So the puppy crusade is back up and running. (For those of you who don't already know, here's some background: Part One, Part Two.) (And for those of you too lazy to click on links, like moi, here's the short version: I wanted to get a puppy. I wanted to get a rescue organization puppy. I have been deemed unacceptable by several rescue organizations. Between that and other life-defeating events, I have put the puppy search on indefinite hold.)
Anyway, one of the organizations I applied with months ago has now called me. (Ohhh, so I'm not incapable of love now, am I?) They have recently rescued a few dogs from a puppy mill in the midwest, and two of the dogs were knocked up. Would I mind filling out another application?
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. When you try to pretend that getting a dog is the equivalent of getting a kid, it makes people not like you. I could go get a puppy tomorrow if I wanted, but I want to be a "good person" and get one that needs a home. That does not make it okay for you to ask if you can come to a home investigation to determine whether I'm cooking meth in my bathtub.
(Ahem. I totally filled out the application, and I totally agreed to the home inspection if I were deemed an appropriate potential puppy-mom. What can I say, I'm a conformist.)
Also? Two things that will completely negate my claims of wanting to be a "good person." I want a puppy. I don't want a full grown dog. I have no real reason for this preference other than puppies are cute, and I don't want to fix another person's mistake. (Why is a four-year-old dog now in need of a home? I'm going to assume that the dog was poorly trained or poorly treated by its previous owners, and I am going to back away from that situation slowly. Don't care if that makes me a bad person.)
Yes, I know puppies are more work than an already potty-trained dog. Do not care. Being a lawyer is harder than working at Target, but you don't see me putting on a red smock every day.
Secondly, I don't want to pay a lot for a rescue dog. I know this is arbitrary, and once again I do not care. But the fact that you want to charge me $650 for a puppy that had to be rescued from some awful puppy mill? Are you serious? I could get a non-inbred dog for that kind of dough. I would be perfectly happy to reimburse your cost of housing and feeding the dog, pay for any vet bills that were incurred, and I'd even give a donation to your organization so you can continue the good work you are doing. But if you want people to give you donations, and preferably continue giving on a biannual basis, you need to not be the kind of jerks who charge $650 for a homeless puppy.
(For the record, if I am selected to take one of the puppies home, I will likely pay without complaint. See conformist, above.)
But as I was on the phone with the Puppy Person, she asked me about my schedule, and I told her that I work a lot. "But I can adjust," I said, and explained how said adjustment would occur. (More coming home for lunch, more working at my apartment, more hiring a dog walker.) "Obviously, I don't do that right now. But I'd change my schedule if I got the dog."
"Oh, you'll change your schedule, all right," Puppy Person laughed in that condescending-obnoxious way people have when they talk about how hard it is to care for a small creature, be it dog or baby.
I smiled (even though she obviously couldn't see me, I feel like people can hear the smile in your voice, but rarely the phoniness behind it) and said, "Yes, well, I imagine."
Yes, if I had a dog or a kid or a GigaPet, my life would change. For example, now I'm free. My apartment is clean and full of sharp edges and no poop and very little beeping. If I had a dog or child or electronic version of either, I imagine I might cover some sockets and sleep less and gain a disturbing level of comfort with poop.
But guess what? I AM NOT GOING TO DO ANY OF THAT YET. I have met people who prepare for their future babies (and presumably, people like Puppy Person, who expect me to already have a box full of chew toys somewhere even though I don't have a pet) and I will never cease to be disturbed by it. Shocking, I know, but most of these pre-baby preparers revealed their proclivities at church.
Case one: A girl who said it was important to prepare for motherhood no matter what stage of life we are in, including the "not-going-to-be-a-mom-within-the-next-five-years-guaranteed"* stage of life. Multi-vitamins, I guess.
Case two: A Relief Society** president who asked if there were girls who would volunteer to babysit for moms in the family ward that meets in our church house. Even though I dislike most children*** (don't care, judge away) I was fully prepared to sign that volunteer sheet. Until the R.S. Pres added, "For those of you who want an opportunity to put your mothering skills to use. It pays $7 an hour."
Bitch, please. I will watch kids for the good of humanity, but not for minimum wage. And if you ever say "mothering skills" to a roomful of single, childless women again, I'm going to go get my ovaries removed in protest.
Cross your fingers that the home inspection goes well, will ya?
* Oh, so you think that's not a guarantee? Well, it's pretty dang close. Forget about dating and engagement periods; someone as emotionally retarded as me will need 3 years minimum prior to any reproduction to make sure a marriage sticks. Also see aversion to poop, above, and strong preference for child-free vacations (not previously mentioned).
** Relief Society is a church meeting, kind of like Sunday School, for adult women in the Mormon church. It's supposed to be service-oriented, and usually is. There are also cutesy fonts and centerpieces and the kind of passive-aggressiveness that only a religious organization can foster. In short, a bit of a mixed bag.
*** DUH, I plan to like mine, assuming I ever spawn/adopt. Jeez, you people are so quick to judge. (In case you can't hear the smile through my typing, it's there, and completely sincere.)