This is what I learned when we dog-sat for 10 days.
1. Flora is totally ready for a dog.
She assumed the bulk of the responsibility for walking and feeding Oscar. She made sure he got treats and was put properly in his crate.
She did not hesitate to pick up poop. It didn’t faze her one, tiny bit.
2. Kate is not ready for a dog.
She hogged, she hassled, she wanted all the dog’s attention all the time. I think she picked up poop a few times, but it wasn’t her favorite. She liked to play tug-of-war with the dog, and she wanted to cuddle him. All the time.
She was kind of a pain in the ass about the dog.
3. Michael was just status update boy. “Oscar’s in the dining room.” “Oscar pooped in the yard.” “Oscar is upstairs.” “Oscar drank some water.” But since I’m not depending on him to be ready for a dog, this is fine.
4. Dan and I are not dog people.
I can’t speak for my husband, but I know he found the exercise of taking the dog out and then crating him before Dan left for the day to be a bit of a hassle.
I thought I was a dog person. I am incorrect. The *idea* of having a dog doesn’t bother me, but in the idea, my children are completely, 100 percent responsible for taking care of the dog, and — this is important — DO NOT FIGHT over taking care of the dog.
I may be more of a cat person, but since Flora and I are allergic to cats, that is not a pet option for us.
Ultimately, I think I do not want a pet for the following two reasons:
1. I am done with other creatures’ poop. Michael is learning to wipe his own butt, and I cannot express how liberating this milestone is — if you are a parent, you understand without me having to use more words. I don’t want to pick up poop or clean a litter box. I want to be done with poop.
2. I do not want another creature to be dependent on me. For goodness sake, people, I don’t even feed the fish.
If we get a pet, the children have to be in charge. It can’t shed, because ain’t no one in this house equipped to do that much vacuuming. And it can’t bark. Or wake me up at 5 a.m.
Nope. Mama’s done.
Of course, despite all these protestations, if it is financially feasible to get a dog this summer, we will get a dog this summer. Dan has been promising the girls a dog for YEARS now. We’re just going to have to suck it up. And hope the dog picks Flora to be its alpha.
Are you a dog person?