I know, right? Terrible way to start a post. Too much information, but at the same time, not enough. You have to see where I’m going with this to get past the title.
So I have children. Three of them. And at one point or another in the 17 years that I have been a parent, all three of them have asked for some sort of pet. And we have had pets. I have had dogs that required behavioral therapy and re-homing due to separation anxiety. We’ve had a hermit crab who died within seconds of leaving his home at the Jersey shore. We have sat and cried as a tank full of fresh water fish died before our eyes due to a water change being done with a cleaning bucket. And we have watched in horror as our lobster, affectionately named Papa Smurf for his wise and benevolent appearance (and the fact that he was blue), ate the other innocent fish that swam too close to him for his contentment.
Every time the subject comes up about adding a pet to our home, the sensible part of me says absolutely no way. I already have too many things in this house that need time and attention. There are enough things that need to be fed and bathed. And as of this year, I feel I have paid my potty training dues and have successfully retired from the business.
To make my children happy in their cruel and pet-less home, a kind and wonderful grandparent decided to buy them a pretend pet. This dog will not cause Granuaile’s eczema to act up, does not need to be fed, and never needs to go out at 3 AM when it’s 9 degrees outside. It has none of the charm and charisma of a real pet.
So why are my kids so damned excited when this thing has to pee? They give it water, and minutes later, it pees on the pee pad they put down. When we had a real dog that really peed, I don’t recall this level of excitement. I do not recall the jumping up and down and screaming, “He’s peeing! He’s peeing!” when a real animal was ruining my carpet. There was fleeing from the room, all of them acting like no one had seen the offending creature, and there was the creature, staring at me with a look that would always say, “What? I’m sure it wasn’t me. You need to teach those furless two legged dogs you’ve got better bladder control.”
It’s lovely they are so excited over a toy. It’s lovely that they are cleaning up after the offending toy. But even the sad puppy dog eyes these kids give me won’t convince me that the real thing is in their future – unless a crystal ball shows the same kind of enthusiasm for the real thing when it comes to peeing, too.