Saturday, February 17, 2007


To have or not to have, with apologies to Shakespeare's Hamlet. Today, I was invited to purchase a golden tawny medium sized Chihuahua puppy. Haven't found any pictures on the Internet that looked quite as cute or even resembled the two puppies I saw today, one male, one female. Besides, I really prefer larger dogs. I must admit I do like a family member's Shih Tzu, much better than the Shar Pei they previously had, though he was really cute, wrinkles and all. The Shih Tzu is really smart and you can tell she even thinks, problem solves. I took a look at pictures of "Small Dog Breeds" here.

On the other hand, as long as I'm talking about pets, here's a link to pictures of different breeds of cats just in case I want to think about that possibility. The thing is, when I fall in love with a pet, there's just no limit to the care I want to provide.

I remember the challenges of providing care for a pet, needing to get home to feed the pet, or let it outside, if it was a house dog, housebreak it, clean up after the accidents. Or, if I had a cat, the cat box care, repetitive periodic urinary infections if it's a male and he's been neutered. We learned years ago from the vet, that was a common medical problem for neutered male cats which no one told us before the procedure on our cat.

For a few years we were spending more on medical care for our cat than our two children required, I think. Then if the cat's not neutered, that presents a whole different set of possible problems for territory marking, sometimes referred to as "spraying," and even more commonly described as p------ on the furniture. I won't even talk about clawing the furniture and I don't believe in de-clawing, either. Then there are the hairballs. There surely can be a lot of care involved.

I thought about the fact that if I want to be away from home for days or weeks at a time, finding a place for the pet to stay, or the cost of boarding and maybe traumatizing the poor creature just did not appeal to me. The thought of traveling with a pet is not an option for me and I told my children to leave their pets at home when they come to see me - a dog and three cats. I really don't understand the idea behind dragging a pet around which I can't imagine the pet enjoys very much, but a lot of people seem to do so today, some wearing their pets almost like jewelry, or stuffing them in their purse or a bag they carry with them everywhere they go.

Reminds me of the junior high school experience some sex education classes have as an assignment -- to carry an uncooked egg in a shell around without cracking or breaking it, to understand 24/7 responsibilities. I know what responsibility for another is and I decided I like the idea of being footloose and fancy free with responsibility for only myself right now.

Then, I was visiting on the Internet and what should I find, but pictures at "Joy of Six" which had me thinking I need a puppy and a kitten, 'cause there are some really cute photos of some there. Joy's poem that tells the story is just as cute. Maybe I should just settle on poems and pictures about pets.

I think I'll get out some of my childhood favorite books like "Lad A Dog," ; alas, the DVD is not available.

I also have Ouida's (pseudonym for Marie Louise de la Reme'e) a "Dog of Flanders." , and see it's available on DVD.

Always there's Jack London's "Call of the Wild" which can be downloaded here for listening. (Note: they have a catalog of other public domain free audio books here . Some may even be able to volunteer on this project.)

Then there's the illustrated book with Ray Bradbury's poem "With Cat For Comforter" I was able to have the author autograph a few years ago, so I could give it to a family member who appreciates cats and books. Maybe she would loan me the book.

If I desire a little more action, I could probably consider some movie DVDs as there seem to be quite a few old movies, though I suspect not all are available on DVD. Here's a listing of movies about dogs . Then, here are the "Top 5 Movies About Cats"

Maybe I should think about fish, or better yet maybe a turtle. Birds would probably require too much care though parrots reportedly can talk and could be fun. I'll bet there are pets out there I haven't even thought of yet. I use to think a raccoon, a de-flowered skunk, or a monkey (my brother had one in Indonesia and they really liked it) would be good pets. I don't think I want any snakes, spiders, mice or rats, but lizards might be a consideration.

Perhaps geckos are also a possibility as a pet. I was searching for a good photo of a gecko and found this special site with some spectacular photos not only of the gecko, but all of those other Big Island views are enough to make me think I should go there.

