Kids and dogs. Dogs and kids. Many of you would argue that the two go hand in hand. I would respectfully disagree.
I never grew up with pets. Okay, I take that back, we did have a pet hamster, whom we affectionately called "Rat." He was with us for quite sometime. My dad was especially fond of Rat. I have memories of my padre hanging out in the recliner with Rat just chilling on his chest watching basketball together. It made for a sweet picture. Truth be told, I think that my father actually loved that hamster more than my brother or I did. Don't tell him I said that. Oh, wait, he reads my blog? Dammit! Sorry dad-do, didn't mean to let your big secret out of the bag...
But I digress, except for Rat the hamster, who managed to escape his cage while we were on vacation one summer only to perish under the couch, we had no other pets while I was growing up in the parent's house. We were not "pet people." When I left for college and subsequently law school, I never lived with anyone who had pets. It was never in the cards for me, I suppose.
Cats make me miserable. Like puffy-eyed, itchy throat, hives, asthma-y miserable, so I tend to stay as far away from them as possible. If I do stay in a place that is also a home to cats, I live on allergy medicine, which is what happened when we stayed with my in laws for two weeks last summer. I take far more than the recommended daily dose, just to stay somewhat comfortable. My regimen includes a claritin in the morning, a zyrtec and two benadryl in the evening. In case you wondering, both claritin and zyrtec are supposed to be 24 hour drugs. Not for me, I just walk around in an over-the-counter drug induced haze and hope somebody remembers to feed the kids. My kids, on the other hand love cats and have not inherited my allergies to the dreadful creatures.
As I mentioned, we visited my in laws for two weeks last summer (Summer 2011) and one week the summer before (Summer 2010). Summer 2010 was the first visit that the turkeys were mobile. I got to follow them around everywhere we went, repeating the words, "No, do not touch that. Stop. No. Stop. No. Stop. No." It was fun. They spotted her cat the first night and the cat was never the same.
They became slightly obsessed with the feline and the feeling was definitely not mutual. Whenever the boys would get within 10 feet of the cat, which they insisted upon doing every 5 seconds, it would hiss. And this was not a soft, sweet hiss. Oh, no. This was a loud, "Get the EFF away from me" hiss. That cat was happy to see us go. Consequently for nearly a year after our visit in 2010, whenever anyone would ask the turkeys what a cat said, the response was not the typical "Meow." Instead, it was the cutest, loudest "hisssssssssss" you've ever heard.
Dogs do not have the same effect on me, as far as allergies are concerned, as cats. I actually do not mind dogs too terribly much. I have often toyed with the idea of getting a dog. After all, the turkeys love them. Not surprising. They get so flippin' excited every time we encounter a dog, that I seriously consider getting them their own pet. However, as soon as we are out of the dog's presence, I quickly get my wits back and realize that getting a dog would be a form of self-inflicted torture. And I certainly do not need that. I have twin toddler boys, thankyouverymuch.
Case in point: Who would feed the dog? Me. Who would take the dogs for walks? Me. Who would clean up the dog's poop? Me. Who would clean up the dog's hair? Me. Who would bathe the dog? Me.
Scratch that idea and fast. I can barely do all of those things with my kids. I definitely do not need the added pressure of an animal.
Besides, my kids have Sookie and Quagmire. These are the puppies they see on their wagon rides with Dandad at night. They love Sookie and Quagmire so much that they have named their toy dogs at home Sookie and Quagmire. You know, the toy dogs that you can pull around on a string and they squeak. I am required to pet, feed and play with these toy dogs on a daily basis.
That, my friends, I can handle. And that's about it.
Love and peace