Pets & Guilt

Every boy needs a dog, right?  Ugh.  I really suffer major guilt in this department.  The Boy loves animals.  I mean LOVES animals.  Sometimes I think it’s the real reason he is always so thrilled to go to his dad’s house.  His dad has a dog and two cats (and apparently the girlfriend has a roomful of birds?)… Whatever.  The point is that I  have nothing.  We rent our house, and I am allergic to cats.  We have a fish pond which didn’t have any fish in it this year, because I just didn’t have the energy for it, and that’s as close as we got.  Well, no.  That’s not true.  The Boy came home from the school’s carnival (with Fantastic Babysitter) with a fish that he won — it lasted about 2 weeks.  And we attempted to have a miniature schnauzer a few years ago, because I had the best dog ever growing up, who was also a mini schnauzer.  We ended up re-homing this one with a friend of a friend because I just couldn’t handle it all (fleas, biting, escaping) – too much for me as a single mom to a kid with special needs.  You wanna talk about guilt? Bleh.

We had cats when I was still married.  We had dogs, too.  By the time we divorced, they had all passed away, but The Boy remembers them fondly.  He still struggles with not having pets.

Recently, a stray cat has come around our house to hang out on the weekends.  I always intend to call the city, but they aren’t open on the weekends, and by the time Monday rolls around, the cat is gone, and I realize the futility.  The Boy will sit outside for hours watching the cat, and sometimes petting gently.  They get along well.  And I feel bad.

Last weekend, The Boy spent a couple of days with Fantastic Babysitter who also has a love (and a knack) for animals.  She has three dogs, a rabbit, an evil hamster, and I’m not sure what else.  And The Boy fell in love with all of them, but especially one of her dogs.  When FB brought him home, she commented that he needs a dog.

I know it.  I’ve seen it.  But I’ve also seen him with the wrong dog, and it’s so hard to find the right one.  And The Man isn’t too keen on having any more pets, and frankly, I’m not either, and oh…  What will we do?

We’ll think on it some more until we come up with something…


9 thoughts on “Pets & Guilt

  1. Having been a single mom until just three years ago, I feel your pain. I put off the decision with various other pets; all were good, but none like a dog. Yet, I couldn’t handle being a single, working mom to a special needs child, so we never had one. Can you “adopt” the stray cat, and let him feed it and pet it and buy it some small toys? Just in case you have some thoughts of trying a dog again, we adopted a rescue dog three years ago who is part lab (and part Corgi), and he is calm and wonderful with Matthew! And yesterday we adopted a Jack Russell mix (about 12 lbs) from animal services, who is also sweet and kind. Both times, we had Matthew spend a lot of time with the animal and (overnight is possible) to be sure the dog was calm and easy. But it’s not easy, and I don’t think I could have done it if there wasn’t another adult in the house. Good luck whatever you decide!

  2. You already know I am a big time dog person. However, I don’t think you should feel guilt or hurry your decision. The right time will come if it is meant to be. I like the “adopting” of the cat idea but that might not last. Who knows? Provide opportunities for him to be with animals and be patient. If the adult doesn’t want a pet, he shouldn’t have one. Simple. Maybe when he is older…?

  3. It’s too bad you’re allergic to cats. I love cats and used to have one that looked a lot like this one. Cats are so much easier than dogs too! whether or not to get a pet is such a hard decision to make. It’s been very hard on Bethany to have had 2 cats just disappear this summer. Losing pets can be very heartbreaking, but they can be great therapy too!

    • I love cats and used to have two. The Boy adored them and still speaks fondly of them. They were heard to lose, but also a good introduction to our discussions about death and what happens when we die.

  4. I tried a puppy a few years ago when I was a single mom with two boys (one with ADD). It was way too hard. Between full time work, doing everything that must be down to maintain a house and being a mother there just didn’t seem time to train a puppy too. So my advice to you is to think carefully and if you decide to adopt, then go for one that is a few years old. The puppy stage is out of them, but they are still playful. They’re likely already housetrained, etc. Far easier.

    I say for now, let him spend time with the kitty that’s coming around. They will both benefit from each other’s company. You’ll have a better feeling when the time is right. Dogs are a lot of work. You have to get babysitters for them too when you want to make plans.

    Good luck in your decision. A pet would be wonderful for your son, but do it when YOU know it’s the right time or you’ll have resentment.

  5. How about a snail or two? They’re pretty easy to maintain from what I’ve heard. Plus many shops have little Spongebob tank gear. 🙂 Sorry if you felt guilty! He’s welcome to visit mine anytime 🙂

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