Monday, December 31, 2012

Fur Before Mortgages?

My brother's dog and I have loads in common, well beyond the brown eyes, headstrong natures, outrageously good senses of hearing, and shrewd hunches about people and the faraway noises we're able to detect so distinctly. We live for long walks in the snow, being driven around in cars, eating whatever is there for the chewing, and stretching out on my dad's living room couch. However, when it comes to nervous energy, he takes the cake. I'm the rock.

We've had a week from heaven together and when I go back to New York, he'll be my hardest goodbye. When I went away to college, the biggest homesickness-related adjustment was this business of living without animals. With the family and friends I missed, there were phone calls, emails, cards, and letters; with the animals, all channels of meaningful communication were sharply cut off.

Someone once told me that she won't officially feel like an adult until she owns a house. I (an apartment renter) have felt like an adult for many moons, but has that feeling been official? Unofficial adulthood is intense; an official version sounds like it could reap more returns. I won't officially feel like an adult until I'm finally ready to adopt a dog or cat of my own. I was born for the role of mollycoddling primary pet caretaker.

I'll take the house(s) too - the Catskills house, the Bermuda house. Those could be fun investments. But first comes the four-legged fur. 


  1. I doubt I'll ever feel like an adult - house or no house. And the thought of taking care of anyone exhausts me - I can barely take care of myself. Well, stands to reason why I don't own a house, or have a dog of my own :)

  2. I'm visiting from SITS where you visited my site today. I have had dogs for 18 years but they both died in the last four months. I still have trouble thinking I need to get home to walk them. It's too soon to start again, but I know I will someday. Thanks for stopping by. I loved your post. It touched my empty pet heart.

  3. When I was very little, my dream "pet" was a pony. I tried everything to persuade my mother that a pony would be the perfect addition to our family. "But where would we keep a pony?" she asked, not unreasonably. "Under my bed," I would reply. Well, the pony never materialized, but presumably as a substitute, my brother and I were each allowed to have a rabbit. They were kept in the back yard. I named my beautiful gray rabbit "Blue Boy." My brother named his "Cabsose," which, he declared, meant "Long Ears" in Spanish :) We loved Blue Boy and Cabsose, but they started nipping us with their teeth, which frightened our parents. The next thing you know, our father was talking about how happy the rabbits would be in the woods. There they would have lots of bunny friends, and they would find mates and "get married" and have babies. We went to a very nice woods and released the rabbits. To this day, I have a vivid memory of my rabbit hopping off into the woods to find friends. I did not cry, as my father had done a very good job of convincing my brother and me of the merits of this plan, and, truth to tell, I myself had started to become afraid of those sharp little teeth. I'm sure Blue Boy has long since ascended to bunny heaven, but I like to think he has thousands of great-great-great-great-etc. grandchildren hopping about in the forest.

  4. I love this. We had animals before a mortgage too but for me it started with a bunny then dog then cats. But it actually REALLY started with volunteering. Maybe you already do, but if not you should try volunteering for a shelter or rescue group in your area. I think you'll love it! It got me by until I could get my own furbabies and now I actually work for a rescue, but you don't have to go that far. Let me know if you try it out!

  5. Aw. Made me tear up. We got our little pup before even getting engaged. Now he feels left out since the baby is here... but I still love him so much. Hope you can get your own furbaby really soon.