Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's a doggie dog world...

Ah Labor Day Weekend. What better way to spend 4 days off work than with family right? And with family comes, yep, you guessed it, family pets. Ah, the sweet smell of vacation...and pets.

I must explain here that our parents both have pets and always have. It's something Rick and I feel pretty strongly against as we've always either been allergic or just didn't want to put that much effort into a pet. Before I grew old and cynical, I was a huge animal lover. Oh the hours I whined to my father that I just must have a cat. He'd always say his allergies couldn't handle a cat -- which he has since proven as he tends to have great sneezing fits shortly after hanging out with the furry fuzzballs -- but I kept trying. We had a dog and he was as close as you can get to the devil reincarnated. We didn't know how to train him and weren't the best pet owners in the world either. So, after a few bad experiences as a kid, and all the tears that came with a pet passing, I've sworn off ever having one. I realized how much pets can eat, destroy, poop, pee, get old, be mean, jump on me etc, and I've decided that I like them more from a distance. Ada's just going to have to deal with that. Partly because I'm over the whole having a pet thing and especially since I read an article about how a dog can easily cost a family fifteen thousand dollars during it's lifetime in food and medical bills and the like. And the fact that the US spends more on its pets than it does on education really gets me. And then there is the whole issue of allergies...but I digress.

I will say, I occasionally do enjoy pet sitting as I get to love and enjoy the pet typically, and give them back, and not have to pay for them. I also really enjoy dogs that are well trained. I absolutely abhor a dog that jumps on me. I don't want to be injured, scratched, or mauled by someone's so-called "pet". Why does it have to become my problem that they can't control their animals? I still haven't figured that one out. And I don't want them to eat my stuff, or lick my face. I'm not happy about crotch sniffing either but I understand that's like a high five in the dog world so I can deal with it when I have to.

Now fish, that's another story. I can handle a fish. You go a few days without feeding them, that's okay. They die, you can replace them as needed. They don't typically bite, jump on you and you don't have to clean up after them too often. You can talk to them and they don't talk back, yada yada yada.

Focus Focus Focus. Okay. So. It turns out that Ada really loved playing with Rick's parents four cats. She spent about an hour watching the cats check her out as she sat on the living room floor and had a good time catching their tails and trying to eat them as the afternoon went by. Some of the cats found her to be entertaining while others didn't really care for her at all. But for the most part, her cat encounter was a success. I'm not sure if her rubbing her eyes this weekend was due to over excitement and sleep deprivation or allergies, but I'm chalking it up to the former in hopes that she doesn't develop the latter.

Then we were off to my parents' house where they have two dogs. Long haired, furry Golden Retrievers. One old, one young. Both furry. And my mom will admit that she isn't the best housekeeper so there is quite a bit of fur for Ada to get into. Upon our arrival, Ada quickly made friend's with my brother's dog, the youngster, and tried to eat her tail. Then the dog sat on Ada's little lap and that got a laugh. And the rest of our stay I was busy pulling fur from Ada's mouth, off her sippy cup, out of her food bowl, and wiping it from her burp clothes and onsies. One would say it is an interesting source of fiber or protein or whatever but I tend disagree.

Moral of the story: Pets are a lot of things to a lot of people. To me, the are more furry and frustrating than fun and fabulous. But if the baby likes them, she can visit them all she wants - as long as we can always give them back, or at least trade them in for a fish.

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