A ‘ruff’ decision to make
I am not a cat person. Nothing against the wee moggie creatures except that I am allergic their dander and any time spent in their presence leaves me itchy and red-eyed. With over-exposure I experience a mild form of hives. Benadryl is my friend when visiting cat-friendly homes.
People tell me how much they love their cats and I don’t doubt they do, nor do I doubt the joy their mousers bring to their domicile. However, when you can’t cozy up to an animal it is hard to appreciate their finer, and in this case feline, qualities. Had I been exposed to cats at a younger age and didn’t suffer as a result of their mere presence in a shared space, I am sure I would have been a cat lover.
Fortunately for me, dogs are not on my no contact list. My affection for dogs runs deep and yet it has been years since I had one. Four kids and a busy lifestyle made the inclusion of a dog into the fold seem unfair to the pooch and to the pooched parent that I was! Dogs, admittedly, require more commitment. Far less self-sufficient than their purring counterparts, dogs are needy in comparison. Toileting for a start is an issue; if there is a canine equivalent of a litter box, I am unaware – it certainly hasn’t caught on.
Supplying water to a medium to large dog can been managed by leaving the lid up on a toilet but otherwise they need regular tending on the food and drink front. Lest I be castigated for ignoring cats, it should be noted that felines need regular refreshment of their food and water bowls too. However, from watching my kids cat sit for friends, cat care seems less onerous.
Most dog breeds require a time investment, regardless of weather conditions, for regular walks. The “I will walk the dog every day” mantra of the desperate-for-a-dog child should have a proviso added -“every day for a couple of weeks,” then they lose interest and the job reverts back to the parent. I got to witness this dance of dog ownership diplomacy the other day. Heart set on a golden retriever, a child promised twice daily walks and a host of other dog related duties. It was interesting to see the tactical retreat that took place as it became clear there were certain activities already on this child’s dance card that precluded twice daily outings with a four-legged friend. By the end, she was offering daily walks most school days with a definite maybe twice on weekend days. The exercise served to illustrate to the adults in the conversation that a little more investigation on what type of dog would best suit the family dynamic wouldn’t be a bad thing. Lucky for families there are dog matching quizzes available online to help find the breed that matches your family’s lifestyle. A win-win for owner and dog!
In recent months I have happened upon another canine win-win. It could be best summed up as a sort of dog sharing arrangement; the grandparent equivalent in that you get to give the dog back. It is not yours, so there is no pride of ownership. What the dog can or cannot do is not a result of your dog whispering skills or lack thereof. The dog comes. The dog stays for a bit. The dog leaves. Repeat. For me this has been going on for a while now and I think it could be marketable. Matchmaking within the human population is a vendible skill; there are multiple apps for that, as well as actual humans that work to find a suitable pairing. What if we applied those same skills, offered dog owners to swipe left or right on potential dog companions.
My canine pal is a keeper; best described as an alien bat dog. She does nothing if she doesn’t make you smile. She is a non-barking, mouth-breathing, sun-worshipping, potbelly pig-like creature who snores up a storm. And yet, every time she visits I lament more and more the ‘dog leaves’ part of the equation. At moments I think perhaps it is time…but then reality kicks in. Do I really want the responsibility that comes with owning a dog? Life is freer now.
I shudder to think it but maybe it is time for a cat. What do you think the maximum daily dosage is for Benadryl?