Me and dogs.


I’m acquainted with a woman who loves children. She loves them so much she’s chosen a career as a first-grade teacher. She gets together with her nieces and nephews on the weekends and takes them on outings–to parties, to movies, to the zoo. Sometimes she just hangs out with them, and listens to them regale her with their childish tales. She’s available for babysitting on many evenings–and is more than happy to do it too. But my friend is also childless. What surprises many, including me, is that she’s childless by choice. As she told me, she loves kids but was just never interested in taking on the responsibility of raising one. As she puts it, “I enjoy kids immensely, but I can always hand them back to their parents when they get cranky or I’ve had enough. I’m afraid if I had children of my own, I’d stop liking them as much as I do.” Child-free women have the reputation of being child-haters, but this isn’t always (or even usually) the case. Some, like my friend, are even huge fans of kids.

I’m the same way about dogs. I adore dogs. I think they’re cute, hilarious, sweet, loyal, and interesting. I always stop to pet dogs (if they are friendly), I watch videos of dogs, I read stories about dogs, and I have a job where I frequently encounter dogs and my interactions with them are one of the job’s high points. But I don’t have a dog and don’t want one either.

Although dogs are awesome, they are also a lot of work–work I don’t have the time or inclination to take on. They require attention–lots more than a cat, and they are expensive. If you acquire a puppy, you must have the time to train it. You can’t just leave it alone all day while you go to work or do other things. You have to take it out when you’d rather be sleeping or watching TV, and you have to devote time to socializing it. Even if you acquire an older dog who’s already housetrained and socialized, you have to give it attention and play with it so it doesn’t develop behavior problems. You have to walk it and take it to the vet. Like a child, you are stuck with that dog for life.


Some people get a puppy and then callously drop it off at the pound when they realize how much work it’s going to be. I think that’s plain wrong. Like children, dogs need to feel securely attached to their people, and dogs that are abandoned or rejected often find it difficult to become attached to a new set of owners (if they aren’t euthanized first). I think if you agree to adopt a dog, it’s a lifetime commitment. Sure, there may be some situations where you can’t keep a dog (a particular dog may turn out to be a “bad fit” for a particular owner, or the dog has unforeseen behavioral problems that cannot be resolved), but in most cases, I think the decision to get a dog just wasn’t thought through ahead of time. Puppies are irresistible. People see a puppy and think, “I must have it!” without considering that puppy won’t always be a puppy and that they are making a 10+ year commitment to another living thing.

I’ve had several dogs in my life and I’ve loved them all. My last dog was a handsome lab mix named Dexter and he was as sweet and good and loyal as they come. Like most dogs, Dexter was very social. He required a lot of attention and would whine and whimper when he wasn’t getting it. When my daughter moved out last year, she wanted to take Dexter with her. I was a little sad to see him go, but I also knew she would pay more attention to him than I ever had, so I agreed to part with him. I can still see Dexter whenever I want, just by taking a short car ride. But I’m not responsible for him anymore and that’s fine with me.

Sometimes, especially after playing with or interacting with a particularly adorable dog, I’m tempted to go to the shelter and pick out a dog for myself. But I know I wouldn’t want the commitment. I love dogs but also like to be able to “hand them back to their person” when I’ve had my fill. I’ll stick with my cats for now. They’re all the “dog” I need.

Unless…someone gives me a Corgi puppy.   Then all bets are off.  OMG.  I would NOT be able to say “no” to a Corgi puppy.


18 thoughts on “Me and dogs.

  1. Thank you for posting this. I adore dogs and like them far more than people. I’m embarrassed to admit the grief over my dog’s death has been far deeper than the death of my father. My current living situation recently agreed to let tenants have small dogs, I’m sued to big ones and like them better. I’ve been checking out the pound and waiting but you are right. Travel is limited, one always has to think about the dog and before my last dog died I had to borrow money to buy dog food one time. My own fridge had 1 egg in it.. It was thanksgiving, I had an egg for the day and down to my last cup of dog food. It was grace that she died because really keeping the dog in vet visits, dog food and shots while I went without necessities was wearing on me

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    • I’m sorry about the death of your dog. 😦 It’s so sad to lose a pet. People make fun of the depth of grief you can feel when you lose a pet, but it’s very real and for those of us who have had so much trouble with other humans, animals make the best, most loving and non-judgmental friends imaginable.

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      • They do! I’m glad you understand I have these odd moments when I just start weeping remembering her although it has been 2 years. I have to believe that dogs go to heaven, its the closest thing I know to divine love (because they don’t quit “loving” you like people do)

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  2. Hi Lucky, great post and I see the likeness between you and the woman you are acquainted with. She enjoys kids and you like dogs but neither want the full-time commitment. Well, I had been thinking about adding a dog to my life for the past several months(I’ve had dogs before), and today was the day I was going to go look.

    Pretty amazing you wrote this post today. I saw its headline in my email shortly before I planned to leave the house.

    So yes, I did adopt one today! Let me fill you guys in.

    She is 3 and her breed is Dachsund and Chiuaua mix(more heavily Dachsund, I don’t think she is 1/2 and 1/2). She was a rescue and everything about her fit. She needed to be small and do ok with cats, of course healthy and sweet natured too, but, get this. On her description card on her cage, it actually said that she is a lap dog, so I thought that was great. So she is very personable too. She and the cat I have are becoming acquainted this afternoon at a distance for now. I think it’s cute how she is so possessive over her stuffed toy. She clearly wants me to know its hers if I go to reach for it. She appears trained as she knows a few commands, and so far this is a match made in heaven. I have a lot of time to give her and I’m a little concerned expense-wise but I think we will be ok. I’m very happy about it.

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    • Oh, Ruby, congratulations on your new rescue pup! I’m sure both of you will be very happy. I don’t know if you saw, but after I posted this, I was watching videos of Corgi’s and posted one at the end of the post. Now if I see a dog like that, all bets are off!


    • Their faces remind me of a dog I used to have (a bassett hound) named Daisy. She died about 4 years ago. But they’re smaller and they’re just so cute. The short legs aren’t that good for them and I don’t agree with inbreeding for defects but idk, these dogs I just fell in love with.


      • I see. New dog and cat maybe not so good together. I didn’t realize that dachshunds are hunting breeds which are usually no-no’s. I will see if I can try a different dog. I will have to go back. She chases and she is very forceful. The cat was here first.

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