Doggone it — desire to have a pet pooch thwarted by big city condo living
Today is Love Your Pet Day. As if you need a special day to show your pet you love them, right?
If you’re like most pet owners, that little ball of fur (or collection of scales or feathers) is like one of your kids. In fact, many people are now referring to dogs and cats as their “ furbabies.” Ways to show you love your pet on this day? Ehow.com recommends taking the dog for a long walk in the park. Get out some toys and play with your cat. Make your pet look purr-ty by taking them to get groomed (or do it yourself !) Adopt a pet from your local shelter if you are ready for the responsibility, or make donations. Or give your pet their favourite treats. Everyone deserves a little pampering sometimes.
If anybody needs a dog, I do. Our condo building has a lot of dogs, and every time I see one getting into the elevator I RUN for it so I can position myself next to said dog and steal a few pets on the way to my floor. I’m sure I’m every pet owner’s worst nightmare; they just want to take Boomer out for his morning pee on a cold morning and not have to deal with the annoying stranger and her annoying baby-talk. (Is Mommy taking you out for your pee? Are you going outside in your nice little sweater? You’re just the sweetest puppy in the world, yes you are! Oh, you’re so SWEET!) I can be in the worst possibly mood, but as soon as I see a sweet dog wagging its tail at me, all grumpiness is forgotten.
I annoy Bernard as well. We’ll be walking along the street chatting and all of a sudden he’ll turn to face me and I won’t be there… because I’m 20 feet back petting a friendly golden retriever chained to a bike rack outside Starbucks. I just stop what I’m doing and go for the dog like a heat-seeking missile. I guess that makes me a dogseeking missile.
It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my pet obsession. In a recent worldwide poll, one in five people said they would rather spend Valentine’s Day with a pet than a partner. If I had the option, I would spend it with my pet AND my partner.
Clearly I need a dog. But what I really need is a house and a yard for the dog to run around in. I prefer bigger dogs and would hate to feel like I’m fencing in an animal in our little place. Lots of people do it and their dogs seem perfectly happy (when I see them in the elevator.) Maybe they’re bitter and huff a lot when they’re back in their apartment, refusing hugs and belly rubs.
I grew up with a Springer Spaniel named Rusty, an alpha dog who owned the neighbourhood. We had a big yard but he didn’t limit his travels to the immediate area. He would love to run to Park Street School around recess time to play. The greatly-feared dogcatcher would haul him back home (everyone knew Rusty) and he would be put on The Chain in the backyard to sulk. What a character. Times have changed so much. In Toronto, there are only a few parks where you can let a dog off a chain to run and play.
And until the day when we have that big yard, or even a small one, I’ll continue to harass pooches in the elevator.