Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another thing (or five) I don't get

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.)


  1. Where to start?!!!

    First, the puppy -- I am unabashedly not a pet person so I am really perplexed by people who hold animals on equal footing to people. Don't get me wrong ... I in no way support animal cruelty and think that efforts to save abandoned animals are very important in our society. But taking care of a puppy is not the same as taking care of a human child and the stories you tell of these puppy people make me deliciously angry at the world for its pretentiousness. But, like you, I am a conformist so I would still let them come inspect my home and pay ridiculous amounts of money, too. =)

    And your Relief Society anecdote reminded me of a Torts case where a mom was paralyzed and I think they valued her life at $7 an hour, while her husband was equally hurt but worth much, much more. Seriously ... if they're going to ask for volunteers they should either pay you what it's worth or let you actually volunteer. Why do the moms need babysitting from the singles ward anyway? Aren't the Beehives cheaper?

  2. Best part of owning a pet comparing pet ownership to parenting to smug pregnant women/new mothers.