Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pros and Cons

I'm not going to lie to you. I've been thinking about adopting a dog sometime in the fall. I've been making a list of pros and cons regarding the dog ownership situation.

I love dogs. Particularly long-haired, fluffy dogs.
Outside of the six years I was in undergraduate and graduate school, I've always had one. I'm not sure what life is without one, and I'm not sure I want to know.
There's something that touches me about an animal that literally lives and breathes to make you happy. (Something my very independent, opinionated, geriatric cats don't get.)
They are awesome companions.
You think when they do things like eat the two sticks of butter you had out warming to room temperature or "find" your box of granola bars on the counter that you can't stand them and their dogness. But then, when they're not around any more, you suddenly find the dumpster diving funny rather than annoying.
I liked being active with my dog and taking him for walks around the neighborhoods and to local parks.
I liked throwing sticks in the water and watching him swim out to fetch them and chase ducks.
I love how my dog used to sit on a dock watching fish and quickly and quietly as he could jump into the water like he was going to catch one.
Repeat that story, but eliminate the dock and the water and insert my back yard into the scene with him stalking a ground squirrel or bunnies in the backyard.
I like that my dog was fine with cats and kids and other animals.
I like that my dog liked to go in the car and travel with us.
We have the perfect set up for a dog and we have the financial and emotional resources to help a dog that doesn't have a home. I also have time for a younger dog, as he'd only be by him or herself up to 4 hours a day with my work schedule, and I'm home all summer.

There's the whole acclimating time period that always makes me worry. What if the dog we find decides he doesn't like us or our cats or our kid. Mixing different species is always interesting and stressful.
I have four geriatric cats, a small child, a large house, a new job and an absentee spouse. Don't I have enough to take care of?
In all likelihood, I'll probably pick a dog less than two years of age -- and it's been a while since we've had a puppy. It takes a lot of energy and patience.
The search for me takes a lot of time. With Riley, I went to four different shelters once a week for eight weeks before I found him.
Crate and housetraining are potential issues depending on how young the dog is.
I get to fall in love with another animal and have my heart broken when he passes away before I do.
I always said that the next animal we got would be X-man's, and that we'd talk about it when he was 7.
If we end up moving to California in 2 or 3 years, a dog adds one more consideration to the moving list. Because in our family, everyone goes or no one goes. It's a non-negotiable.
Scooping poop.
Possibly squeezing more anal glands.

So, you know, I'm thinking about it.

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