Monday, July 12, 2010

The Dream Was Sweet While It Lasted

For a couple glorious days I imagined training my Molosser to eat people on the train who spoke too loudly on their cellphones, playing frisbee in the surf, and snuggling by the tv, but it was not meant to be. At least not this year. While the landlady was enthusiastic about our paying her more in rent when we renew our lease, she was far less enthusiastic about our having a dog. In hindsight, she would have done better to ask for the increase before I asked for the dog. Knowing the dog was an impossibility did shut my pocketbook rather tightly. We said we'd give her rate of inflation rounded to the nearest $50.

So, for now, I will content myself as I have for years accosting other people's dogs. Case in point, when I got on the train this morning there was a rather large cocker spaniel that needed playing with. His owner said she welcomed my attentions since her household had just acquired a kitten which was getting the lion's share of petting. Happy to oblige, I pet the hell out of her dog. The dog was really into it too, going so far as to jump up and lick my face in gratitude (this is why I don't wear a lot of makeup).

Dogs really are wonderful creatures. While basking in the temporary unconditional love of the spaniel, I hardly noticed the train passengers who generally make my skin crawl (ok, I did note the woman who huffed exasperatedly at the train conductor when he asked for her ticket - didn't he see she was ON THE PHONE?). Dogs are transporting experiences.

And of all the misgivings, fears, anxieties, etc. I have about the possibility of starting a human family one day, precisely zero of them are felt vis a vis the raising of a dog. And I think I've located the cause: dogs are puppies for far less time than humans are puppies. Yes, raising a puppy is hard work - for 6-9 months. And even during those 6-9 months you can get the dog to use the bathroom where you want, feed itself from its bowl, and ambulate. During this time, you can also teach the dog to catch a frisbee - something your human puppy will need at least 6 years to achieve. Can I work up a little mistiness from time to time over the vision of devoted partner playing catch with our human spawn? Sure. I'm not a monster. But then I think of all the effort that goes into getting to the point where I can witness that movie of the week moment and I suddenly find myself exhausted and not a little bit resentful. Not so with the dog.

But for now, it seems, both playing catch daydreams will remain daydreams and poor Matt will be the recipient of my whimpering and longing glances as I molest his charming dogs with all my pent up love.

Still, much like our daydreams of winning the lottery, we had a good deal of fun planning for our future dog. Maybe next year.

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