TG and I are in the midst of discussions about whether or not to get a dog. When my sister and I were growing up, we had two cats, a gerbil, a rat, a guinea pig, and a rabbit. Not all at once. Come to think of it, there were never more than two animals in our house at the same time. Now we have two cats. And I have had sole custody for that past 3 years. Stefanie has her own dog now. Todd had two dogs (at two different times) when he was younger. I have never had a dog. (Did you get all that?)
Number one reason why I have always said I could not get a dog: I am not responsible enough. I am not responsible enough to take care of an animal that needs more from me than to put out food and water, clean its litter box or cage, and give it excessive snuggling (a la Elmyra from Tiny Toons). To be honest, it scares the bajeezies out of me.
But I'm not on my own anymore. We're a team. And getting a dog is important to Todd, which makes it important to me. I always thought that when we found the right dog, we would just know. It would be the right time, and everything would just fall into place. Well, two weeks ago we found a dog that I fell in love with. We had seen her on their site previously and when I saw that she was still up for adoption, I immediately thought "It's a sign!" She was a beautiful, small, chocolate and carmel shepherd mix. So we went to meet her at an adoption event. She was the perfect size and very playful. She was gorgeous and smiled all the time. But the rescue group, although they liked us very much, decided to place her in a home without cats. It's understandable, but still it broke my heart. I really thought she was "the one".
The rescue group kept us in mind though, and only days later sent Todd an email about another dog they have in a foster home. He is a little bigger, maybe 50 pounds or so, and could still fill out a little bit more. He's a total mutt... shepherd, rottweiler, hound, pitt bull. Who knows. We met him last weekend. He's very cute and brown with soft ears. His temperment is near perfect. He is mellow and smart and quiet. He ignored the cat that was also in the store. But he just didn't smile at me the same way. He's shy. And that's okay, too. All of the volunteers kept saying what a perfect "first dog" he would be.
So now the panic has set in. This is a life changing decision. Having a dog is not like having cats. It's like having a child. Are we financially able to support a third animal? Do our schedules allow for us to give him the amount of attention and care that he will need? I just don't know if I'm ready.
If you have a dog, how did you know it was the right time to get one? How did it change your daily life? Be honest, I'm not looking for blind encouragement. I need the cold, hard facts folks.