When I tell people I’m a dog trainer, one of the first questions they ask me is if I have a dog. I don’t.
It’s certainly not that I don’t want one, because believe me – I do. In fact, I’d probably want two or three! Most of the time I miss having a dog around to play with, snuggle with, go for long therapeutic walks with, have that intuitive beautiful bond with – all of those wonderful things. But sometimes I relish my freedom too. No diarrhea in the middle of the night to clean up, no terminal illnesses, no sad realizations that you will outlive your beautiful friend, no chewed up hats or shoes.
A lot of my interactions with other people’s dogs are enough, while at other times I feel wistful and eagerly anticipate that perfectly inconvenient time when that less-than-perfect-but-I-can’t-live-without-her-or-him moment comes when they find me.
These days, I’m typically gone for about 11 to 13 hours a day. That would be so unfair to a dog. I’ve also been doing in-home pet sitting for the last couple of years so it would be almost impossible unless I could bring them along. Luckily, many of my clients have said to bring my dog along. If I only had one.
I’m hoping this year will be the year I can have that certain four-legged, preferably fluffy, and just a little too big, someone in my life again. It will almost never be convenient or “the right time” but hopefully I will be in a place where I have more than enough time to spare. Because that is one of the best gifts we can give back to these creatures who are always there for us.