I don't know when I first decided I wanted a dog. I used to be afraid of them. Then I stopped being afraid of them but considered them thoroughly inferior in comparison to beautiful, intelligent wolves. Then I started noticing dogs around me everywhere I went. And for well over a year now, I've actively wanted to have one of my own.
I know I'm not in a position to have a dog yet. My life's too chaotic. Both Richard & I work silly hours, and are home at erratic times. Right now we might randomly decide to go out for dinner any night of the week. We couldn't do that with a dependent creature who needed us to feed it and take it out. If we had a dog, I would have to take it out for a walk every day, regardless of what the weather or my health was doing. We'd need to be organised about holidays and staying with other people. And we simply don't have enough garden for a dog. But even when we moved here, I was saying that if we ever moved house, it would be to a place with a garden big enough for a dog. Other people move house because they want room for kids, we'd move house to make room for a dog.
When I mentioned this to my best friends last year, they responded extremely negatively. One of them said "Don't get a dog, I'm scared of dogs", the other said "I don't like dogs, I'm allergic to them; we won't come over any more if you get one". So I didn't talk to them about it for ages. But then I had a weekend where there were dogs everywhere, and they were so doggy, and I was telling them about this, and they said exactly the same things again. I said to Richard "It's not fair - would they say that if we wanted to have human children? 'Don't have a child, we're scared of children'?". Richard said "I would!". Hrm. They also pointed out that I will almost certainly be allergic to dogs, because I'm allergic to all known mammals, more or less. But that doesn't bother me, even with my allergies being as bad as they are - I need a dog. Sod the allergies, I'll just take more drugs, whatever.
Last week, I saw this horrible man dragging a young dog along the road by its lead. It was an Alsatian puppy - well, not really a puppy anymore, but not an adult dog either - and it was beautiful. And it just seemed so unfair that someone who was treating his dog like dirt had a dog and I didn't. I was really upset by it. Today I went to see a student who has a dog, and I got to have a big doggy cuddle, and he smelled of wet dog - and that smelled good. You know how people who want to have babies say that human babies smell nice, even though they always smell of nothing but baby vomit and poo, and are just vile reeky leaky creatures? Well, this dog smelled of dog, and it was lovely.
Clearly, my dog clock is ticking.
We need to get some other pet that needs less effort. A lizard or something, that you feed once or twice a week, and just have to keep warm & clean. Even that'll mean learning a lot and finding a vet who can cope with lizards. And I want to do some voluntary work with dogs - there must be some organisation who arranges people to take old people's dogs out for walks when they can't manage it? Or maybe I could go to Battersea Dogs Home or something? Maybe I could manage by looking after other people's dogs, though I suspect it'll be as ultimately frustrating as the childless-not-by-choice people looking after other people's babies :X