Photo: Getty Images
Growing up there was one dog in particular that I remember having. I loved her passionately and she loved me just as much. Later on her son remained with us and he was just as loyal as his mother. I remember hanging around an old quarry near my house as a teen – just taking the young dog for a wander (I might have been sneaking a smoke too) and hanging out together. I slipped down one of the many steep slopes of the quarry and my dog followed me down and grabbed my sleeve. I nearly stopped him because I wasn’t sure what he was up to until I realized he was backing up the slope again and taking me with him. I wasn’t in danger but in his mind, he was saving my life. I let him bring me back up and I knelt with him for several minutes, telling him what a great dog he was and how much I loved him. I think we must have kissed (yes) and hugged for at least two minutes. I looked in his eyes and saw something more than love – I saw pride. He was proud of his achievement, proud he had saved my life. I was even more proud of him, but seeing the emotion in his own eyes was something I don’t think I had ever seen before. We had a connection and my dog knew. He just knew.
That dog, and his beloved mom are both long gone. Now I’m a grown woman with three young kids and a ridiculously noisy and lively home. My husband and I both work – he away from home and me from home. We have activities and homework and housework and laundry that make up busy lives. Which means in my mind, we don’t have room for a dog or cat in our lives. Not because we don’t like them, but because we travel very long distances, we’re sometimes gone all day and we don’t have family we can leave Dog with if we need help for her. Aside from that, I don’t want to get up and walk her at 6 a.m. on a January morning when it’s minus two degrees. I don’t want dog hair in my house and she’d wreck my hardwood floors, wouldn’t she? Scratched up floors aren't the end of the world but when all the stars align to show it's not the right time, then it's not the right time.