Friday, August 22, 2008

Animal Lover?

I am so angry I did not write this essay.

For the past couple weeks, all I have been able to talk about is how much I hate my dog. Believe me, I feel guilty enough for 10 people. No need to make me feel worse.

He was once my baby. I used to love him. But now? Now, his constant peeing on the floor, his near-incessant barking, his smell, his snapping at Sam, his needs, they are all proving too much for me.

I have two children. I do not need them slipping in his pee (this happened to me while I was pregnant). I do not need to think about his needs when I am barely able to keep track of my own in the wake of their constant needs. I am sorry to say that the dog (high maintenance on a good day, impossible on most) is the last on my list of priorities.

I never wanted to be this woman. I believe in comittments and I certainly love animals, but I do not love them more than my human children and right now, this dog with all his quirks and idiosyncracies, is taking way too much of my time. We have a 1,000 square foot condo, so the idea that 1/4 of that is covered in pee everyday is hard to stomach.

I want to get rid of him. This in spite of my once love. This in spite of my husband's adamant refusals and anger at me. It is true. I really want to.

But will I?

I don't think so. Every time I look at him, I get a shot of guilt, the feeling that I am failing him by hating him. I wish I could be the kind of person who wants to expend the energy to find out why he is peeing, but I have far more important things to deal with. I keep telling myself he would be better off in another home, that it would not make me less a dog lover and that sometimes comittments need to be broken when they are no longer working.

But none of these things would help me sleep at night if we did get rid of him. Like it or not, he is a part of our family. And I will keep on tolerating him, much as I wish I had the balls to do otherwise. The fact is, I don't.


Lis Garrett said...

I didn't read the article, but I remember, right after Jacob was born, HATING our cat. I wanted to kick it whenever it walked in the room. Like you, I felt guilty, especially since the cat and I had been inseparable for years prior to that.

Eventually I got over it, especially when I learned the cat had cancer (it later had to be put to sleep).

I can't explain it, but I understand how you're feeling. And honestly, I've always thought that having a dog is A LOT like having another child.

halloweenlover said...

We are feeling exactly the same way these days about our dogs, which seems ludicrous considering the way these dogs were pampered before Gabe arrived. We're having serious issues with pooping and peeing around the house, and it is most often the dogs that push me over the edge. I'm so tired of stepping in pee, or having Gabe bring me a piece of dog poop that he found somewhere around the house. It seems to unsanitary, not to mention INFURIATING to have to deal with this. Josh is worse than me, though, he has totally had it with the dogs.

I also don't think we can possibly give them away, but I have a feeling things are going to go from bad to worse when baby #2 arrives. Sigh.

Kristi said...

This is a really, really tough one. We've had all three of our cats for over 10 years. They were our first babies, and there wasn't anything I wouldn't do for them. But since Isabella came along, I will confess to loathing their demands on my time. For example, I'll put her to bed, get into the tub for a bath for my first moment of solitude the entire day, and one of them bursts through the door meowing and demanding attention. (Just writing this makes me feel guilty.) We'd never "get rid" of them, because I really believe when you make the commitment to adopt an animal, you do so for the duration of that animal's life, but I sure wish they were less needy.