Wednesday, January 25, 2006

TOUCH MY DOG AND DIE, BIZZITCH- and that goes for the kid, too

Here is a reason why maybe, just maybe, I shouldn’t be a mother.

Last night I was reading the February issue of Washingtonian magazine, which has a large spread on all things pets— best veterinarians, dog walkers, and kennels in the area, great places to go with your dog, etc. And there is a friendly-looking blue circle on the cover that draws your attention to the question: “How much is too much to spend on your pet?”

I really thought this part of the spread was going to be about the costs associated with fancy grooming, toys, premium pet food, and the like. Because let’s face it—I live in a very wealthy area, and there are plenty of rich pet owners who can afford to buy gourmet dog treats and send their pups to an honest-to-God pet resort, where the “suites” have skylights, top-of-the-line beds, and automatic drinking-water fountains, and where “play sessions” and “daily housekeeping” are included. Which, goddammit, if I could afford to send my dog there I would get myself some housekeeping.

(But also? I would totally send my dog there every day if I could afford it. I feel guilty about leaving him home alone for 8 hours every day.)

So I was surprised when I got to that page and discovered that the article wasn’t discussing the fluffy, extravagant side of companion animal spending. Rather, it posed the question: How much would you spend to save your pet’s life if he or she were seriously injured or sick? How much is too much?

And wham! I was back at the emergency vet hospital, holding my Goldie as they placed a needle in her leg to euthanize her.

And oh my God, you would think that this had just happened, because suddenly I was weeping. But it didn’t just happen. That was almost five years ago.

Alex heard me and ran in to see what was wrong. I put my nose to his and told him that he wasn’t allowed to get sick or die, ever. I just simply won’t allow it. And Alex stared at me like, Jeezus-- I’m only three. Not planning to bite the dust anytime soon, mmmkay?

But I started to wonder. Already I feel like I could easily maim or kill anyone who hurt my dog. If I am this emotional over my pets, how could I ever survive being the parent of a child? How could I resist the urge to put my kid in a full suit of armor and lock him in his room forever? How could I ignore the impulse to wrap my fingers around the neck of any playground bully and slowly squeeze the life out of him?

I’ve heard that parenting is not for the faint-of-heart. What about us weepy, homicidal types?


Blogger Bearette24 said...

The homicidal types are probably good. You want a mother who will do battle for you ;)

INFJs are supposed to be good parents, by the way.

11:00 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I'm sure you will be a great parent. There is no better training than a dog. And it sounds like you already have that completely under control. Anyone that would kill to protect their doggie child, will most likely be one of the best parents to a child.

It also gets easier to roll with the flow/chill with each child you have. There's this saying: when your first baby drops it's pacifier on the floor...the parent sterilizes it in boiling water. With the second child.....they wipe it off on their pants. With the third.....they let the dog lick it clean.


12:32 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Bearette, it's good to know that INFJs are good for more than just worrying about the world's problems. ;)

Roxanne- LOL! Thanks.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...


I was the fourth child...I wonder what happened to my pacifier???

I think my dad actually put it on the Christmas tree. He said it spoiled a child's face. It's still in with the Christmas ornaments.

Liz - coincidentally I read that Jesus was an INFJ!!! Although of course he couldn't have taken the test.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Bearette, maybe He did! I've heard He moves in mysterious ways.

And I think the fourth child has to resort to sucking on a pair or pants or the dog. No pacifiers.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

When I was a baby the family dog (at the time) tried to sit on me :( Mom said he was jealous. I think they gave him away. His name was Moosie.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Liz, I'm absolutely with you! I can't watch a movie or read a book in which a dog gets hurt without absolutely bawling. It took me forever to read the end of Marley and Me because I kept stopping to cry. I worry about Rowen ALL THE TIME and I've already told her several times that she has to live forever because I don't know what I'd do without her.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Who ever came up with the dumb idea that our pets should live only a fraction as long as we do?

12:31 PM  
Blogger Frema said...

Look at it this way: saying good-bye to Goldie was extremely hard for you, but it didn't prevent you from getting Alex. You acknowledge that the benefits of having a dog in your life far outweigh any possible pain one's absence might cause you.

I'm not trying to talk you into wanting kids; it's just food for thought.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you pregnant yet?

2:07 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Mom? Is that you?

2:52 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Frema, you are far too sane for this blog. :-)

Will you please fly out here and follow me everywhere and be my voice of reason?

2:53 PM  
Blogger Frema said...

I am considering a career change.... :)

3:19 PM  

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