Dad recently came across an online test to determine if one is ready for pet ownership. I’m a polite dog, so I won’t come right out and say that the premise was insanely stupid, but I will insinuate that the author must have eaten paint chips as a child. A few samples of the questions:
We’re considering a new pet because:
A. The kids really want a puppy. Me? Not at all.
B. We all love dogs — me included.
C. The kids want a dog, and I’m warming up to the idea.
D. It’s a sickness
C. Running an exclusive bed and breakfast for a bunch of hairy little ingrates
If you’re still renting, have you checked your lease for breed/size restrictions and any additional fees that may be added to your rent for having a pet?
A. Yes, we’re good to go!
B. Yes. There are some restrictions and/or fees, but I’m not worried.
C. Yes. We’re not allowed to have a dog, but I plan to anyway.
D. No, maybe I should do that.
E. Deposit? What deposit?
Do you have other pets?
A. Yes, and I’m not sure how they’ll handle a dog.
B. Yes, but they’ve been well-socialized with pets of our friends and family.
C. No, this will be our first.
D. Uh, the term “pets” would insinuate some measure of hierachy…
You are financially ready to accept ownership of a dog when
A. Your first name is the Donald
B. Your psychic hotline has advised you that multiple trips to the plasma donor center is in your immediate future
C. When one day when you’re shooting at some food, up from the ground comes a bubbling crude.
While on vacation, we would:
A. Stay in a pet-friendly hotel and bring the dog along!
B. Have a family member or friend dog sit.
C. Pay to leave the dog with a boarding service.
D. Infuriate the wife by disregarding any posted pet policies and smuggle said pet(s) into motel room using techniques perfected by Pablo Escobar. Spend rest of the night in fervent prayer that every creak of the building will not trigger a fit of baying, resulting in a hefty surcharge being levied by the ethnic proprietor who smells of onions and happens to live upstairs.
And so on…
Are you freaking kidding me? Don’t they realize that it can all be summed up by one question:
Do you promise to live by The Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you?
Yes… you can have a dog.
No… you should be slapped and sterilized.
Having a dog is akin to marriage in that the only way it will work is if the needs and comfort of the other party(s) involved are always considered first. With this thought in mind, I have prepared some vows for dad:
I, dad, take Charlie as my lawfully indentured master, to serve her every whim, from this day forward, I promise to love, honor, and obey, forsaking all others, even that finagling little goober Max. What’s now yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine, including, but not limited to, the motorcycle, the sleeping bag, tater tots and any personal space you may once have enjoyed, as long as we both shall live.
Uh, dad, this is the part where you say “I do”…