Doggone it — de­sire to have a pet pooch thwarted by big city condo liv­ing

Cape Breton Post - - WEEKEND -

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? 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.

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