Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I tell Devin everything. That's good in a strong marriage, right?  It occurs to me however, in hindsight, that perhaps he doesn't need to know every single little thing that I hear/read/see/think about.

When I was growing up we always had pets.  Cats, dogs, fish, rabbits, ferret, and usually quite a few at a time. I was also sickly as a child.  Like, all the time sick.  I don't know when it first dawned on me and my family that I was allergic to cats and dogs, but at some point we saw the light.  We kept the pets.  I love cats and dogs, and wouldn't have wanted to get rid of them just because I had a sniffly nose and bad cough.  I had always had those things, I didn't really know what life was like without them, so I didn't see what the big deal was.

Then I moved away to go to college, and lived cat and dog free for four years.  And while I still got sick a normal amount, for the most part I could breathe.  I had no idea how effortless breathing was for most people! It slowly began to sink in that maybe a life without cats and dogs would be the better option for me, but I still clung to some hope of having a non-allergenic pet of some sort.

Devin grew up without pets.  Not a cat, dog, or reptile in sight.  Oh wait, I take that back. They had some hamsters when he was little, but I don't think from the stories he tells that he was altogether fond of them.  As a runner he has developed quite a strong distaste for dogs, and I don't know exactly what his beef is with cats but they definitely rub him the wrong way.

Hallie has gotten it into her mind that someday she will be the proud owner of a dog named Ruffy.  For weeks she was confident that any day her daddy would come home with Ruffy in his arms and hand the fluffy little puppy to her, for her to love and care for all of her days. No matter how much Devin insisted this would never happen, every day she told me it would. Then she learned (somehow) about animal shelters.  Now every day I hear her asking me when we are going to the animal shelter to get her Ruffy.  Hallie is so convincing in all her details about this dog and what he looks like that one of her friends asked me a few weeks ago if she could come over and play with Ruffy.  Whenever Hallie sees a dog like the one above (a lab) she tells me that is what Ruffy looks like. Every single time.

Sometimes Hallie gets so downhearted that she doesn't have her dog yet that it breaks my heart. She never whines, or complains, or throws tantrums.  She just keeps asking me "when" - with the utmost faith of a child that it is not a question of "if" she will ever get this dog, but "when".  It would be easier to say no if she'd holler and be a brat about it.

My sister has two cats.  They are really cute cats, and Hallie and Hanna love them to pieces when we go visit. (I get a little sick, but I love the kitties too.)  My sister wrote this post earlier this week and I told Devin all the gory details.  He said, "We are definitely never getting a cat."  Oops.  What compelled me to tell him that story?

At least it was about cats, and not dogs.  While I would probably prefer to have a cat as a pet than a dog (they seem like less maintenance, what say you?) the dog was what Hallie really wants most, and what I could most likely talk Devin into (it will stay in the backyard all the time, promise!)

So please, don't tell me any dog horror stories because I might not be able to stop myself from telling them to Devin. 


  1. oh dear. this is a heartbreaking little story about Hallie. I hope Minnie never gets that way. She's already totally interested in dogs and Jeff and I both hate them. :(

  2. You should totally work the "it won't be inside" angle, and then the "I'm pregnant" angle. Point out that he is getting his Heather. So you should get a dog.

    And who could say no to Hallie?

  3. There has got to be a dog that has low-allergic properties. What about a dog that doesn't shed? Do those still bother you? I know it isn't what Hallie pictures of Ruffy...
    PS - that is the cutest thing in the whole world! She deserves Ruffy. Her cuteness trumps Devin's opinion :)

  4. We have a kitty. She is WAY low maintenance... and especially since she is litter trained (she came that way) all we have to do is give her food and clean the box ever once in a while... L loves her!

    I had a beagle growing up... I love him! He lives with my mom... we consider him to be a family member... he is forever showing human emotions... jealousy, love, protection and best of all he was and still is there whenever I'm crying or having a bad day... a part of my heart belongs to that dog :)... they're wonderful!

  5. Ha. Don't share this story with Devin either! (Jeff totally wishes we had never gotten the cats, but it was an impulse decision. I hadn't been planing on it, so I didn't consult with him. In my defense, up until we experienced living with his parents' pets, he really wanted to have some himself.)

    So, here's the story. Yesterday I was in the kitchen making lunch with one of my friends. Jill came running upstairs and said the cat had pooped. I asked if she meant the cat pooped in its potty. She said that no it was by the curtain. Fabulous. My friend and I rushed downstairs and asked Jill where. Of course she pointed right next to where my friend's little boy was playing. I moved the curtain and found a pile of vomit. Thank goodness it wasn't poop, but it was still kind of embarrassing and gross to have Jill's playdate sitting next to cat vomit. Who knows how old it was since it was hiding behind the curtain. I only move that curtain to look for toys every now and then. Sigh.

  6. Oh, and I have heard a lot about Ruffy. Hallie is very convincing, sweet girl.

  7. I do have to say though that I would much rather find a dead mouse on my porch than see one flee into a closet as I walk through my dark house to comfort my baby who woke up in the night. So there's an argument for cats! :)

  8. I'm with Devin on this one. Owning a pet (especially a dog) is like living in perpetual toddlerhood. At least a human toddler eventually learns to clean up their own poop and bathe themselves and brush their teeth. But owning a dog is like having to do all the worst of having a baby/toddler for the rest of forever. *shudder*

    I've never been a huge pet person, but I didn't realize why until staying in someone's home in Scotland. As I watched her petting her terriers and then sticking her fingers in her mouth (I guess she had a hair or something in there) I realized my problem with animals - they're DIRTY. Somehow I can't get past that. I can feel the germs on my hands after touching a pet and feel like I can't touch anything else until I thoroughly wash my hands. Even a cat rubbing against my pant leg makes me feel dirty.

    Ryan's family cat died a couple weeks ago. In his nostalgia he said we should get a cat. I asked him if he wanted to return his drumset. Because we made a deal when we were first married: he could get whatever drum set he wanted so long as we never got a cat (he's not too fond of dogs either). He didn't want to get rid of the drum set. Devin should have made some such agreement with you. :)

  9. I am tired of pets. That said I sure am accustomed to them. I find it hard to comprehend that some day Bubble won't come up and snuggle with me anymore; and there are many days when I head out into the backyard I wonder why there isn't a dog racing around my ankles to get to the door first nearly knocking me down. It can be lonely in a yard without a dog. I am also very tired of having my eyes itch, but that goes away once I get outside. I have always told Vickie that our next pet would be another ferret, but that was when we still had a dog. I think the next pet should be a dog, but whether in this life or the next is still open for debate. Have Hallie join a riding club maybe a pony would distract her from Ruffy.
    What I learned from pets as a child: Cat's taught me to be clean; Dog's taught me about love.

  10. Buy her a convincing stuffed animal. I think you sacrifice enough already.