My father loved dogs, and my childhood home had at least two at any given time. They were such an integral part of my family, that I never supposed that having a family home without a dog was possible. And yet, I have never owned one in my adult life, and therefore neither have my children (much to their sorrow). It’s not because I don’t want one, but because looking after a dog is hard work, and – to be frank – I have enough hard work already. Add to that the cost consideration (cost of puppy, vet fees, food, holiday stays at kennels, grooming, toys etc…) as well as the fact that a pet makes it very difficult to just head out for the weekend, or for a four-week stay at the coast, and not owning a dog seems like a no-brainer.
Except, of course, that dogs are a wonderful addition to the family, and once they arrive any “hardships” that they cause is a price worth paying times ten. I do know this. But I have another consideration that I am finding difficult to shake: dogs steal your heart, and then they die. I’ve had my heart broken too many times by a pet passing away, and I am not sure I want to sign up for such guaranteed heartache.
To be fair, my kids have always had pets in their lives, because my mother continued my father’s tradition of always having a dog, and my kids are at her house very often. Her dog is their dog (minus all the negatives!). She has a Airdale Terrier, which, let me put it on record, must be the most mischievous and impossible breed of dog around! He is impossible, and keeps my mother on her toes at all times. He is also gorgeous and extremely smart…but boy is he hard work! (My mother wouldn’t swop him for anything in the world, though).
None of this is to say that I will not own another dog. My kids can be very persuasive! And if we do ever move to a place where daily long walks and weekend hikes are the norm (think Switzerland), then a dog is not out of the question. In the meantime though, I will enjoy my mom’s dogs the way she enjoys my children: lovely to share, but good to leave behind when it all gets a bit much 🙂
The writing prompts come from Writerswrite.co.za and they are my attempt at daily writing for 2017. Unless stated otherwise, the images are taken by me, also as a 365 day challenge.