. I’m not sure how she would have gotten along without her adorable apricot poodle, Baby. Not only was Baby a connection with my late father-in-law, but he was a reason to get up, go for walks, go to the vet and the groomer, and most of all, someone to talk to and play with.

We live in a townhome with a small, brick-paved patio. That means no opening the door and shooing little what’s its-name out to the yard to do its business. One of us would have to get dressed and walk the little ball of fluff—probably so little that it would have a small bladder and have to go more often. I see my neighbors on frigid days, hunkering into their parkas while their dogs sniff around the fir trees out behind our garages. That’s when I’m glad we’re dog-less.

I’ve considered a cat. But I’ve been there, done that, and I’m not sure I want to do it again. The scratches on the dining room table, the snagged drapes, the persistent smell in the green shag carpet because, we presumed, Oliver thought it was grass or chlorophyll litter. I have to admit, though, to reconsidering after watching “Cats 101,” and seeing all the beautiful breeds I never knew existed. But still…I like my furniture, and I’m not sure where I’d want to park the litter box.

For now, I’ll continue to admire sweet little pups and kitties and then quickly walk away before my I cave in to cuteness.

By the way, did I mention that my husband’s allergic?