Thursday, August 23, 2007

How Do You Know When You're Ready To Be A (fur) Parent?

When I was a child I had a dog named Floyd, some "Heinz 57" mix who was my good buddy. I was six -years-old, and Floyd was the unwanted puppy from a litter of six; it was definitely love at first sight. Sam, a beagle/poodle mix joined our family four years later and Enzyme, a snow white cat, completed the brood a couple of years after that.

Floyd was a wonderful little dog, probably about 20lbs tops, with a heart full of love and courage like nobody's business. He was quick to turn his butt up for a scratch, and equally quick to bare his teeth and emit a low, menacing rumble if he perceived a threat to his loved ones. Floyd went to doggie heaven when I was 15 and I still get a lump in my throat when I think of him.

Fast forward 34 years later and SO stands fully ready to take on the reigns of pet parenthood, pointing out cute dogs in the street, on TV, and in the paper. I don't feel ready yet. I am the perfect doggie auntie and will make friends with the dogs that pass me on their daily walks but making the leap to owning one, that seems another thing entirely.

I am not sure what the real reason is, somehow when I think of having a pet, what comes to mind is how expensive they are, the training they''ll need, and the change in my freedom.

I wonder how my very low income sole parent managed three pets and a growing child? I've seen many other people, including homeless, who have dogs and seem to have no problems.

Maybe, like having children, you're never 100% prepared. You just have to take a leap of faith.

I still don't fee like I'm ready.