Just this morning I was asking Aaron his thoughts on why some people choose not to have a dog. Now, I wasn’t asking about people who can’t afford a dog or people who move around a lot or really even, dare I say it, cat people. I’m talking about your average, every day folk who live a fairly comfortable, pet-free life, specifically a dog-free life. Aaron, borderline annoyed by my inquiry, suggested several reasons, including not wanting to spend the time, or the money, on a dog; a fear of dogs based on an incident involving a Rottweiler; or just plain not liking dogs. Aaron even went so far as to say he could relate to these willfully dogless people, informing me that not every dog was as charming as my beloved Graceface. Well, duh.
But here’s the thing. I’m not daft. Or at least I don’t think I am. I get that some people just don’t want a dog. I see it all around me, every day. I have more friends that don’t have dogs than do have dogs. What I guess I’m really asking is, how can I be so wedded to the notion that life simply must include a dog when some people — people I love very much — are so indifferent to the animal? See, for me, it feels almost primal, like something I have very little control over. I stuff myself with pills and medicines, own a million cleaning products, and have ripped out carpeting, all so Gracie and I can live together. The very thought of Gracie leaving me is something I can barely stand to contemplate. When I do think about it, in the abstract, I know that the only way to handle it will be to get another dog. No dog will ever be able to replace my puppy, but I cannot bear to think of home without a dog there to greet me. In fact, the idea of home without a dog is no home at all. But this is obviously not so for, as Aaron pointed out, most of the world.
I wonder what makes some of us so in love with dogs and others so, well, not. I obviously don’t have the answer. But articles like this make me feel like I’m in good company.