So lately I've been feeling the need to get another dog. The one I have is sweet and lovable, but he's more like a squirrel - aloof, doesn't like to be touched, basically ignores you. It's the breed, but I opted for non-shedding and easily-washed over personality, and now I'm feeling the need to branch out a little. I'd also like to get a companion for him, so they can keep each other company if we're away. I've always had large dogs before, and this one is the first small breed I've owned. And yeah, well, I still prefer large breeds.
I picture myself with something a bit more athletic, who can jog with me and haul me home when I conk out a mile from home. Something I can tramp the fields with and paddle in rivers with. Something that likes and returns affection. Something bigger than a hamster. Something with an IQ above that of a radish.
There is every kind of breed available. I prefer mixed breeds, but there are so many designer combinations now! And most seem to have poodles in them. Shi-poo cockapoo goldiepoo malti-poo...a whole lot of poo out there from the sound of it. I guess everyone dislikes the shedding, because really, that's the only thing that can recommend a poodle. Every breed I consider has advantages and drawbacks. Every person I meet has an opinion about the particular breed I'm considering. Boxers are great, Boxers are terrible. Goldendoodles are wonderful, Goldendoodles have skin and health problems. This one is too big. That one drools too much. That one is prone to hip problems or blindness. This one is difficult to train. That one is too hyper. Huskies are "massively destructive." Beagles don't like to be left alone. Yada yada yada.
Centuries from now, an anthropologist will study our culture and conclude that the dog was at the top of the hierarchy and we humans were its servants. After all, who is following whom around, carrying a bag of whose poop? You don't see anyone following me around, carrying mine. I send my kids to First Choice Haircutters for ten-dollar buzz cuts, yet cheerfully plop down seventy bucks for my dog's haircut. Humans live off Kraft Dinner and Mr. Noodles while Fluffy dines on roasted lamb and wild rice. No, argue all you like, but the dog is definitely at the top.
I sit back and ask myself what my real motive is in looking for another dog. Is it that my current dog isn't affectionate enough? Or it is really that I'm missing my granddaughter and my arms just feel a tad too empty? Am I really intending to go jogging that much? Or is it a whim that will fade along with the resolve not to eat late at night...? If I am honest, I have no fields to tramp in and no river to paddle in. I want a rural dog for a rural lifestyle I don't have. Getting the spaniel or hound won't give me the rural life I want. I have to face the fact that I live a suburban life, and the Shih Tzu I have is perfectly adequate and suitable for a suburban lifestyle. It's not my current dog I have to reconcile myself to; it's my life.
Having said that, there's always room in my heart for one more friend. So I think I'm going to wait and see what the universe brings. Maybe the right dog will find me.