In which we don’t buy a dog… yet.
When I was four, my parents gave in to my pestering and bought me a dog – a poodle. She was wonderful and I loved her – we all did.
When I left home and had my own place, I bought a dog from a local rescue centre – she was a mongrel and I loved her – we all did. Eventually, as my career progressed, it wasn’t fair for her to be on her own too much, so she went to live with my parents – everyone was happy.
Now the girls are getting older and they’ve started pestering me for a dog. A couple of our friends have bought dogs over recent months and of course that’s intensified the pressure.
Part of me would go out tomorrow and have a rescue dog. But – and there had to be a but – when you’ve been without a dog for twenty years, you recognise the downsides of having a pooch for a pet.
- If we had a puppy, it would need intensive training. Am I up to the task? (and of course it would be me that had to do it).
- if we had an older dog, would it have nasty habits?
- There’s the not inconsiderable problem of my eczema and asthma. I’ve been better lately, but I can remember some pretty rough times when I had a dog.
- They are expensive – it’s not just the food, it’s the vets bills too.
- What about when we want to go out or go away or go on holiday?
- And the killer for me, what happens when they’re too old and too ill to go on. It’s broken my heart twice in the past when my dogs died.
So, for the time being, I shall continue to refuse – but it is hard.
I can’t promise it’s a final decision – just don’t tell the girls that.