The Family Dog

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Recently my wife and son have been putting a significant amount of pressure on me to get a pet dog.  I admit that I’ve created some tension at home by balking at the suggestion.  It’s not that I don’t love dogs (because I really do), it’s more that we live in the city and each time that a pooch wants to go about his or her business will require a leash, a walk, and plenty of extra time.  On countless occasions when walking home from a late night on the town, I’ve witnessed some poor sucker on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall with the dog leash in his left hand, the blue bag in his right hand, and it’s inevitably raining, snowing, or awfully darn cold and windy.  That part of dog ownership doesn’t look like much fun to me.  Somehow I get the feeling that when these weather events take place, that the family dog will magically become my responsibility.  I’m looking for advice (and support), so please correct me if you think I’m off base here.

I’ve had many pet dogs over my lifetime and they were all really special friends.  It’s impossible to pick favorites, but two that I thought were fairly unique were Bert and Ernie.  Both were greyhounds that were rescued track dogs.  Because these two fellas came from the track, they required a little more initial maintenance to get them integrated into a human household – minor things like negotiating stairs, not confusing a cat with a rabbit and trusting humans a bit more.  Most folks probably wouldn’t know this, but greyhounds make excellent pets.  They don’t bark very much, are big, cuddly and gentle and are great with kids.  One thing that Bert and Ernie did pretty well was sing.  I’m not referring to the Star Spangled Banner here; they sounded more like the guy you sat next to in church who enjoyed singing loudly but was extraordinarily tone deaf.  Once one got going, the other inevitably joined in and pretty soon wolves were circling the house.  I’m kidding of course about the wolves.

Dogs can bring such joy to our lives but the really sad part of owning a dog is the brief time that they spend with us on earth.  I always wished that one dog year would equal seven human years and not vice versa.  As a result, I will miss all of my past dog friends very much.

This article was written by Tom Fletcher.