This is not a story from the past but a story that is coming in the near future. There is an ongoing debate in my household about having a dog. I am against it. Therefore, I have been labeled a dog hater by my wife. My children label me dream destroyer. Now I do happen to love dogs and try to keep dreams intact. But to hear them discuss the benefits of having a dog is like listening to someone tell you how to find salvation. I am told dogs will lower my blood pressure, make my children more responsible, provide love even when I do not deserve it, ward off evildoers from the house, make me exercise more, and nurture my soul as I take care of another creature in God’s world. It is like Jesus without the crucifixion part. Jesus walked on the water. Dogs can barely swim much less walk on water.
Now I know if the forces that be in this house really desired a dog without equivocation it would matter not if I held them hostage at gunpoint, we would have a dog. But somehow they claim I am unfairly holding them back from having a dog. This will be what they put on my tombstone ‘Here lies the cruel father who would not allow his family have a dog’. People will travel from miles away with their dogs to come to my gravesite and pee. Yes I have grammatically left it open for both the human and dog to pee on my grave.
Our house is too small I proclaim. They say we will get a small barky dog I hear them say. I do not want to be tied down by a dog always waiting at home I say. They say we will take care of it until we get tired of it I hear them say. They say ‘you will not even know it is here’. I hear them say ‘you will be regulated to your bedroom while the dog has a run of the rest of the house.’ I say our yard is unfenced and too small. I hear them say we will gladly cry consistently and persistently when the dog wanders off from the yard. So you will have to drive hours throughout the neighborhood searching for the dog’. They say I have a hearing problem; I say I have a knowing them all too well problem.
I by nature do not like the concept of pets or owning an animal. Animals to me have rights and one of those rights is not to be owned. My beloved argues that domesticated animals can no longer live in the wild. Maybe she is right. But one does realize that we keep domesticating more and more animals Domestication to me is the process where we make animals reliant on us for survival. But my children could care less about a philosophical dilemma I may be facing. What they hear is a heartless bastard who will not let them have a dog.
By now many of you are hating me. How can he hate dogs so much? But I want you to know of course when we finally get the dog I will love it. I will be annoyed when we have to rush home to walk and feed it but it will be me who plays with it the most. I will love the petting and personality of the dog. I will miss it when it dies. I love dogs.
A dog is in my future that is the story here. We will visit dog parks together. My family will be happy. Yet every once in a while they will look askance at me the former dog hater. It is just that I wish I really had a choice in the decision to have a dog. And once we have the dog, the narrative will be how much I thought I hated dogs. But look at him now rushing home to walk it in rain, sleet, or snow. Look at how he stays in his bedroom to give the dog more room. Look at how he rides up and down the streets when it is lost in an endless search for that dog he loves so much. This is the story I can wait to write.