This morning at 4:45 AM, I lay awake. This time it wasn’t because of the roll call of worries that sometimes challenges my sleep. No, this time it was the dog. Specifically, the dog, Dodger, in a thunderstorm. I know many of you fellow dog owners know just what I am referring to. Up on the bed, down off the bed, the scratching, the shivering, the pawing, the pacing on the bed, on the floor. I try to calm Dodger by holding him, picking up all the stuff on the floor that he is frantically pushing away, letting him hide under the sheet. All to no avail. And, please, do not message me about a certain “shirt” that is supposed to comfort the dog. When that is strapped on nice and tight, Dodger is still shivering – and hot.
In between the hysterical dance the two of us do during the storm, I have time to ponder. I wonder, “Why do I have a dog?”
For those of you who have been considering getting a dog, let me tell you what you might expect:
You will not sleep when there is a thunderstorm. Remember those old days when you would snuggle down in the blankets reveling in the magnificent light and crash of a storm? Gone.
You will not ever have pristine, clean carpets. Ever.
You will have to shovel a space for them to “do their business” when the snow gets waist-high. No more sitting on the couch watching the snowflakes fall.
You cannot go on vacation without finding a sitter.
You cannot leave the house for more than 8 hours without feeling frantic about what you might find when you return.
You will have dog hair all over your house.
Your furniture will show stains and scratches. That nice furniture you picked out at the store? It will not stay nice.
You have to take the dog for a walk. Rain, snow, and ice – it does not matter. You will be walking.
Picking up dog poop.
Vet bills. The size of a mortgage payment.
So, one might think, OK, I’ll get a cat!
I have a cat.
Here’s what you can expect:
Cleaning kitty litter. Day in, day out.
Cat hair everywhere.
Hair balls. They will surprise you every time.
Needing to find a sitter every time you want to go on vacation.
Have I missed anything? Perhaps so, but, no matter, you get the idea.
To be fair, here is why a person would want a dog or a cat:
A dog will make you go on a walk; even if you don’t feel like going on a walk, and, let’s face it, we all need a walk.
They will be very cute. I have an embarrassing number of photos on my phone of my cat and dog doing darling things.
Most of all, they will love you. At least that is what we tell ourselves when they cuddle up with us, when they are so darn happy to see us walk in the door, and when they seem to understand our sorrows more than any person ever could.
And, in the end, that seems to be enough. The love we feel – real or imagined.
Love always wins.
It’s even enough to keep us writing those darn checks to the vet.