At the ripening age of 48, there are many things I still haven’t done. There’s lots that I have done, too, some of which I’ll tell you about sometime, and many of which I won’t!
The one thing that’s been my mind lately is becoming a dog owner. I heard an item on the CBC yesterday that indicated that public perception of middle-aged single women who live alone with cats is “crazy cat lady”, but that a woman with a dog is considered to be quite balanced and normal (and y’all KNOW how I hanker for normality}. I’ve never had a dog, at least one of my brothers is allergic to them, and possibly both, if I recall. So, we’ve always been cat people. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kitties. They’re the greatest.
There is, however, something aloof about a cat. They don’t greet you at the door, and I get the sneaking feeling that they really just don’t need me all that much. They don’t do tricks, they certainly don’t obey, and talking them for walks is a fool’s errand.
My younger son will be moving away in the fall, to go to school. For the first time in my life, I will be living alone. I brought up the idea of a dog with said son, whose response was “if you’re going to replace me with a dog, at least have the courtesy to name it after me”. Frankly, I think that’s more than just a little weird, but I’ll take it under consideration.
How can I name a dog when I haven’t even met her? It would be silly to name a large, aggressive dog “Poopsie”, and just as silly to name a chihuahua “Fang”; funny in an ironic way, but still silly.
I’m taking this dog thing very seriously. I’ve done several online tests to see what kind of dog might fit my lifestyle, and I’ve come up with two major contenders: the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and the Miniature Schnauzer. I’m leaning very much towards the spaniel, because I think that schnauzers all look a bit like Robertson Davies, and it unnerves me.
From word-of-mouth, I’ve heard that the King Charles are excellent little dogs. Not too big. They’re not yappy, like Chihuahuas or Pomeranians (possibly my least favourite dog on the planet). They don’t need a ton of grooming or hours of exercise. They’re smart enough to train, but not so smart that they get bored and destructive while you’re at work all day. At one point I wanted a Standard Poodle, because they’re so gorgeous and dignified, but I think that they probably are too smart for me. The King Charles were never bred to be working dogs, so they don’t feel like they should be out herding sheep or dragging dead birds out of the water. Hounds, Shepherds and Retrievers are right out of the picture. The King Charles was bred to be a companion, and that’s what I’m after.
They sound like lovely little dogs, and they’re super cute.
My must-have, deal-breaker quality I need in a dog is simple:
Dog must be female.
Everyone has a “thing”. My “thing” is that I can’t stand looking at a dog’s junk. I just don’t want to see that, thank you Mister Dog. So, either I would need a long-haired dog (impractical, too much grooming involved) or – a chick dog.
Yesterday at work, I had a revelation. An epiphany – if I had a dog, I could knit dog sweaters for it! How fun is THAT? Well, plenty of fun if you happen to be me. Just go on Ravelry.com and search “dog sweaters”. There are a zillion patterns. I happen to think that wiener dogs look particular adorable in sweaters, but I don’t really like them as I had a bad experience with one as a child. No disrespect intended to those of you who have good-natured, laidback wiener dogs, but they’re just not for me.
A dog would NEED me. Dogs offer unconditional love. Dogs get you out of the house and actively walking. I live on the perimeter of an enormous park with fantastic trails. I think a dog would love it here.
Names? I’m sort of liking Imelda at the moment, or Maya. Or maybe Kiki Dee.
I need to meet this dog.