Tuesday, October 23

Why I Won't Get a (Second) Dog

Anybody out there read the ultra-fabulous book Marley and Me? It's a by turns hilarious and heartwrenching account of life with an, erm, difficult dog.

Been there, done that.

Hubby and I got a dog a couple years after we were married, not yet ready for children, but feeling the need to expand our family. We purchased Casper, a beautiful Bichon Frise, the son of champions, from a highly reputable breeder, and immediately enrolled him in obedience school.

Which he promptly flunked.

Casper was lovable and spirited and strong-willed. And he took up way more of my time and energy than either of my two (human) children ever would in the coming years.

I actually had to leash him and keep hold of the leash whenever we had more than two people over to the house. Sometimes juggling a baby at the same time. I had to leash him not because he was dangerous, just, um, overly rambunctious.

Furniture was destroyed, not just during his official period of puppydom, but long after, and vacations became a thing of the past. Nobody wanted to take care of Casper for us, even for a short time.

Still, we never dreamed of giving Casper away. He was ours and we loved him.

In his later years, he developed diabetes. The vet told me if I bribed him with a treat, he'd soon accept his insulin needle.

Ha! It was a cinch for him to quickly grab the treat and wriggle away before I ever had a chance to inject the needle. The only thing that worked was taking him out to the car (which he hated, for some reason), to get him all nervous and shaky and distracted.

In the end, he developed an inoperable tumor. The day we put Casper down was the saddest day of our lives. We were all heartbroken for months--years.

Now, fully four years later, the men in the family (hubby and son) have expressed a wish for another dog. To which I say, uh, thanks but no thanks. My daughter and I would like to try a cat, if any pet.

I will never, ever forget Casper, will never stop loving my highly imperfect but still somehow lovable dog.

I just don't want to repeat the experience.



Amanda Ashby said...

One of the saddest days of my life was when we had to get our (one-eyed old age pensioner) cat put down. Since then we've moved so much that we haven't had another pet but the kids are constantly working on. Right now it's apparently a toss up between a giraffe and a turtle. Hmmmm.

Gerb said...

We had to leave our dog behind when we moved to Japan since we would be living in corporate housing and would not allow pets. He went to live with my husband's aunt in Utah for the two years we thought we would be there. Two turned into four and in the meantime, Frisco bonded to his new mom, his new home and his doggie companion. We couldn't take him away from that, no matter how much we missed him as part of our family.

I thought never again as well - for about ten minutes. Having a dog in the family just felt like the right thing for us. We adopted a little jack russell terrier mix who is a handful (her name is Kali - the Hindu goddess of destruction) but I wouldn't trade her for the world.

The second dog decision may have been different, though, had Frisco died rather than relocated.


Jessica Burkhart said...

This post makes me think about my own cat. She's a 15-year-old Siamese that I rescued. She's in amazing health, but you always worry when pets get that age...

Kelly Parra said...

So sorry about Casper, Bev!

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