Our daughters, those three who still live at home, want a dog, demand a dog, desire a dog in that order and we their parents are under pressure to oblige, though so far we have managed to resist. It began the day a couple of walkers chased a stray dog that had wandered away from his home around the corner into our backyard.
The girls then took care of this dog, a silky terrier whose name turns out to be Matty. They calmed his trembling form and took him inside, fed him cat food and generally nursed and petted him until we were able to take him down to the vet to attend to his wounds if any, and to locate his owners. I hoped he would have a microchip in his ear and that a simple x-ray would locate his identity. As it turned out the minute we walked into the vet’s, the receptionist told us that she believed she had already located Matty’s owner who had rung earlier that morning to report her missing dog and to inquire whether anyone had brought one in.
So we drove Matty home and talked to his heavily pregnant owner, Lucille who was so pleased to have her dog returned that she gave my daughter, the one who came with me to the vet, a large box of chocolates.
My daughters, at least the two youngest, were disappointed they could not keep Matty and even though Lucille had said they could borrow him at any time, even for a sleep over, the girls decided they must have their own terrier, or Jack Russell, or Beagle whatever. It had to be a small dog to match our small back yard. It had to be a non-yappy dog. And they will take care of it.
I write in the present tense, the story is not over yet. We neither have the dog nor have we finally totally and adamantly said ‘no’ to a dog. We, my husband and I, are waiting till the school holidays are over by which time interest might drop off.
If we had a dog I would probably soon love it. But I would also worry about it. It would add to my store of concerns. Our cats, I am sure, would not love a new dog, under any circumstances and much as my daughters would no doubt love the dog from the onset, I fear that their interest would last only as long as they were at home. The two older ones will leave home soon and the youngest will no doubt become preoccupied during her final two years at school. I shall be left to care for the dog, just as I cared for the multiple rabbits and guinea pigs and such like from the past.
Cats need little by way of care. They tend to fend for themselves but even they require regular attention, feeding, trips to the vet, protection from stray cats etc.
I do not want a dog, but keep posted. It may well be that in very little time, we will have one whether we, my husband and I, want it or not. Such is the power of persuasion, two power point presentations later and the persuasive force of at least two adolescent daughters with a little help from someone’s boyfriend, and lo and behold you have a siege of parents that is likely to end in adolescent victory.