Monday, March 7, 2011

To Dog or Not To Dog...

As far back as I can remember, there has been a dog in my life. When I was 5 or 6, my dad owned two Irish Setters. I remember  clearly being taken for a walk by these two dogs that were taller than me and weighed more than me. The most memorable was when the dogs came running back into the yard, but instead of running through the opening where a gate would go, they both ran through the small gap between the gate pole and the fence pole, thus slamming me into the main pole.

Then there was Sara. Sara was a Golden Retriever that my dad bought for me when I was 14. Unfortunately, my father didn't take into account that the girl who lived two houses down from us was also named Sara. I always enjoyed calling for Sara just when the neighbor girl would come outside felt a little bad for the girl when I would go out into the backyard and call for Sara to go for a walk. Unfortunately, our back yard was not conducive to the size of the Golden Retriever. I came home from school one day to find out that Sara had been given to a farmer in the area who was looking for a dog and had lots of land.

I am now grown, have kids of my own who have never experienced a dog except for the occasional stray that has come over. We've had more than one neighbor dog who my children have adopted. We'll be finishing our fence this year and the next thing that comes up in the conversation is how soon and what kind of dog we'll get. I'm not sure if I am ready to become a dog owner again. I'm open to the idea of raising a dog who can accompany me on my runs. It's an appealing idea. After all, the dog would be my wingman, just like Goose and Maverik.

On the other hand, visions of Where the Red Fern Grows comes to mind, followed by Old Yeller and Marley and Me come up. How could I possibly own a dog in these instances? After all, what would I do per chance I am running and my dog has to fight off a mountain lion and ends up becoming beef jerky? I couldn't take that. At the same time, we watched My Dog Skip over the weekend and while it was heart warming and the dog didn't get run over, die of cancer or anything else like that it did in the end pass away. I had just gotten over this movie when my latest copy of Runner's World came today. What was the first article right at the front of the issue? The editor's note about his dog dying. How can I possibly compete with this? What kind of life would I bringing into my house. Not to mention, what would I do now that my back lawn is finally growing grass instead of clover.

Does anyone have a good non-dog dying story?

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