To Dog Or Not?

So, my son Salt wants a dog. Salt has wanted a dog for …..um…..EVER. We had dogs, three to be precise. Salt was not even born when we lost our first dog, but he discusses her with much love and affection, in order to play on my emotions and manipulate me into getting a dog.

Now, the loss of each dog will torture me with pain and guilt until my dying day. This is too painful for me to even get into, save to say, they were getting on in years, and my guilt relates purely to me not being physically present (and emotionally numb) with any one of them, when they died.

Our dogs were as much a part of our family as our kids. They joined us many years before our children did, so they literally WERE our family.

We lost our two remaining dogs, within six months after we lost my husband and Salt and Pepper’s dad. So, at the risk of sounding like suffering and tormented soul….you cannot imagine how we were affected by their deaths.

Well, it was not so much “we”, as me and Salt. Pepper, my other son, of course loved the dogs. Both kids had so much fun with and love for the dogs growing up. But my Pepper needs an emotional crutch at every turn WAAAAY less than my Salt. He is just more of a pragmatist. Thank all the cute puppies in the world, he does not hang on to hurt to drag him down. This is such a handicap in one’s life, but that is for a different blog.

So, with &^%$# COVID, Salt’s emotional meter had peaked. The nagging to get a dog became more persistent…..uuuurgh endless actually. Every day, I get shown another cute YouTube video of dogs…puppies….kittens…..pandas….squirrel monkeys….bumblebees……literally WHATEVER might trigger that emotional and spontaneous part of my brain.

Now, what poor Salt does not realize, is that this might not even exist in my brain. I am the most practical (I say sensible) and considered (I say responsible) person you will meet, I say this not with pride and joy. On the contrary, it is a trait that holds a person back in a multitude of ways. Our type of folk miss out on so much in life. But we are realists, and as realists, we are aware of EXACTLY how things will pan out.

But poor Salt………foolish Salt….thinks things are just simple, and decisions can be made on pure human emotions….I mean….does that even make sense??  Such an irresponsible and reckless child….what a way to live….silly Salt!!

I believe inviting a dog into your family comes with great responsibility. It needs to be SERIOUSLY considered. My pet (excuse the pun) hate is people who decide to get a dog…as a ‘remedy’ for a child that fears dogs….or to fill a hole….or to have company…or as a security guard…..and thereafter decide that they do not want that dog after all. This, for me, is the same as having a child, and when parenthood is not what you expected, finding another “home” for that child. Well, ‘tis true, we all do consider that at times, but we don’t actually follow through (hopefully)!! 

Even worse, is someone getting a dog strictly for security purposes, and then keeping this poor thing outside, or chained or CAGED. These people should be burnt at the stake!!

You become your pet’s family. They need to be treated with love, require attention, and are not a thing that can just be passed from one household to another!

So, poor unfortunate Salt. I truly am so sorry for him that he was burdened with this far too practical mom. I totally know that he would benefit hugely on an emotional level from getting a dog. But I cannot stop running through all the concerns I have about taking this (what I consider) gigantic step.

I was faced with this dilemma when he was an itty bitty, and we settled on a hamster. Salt played with the hamster for the first week….Pepper did not even know we HAD a hamster….and then that was that.

This is not my concern with a dog, as I do believe that Salt will care for this dog as if it were his child. He would be solely responsible for it, and would more than likely be that person who takes it WHEREVER he goes. Eeeek, just realised another negative….definitely do not want my Salt driving around with a dog that can distract him….and cause him to take his eyes off the road…… even for a second!!

But despite this, there are so many aspects to consider.

We do not really have a garden…………dogs need space.

We have bedrooms that have carpets…dogs…well, don’t care.

We have furniture……………………………puppies teethe.

We very rarely go on holiday…………….we literally can close our door and go, should we choose.

Dogs creep into your heart and soul……dogs leave you too soon.

And paleeeeeeeez, none of that ‘’ Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole “ claptrap…..us practical and sensible people will not stand for such nonsense logic!!

So, although this is one of the most (if not THE MOST) selfish things that I have done as a mother, I simply have refused time and time again.

He will go to any lengths my Salt will! I mean….these YouTube videos are becoming annoying!! . What he is even thinking, is beyond me. I mean….no dog also means no white tiger cub!!

Now a neighbor who I chat to now and again (you know, since I have become neighbor friendly due to the lockdown), was made aware of Salt’s desperate need (by his sensible and considered mom). She recently found herself adopting a dog, which of course Salt is besotted with…..manipulation besotted though. Like, genuinely, this is not that type of dog that you want to cuddle and love. But Salt….well Salt apparently does. He has now asked if I could ask her if he can take the dog for a walk here and there. She, of course was only too happy.

So, first walk happened. Post walk, I had to endure an endless discussion about how cute, adorable etc, etc this dog was. Wake up the next morning to a message from Salt to ask if I could message my neighbor….at 06h00…to ask if he could take the dog for another walk. Obviously I DID NOT, but by the time I had got to work at 07h30, he had messaged me again.

This is the thing with Salt….you know exactly what he is doing…yet he invariably still manages to achieve the end result. Once you cave, you spend the rest of forever being angry at yourself and angrier at him, for allowing him to manipulate you. He then spends the rest of forever asking you what is wrong, (my scowling and frowning are the alarm bells). He then asks one too many times, and when you tell him why you are less than pleased, he is shocked and confused at your mood, as you agreed to whatever you are now upset about! He is not wrong…. I LET HIM DO THAT, I am not blindsided. Nope….I am aware of every deceitful and manipulative step he takes and I still fall for his tactics…that is on me and me alone.

So this all then begs the question as to whether or not I will be caving in this instance. If I do, I know that it will be the best and worst mistake I could make…..oh drat…did I forget to mention we all suffer from allergies??

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