There are several reasons why I would be a terrible dog owner right now.
There is something so demeaning about picking up their feces in public. I have seen enough gag-worthy smears on the sidewalks in our San Francisco neighborhood to live in mortal fear of ever having to inflict one of them myself. I have a hard enough time scooping the cat box.
Our family is so oppressively busy that I can barely get my toddler out to the playground. Any poor pooch that lived in my urban household would have to possess the uncanny ability to get his own leash, hook it on his collar, open the door, trot down the stairs, and take his own damn self out to the dog park.
My older daughter has an irrational fear of dogs. It would be like my own mother getting me a pet shark. I just can’t do it to her.
And along those same lines, my younger daughter has an irrational love for and attraction to dogs that I am afraid will some day result in a poor pup getting strangled out of affection. Why introduce a potential victim into our home?
Alright, alright. Before you rabid Dog People start chasing me into the off-leash area, I will admit that I objectively love dogs. They’re adorable and loyal and the best pets ever. (For the record, I’m not so into my cat these days. But that’s another long, hairball-infused story.) I love dogs as long as they aren’t mine. And as long as I don’t have to pick up after them. Kind of the way some people feel about kids.
Yet I am still working my heinie off to promote DogFest 2009, a celebration of dogs and kids that will raise big bucks for my daughter’s happy little San Francisco public elementary school.
Why? Because, like all public schools in these times, ours needs the cash to fund our incredible enrichment programs. And because I am a dedicated public school mama.
And I’m not even one of the hardcore parents. There are volunteer moms and dads at our school whose cups runneth with school activism. I’m just doing my small part to sop up some of their spills. It’s the least I can do.
I’m sucking up my dog issues and becoming a Dog Person. At least until this event is over. That’s how much I love my school and my kids. If you live in the Bay Area and want some cheap-to-free entertainment, pack up the kids and/or pooches and join me at DogFest.
Leave the cat at home.