Mom, I don’t want to get a tiger

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As I was putting David (age 5) to bed last night, we had this exchange:

David: “Mom, I want to tell you something.” (I cannot tell you how many of my conversations with David start this way.)

Me: “Yes?”

David: “I don’t want to get a tiger.  Tigers are not nice.”

Me: “I think that’s wise.  Okay. We won’t get a tiger.”

David: “Mom? Can we get a dog?”

And there it starts.  David is in love with my brother’s dog, Millie.  (“Mom, I love Uncle Fred and Aunt Leta.  But I love Millie best of all.”) And now he wants one of his own.

This tugs on my heartstrings way more than the years of Emma asking for a dog ever did.  (Actually, she’s still asking.) There’s something about the iconic image of a boy with his dog that gets me.  All you have to do is look at children’s merchandise to know that it’s the way things are supposed to be with boys.  (Boys are to dogs as girls are to kittens.)

And yet, I am certain that we are not getting a dog any time soon.  First of all, after Tim finishes school, he will (presumably, ahem) be getting a day job, and no one will be home to let the dog out.  (From what I understand, dogs don’t like to go for ten hours without peeing anymore than humans do.)  Second of all, we have a blind 13-year-old cat who would go right over the edge if we introduced any new life form into our house at this point, let alone a dog.

But the biggest issue is that I don’t really like the activities associated with having a dog, particularly the walking and cleaning up poop parts. The fact is, I don’t want to go for four walks a day. Especially when it’s cold or rainy. (Actually, if it’s anything but 70 degrees and sunny.) I know, I know, walking clears your head, makes you see small things in life that you wouldn’t otherwise see.  Blah blah blah blah blah blah. I’d much rather read, practice the piano, blog, watch TV, or stand on my head and spit nickels than go for four walks a day. And the thing about the poop part is that I’ve spent a lot of the last five years cleaning up poop and I’m nearing the end, and I kind of need a break from it.

But those images of David with a dog stick with me, as does the image of a snuggly dog curling up with her head on my lap.  Talk to me after the cat dies.

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