“I promise,” they said. “I will do anything,” they said. “I will take it for walks,” they said. “I will clean up its poop,” they said. “Please please please.” As all those empty promises rang through my ears, I stared at this fluff ball, knowing full well the path we were going down, before I had even murmured that overused war battered phrase, “Okay, whatever!” The battle had been won, and yet again I was the loser, and I know that I will wear these battle scars for at least another 15 hard, drawn out years.
Yes, I admit that the fluff ball is cute, darn cute, and with a name like Rupert (yes I won that one), how can it fail to melt my hardened heart? But melted hearts aside, witching hour in my house, AKA feeding time at the zoo, I have come to learn, just got a whole lot worse. The previous two “I promise the world and infinity” fluff balls, otherwise known as Gorbachev and Vladimir, are masters of punctuality and diligence in demanding dinner. No amount of ignoring or scolding will deal with these 2, and sadly the Rupert fluff ball is a quick learner in this department having modelled his behavior on the 2 masters.
When I muttered those 2 words that were music to my children’s ears, I must have been well and truly under the influence of something. What was I thinking? How could I be blinded by cuteness and deafened by promises? I have long declared my breeding days over. Hell, I have declared this fact to anyone and everyone who cared to listen. So why oh why do I sign up to support my kids in having a puppy? Barking bloody mad, I say. The crying in the night, the toilet training, chewing, the mess, the naughtiness…to name a few. What was I thinking?
I am pleased to report though, that this story has a happy ending for me. You see the son now grunts vague responses when asked perfectly intelligent questions, and that once little boy has been engulfed by this giant, who I swear at times has knuckles that scrape the ground. And then there is the daughter, who for all her skills at making promises of help and support, just as easily can roll excuses off her tongue as to why “it isn’t her job.” All of this is forgotten when at the end of a hard day at work, or negotiating the shops at closing time, I am greeted by this not so little fluff ball, Rupert, who proudly and unashamedly proclaims to be my number one fan with his licking, tail wagging and general goofballish excitement to welcome me home. So yes, dear friends, while I did agree to acquiring another family member rather reluctantly, he truly is my top dog.
While some kids benefit from pet ownership, I sometimes wonder if I am the only sucker who got left holding the rope/leash. What about you? Share your experiences with pets and kids in the comments below.