One of my daughters who still lives at home, has decided that she NEEDS a pet to make her life complete. She cites loneliness, and heartbreak, following the demise of her Beta Fish, as the driving force. She has asked to many pets over the years. She has requested a hedgehog, an armadillo, and a pig. She got none of them. She has tried to get me to say yes to a donkey,a tortoise, and a goat.
She gets this from her mother. Many years ago, my wife called me and asked if I thought we should get a dog. I have always ones dogs, and I knew that I, not my wife or kids, would be doing all of the work. I’m told hermit didn’t think it was a good idea. She begged and pleaded. I dug in, and told her I didn’t think so. She cried. I said nothing. Her crying turned into hysterical sobbing. I said yes. And, as I told her that fateful day on the phone, I had to train the dog, walk the dog, feed the dog, and take the dog to the vet. She told me she was sorry, and blamed menopause for her crying.
A few years later, she told me that the dog seemed lonely, and she thought we should get another dog for him to play with. “Perhaps the dog wouldn’t be so lonely if the kids spent time walking him.”, I suggested. She started crying again, explaining that she really wanted a puppy. It occurred to me that the reason we had so many kids, was simply that she liked babies. Once they great up a bit, she wanted another one. And now, she was after another dog. I knew it really didn’t matter what I thought, said or wanted. She brought the new puppy home 2 days later, and again I was the walker, feeder, and trainer.
She has not supported my decision to get ban pets. She keeps watching animal videos on the internet. She regularly oohs and ahs over videos of puppies, pandas, and most recently an owl. She insists that I watch the video clips and asks “Isn’t he cute?”. I don’t respond. “Well”, she says, “Isn’t he?”.
“No pets.”, I tell her. “No animals.”
“I just think it would make her happy, if we got her a small pet”, she says.
“How small?”, I ask.
” I don’t know”, she answers, ” something like a guinea pig. They’re small”.
” It’s not happening.”, I say quite sternly, ” I am no going to clean that damn rodent’s cage.”
” I’ll clean the cage.”, She replies. We both laugh. We both know she will never, ever clean the cage.
“Perhaps we should just get her a field mouse. A free range field mouse. It will live outside, and much like her, will come around whenever he feels like it. If we leave food all over the place, it may come more regularly. Maybe bring a friend or 2.” My oratory complete, I sat there like a peacock. If only I had a sceptre. My wife agreed. No pets. No animals.
“You have to watch this”, she told me, “they’re adorable. Look how cute they are when they’re paying. Ahhh. Ooohh”
“Ah, hell”, I thought. “We’re getting an owl!”.