Well, if I'm going to travel to Hawaii's Big Island, then I think I'll resist a pet for now. But any suggestions would be welcome, just don't hold your breath until I get a pet, as I don't think that will be happening any time soon. I think I'll just visit family and friends who have pets and enjoy theirs.


  1. Joared, you really hit home with this one. Honestly, my feelings are just the same as yours. I love those little cuties, but the maintainence, etc has kept me from getting a dog or cat too. I've decided to settle for oogling over cute pictures and videos of them.

    My kids have thought it may be a good thing for me to get a pet since I'm alone in the house; but again, I feel the same way you do about caring for a pet and all that goes along with it.

    I have a piece I wrote a while back that I'll be posting soon about our family pets. Thanks so much for the nice mention, and for the other links...which I'm going to go check out. This was a terrific post....

  2. When she was little, my daughter always wanted a pet, so I bought her a goldfish and once she told me: "but Mum, you can't HUG a fish". And she had a point. When we moved, I promised we would get a cat. A dog being impossible in a Paris flat.
    And now I don't even want the cat! I love our Mounir dearly, but he is an impediment. Whenever you want to go somewhere, you have to do a lot of planning. Plus he has always refused to get vet-trained, and it's becoming difficult.
    Think twice before you do anything.

  3. My Max, a Boston Terrier, is far and away the best choice I've made in companionship in many years. Your point about taking him on trips is well taken (I'm sure I enjoy it more than he does), but I can't imagine being without him.

  4. I also have resisted the urge to get another dog to replace my late English Springer Spaniel, Mollie, but for all the reasons you set forth I will continue pet-less.

    I do have a "grand dog", Bella, a Hananese who is coming over for 10 days while her family goes on spring break vacation. That will be just about the right amount of pet loving for me.

  5. Joy: "... oogling over cute pictures and videos..." is definitely the way to go for me now. BTW I surely did like that poem you wrote with that pet blog piece and photos -- but then you write so many very special poems.

    Claude: Cute story about not being able to hug a fish. Guess hugging a gecko wouldn't exactly get the same response I'd get from a dog or cat either.

    AQ: Your Boston Terrier sounds like an ideal pet. I like the idea of a short haired dog or cat if I should ever weaken.

    Chancy: We really do become emotionally attached to our pets, and miss them when they're gone. I'm with you with a "grand dog" and those 3 "grand cats" I mentioned. Help me -- what is the "Hana" part of the Hananese? Assume Pekinese is the other part.

  6. I think having any pet, wether it's a dog or a cat ot a pig or a bird, etc. is going to be a trade off....There is work to almost ant pet that I have ever encountered, but the trade off is all the unconditional love amd companionshp you get with a pet....My cat Sweetie is a joy! I am so grateful to have him. He is as sweet as his name and a great great companion. And you can hug him, but good! (lol)

  7. As a dog-lover who no longer has a dog, I was interested in your pet posting. I never owned a dog until I was married and had my own family. My parents were not devotees of pet ownership.
    Our first dog was a mixed standard-poodle/collie which we acquired as a tiny, newborn. Within a year he had grown big enough to wrestle my infant son to the ground. So he was unhappily removed to a household with bigger children. Our next dog was a wired-haired dachshund, a breed which a job colleague bred and showed. Katie, her name, unfortunately had the wrong texture hair for dog show appearances. So my colleague gave her to us as pet. She proved to be a joy for the 15 years we had her. After she showed signs that her days were numbered, we "phased in" a new dog, an Afghan hound named Mufti. Katie hung around longer in our home than Mufti, because the Afghan proved to be a one-man dog my wife and 3 children could not handle. Then came a pair of West Highland terriers, glorious dogs we enjoyed owning for about 8 years. Unhappily, we were forced to give them away after logistics problems, resulting from the purchase of a winter home in Florida, made dog-owning an unpleasant chore for geriatrics like my wife and me. So now all I can do is admire my son's Australian shepherd, a breed I had not known before but which is one of the most magnificent dogs I've ever seen. Sorry, but I don't like cats.

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