Warning: This may be offensive to anyone who thinks dogs (or any other animal for that matter) are human and should be treated as such.
Let me start with: I really like dogs. I’ve met lots of them. I even loved one once and named him “Baby” which is a ridiculous name for a male dog. And, currently, we have a dog. And a cat.
My problem is that I don’t love the dog. In fact, she is a source of great frustration and despite having done months of research on dog breeds for people with allergies and people with kids I think I chose wrong. In fact, I know I chose wrong. And keeping something in your life that you don’t fid useful or beautiful and that you dot love is just completely out of sync with the whole simplicity/minimalism thing.
I had great plans for this dog. She comes from champion bloodlines. She has great composition. She doesn’t shed. Her coat is gorgeous and she doesn’t have allergies herself. She is best friends with the cat and is good with my kids. I took her for long walks and diligently crate and house trained her. I have spent more money on vet bills (until I realized I could vaccinate her myself and the Rabies clinic is only $5!) than I care to tabulate. I like the deterrent effect of having a big black dog in the house even if she would help you carry the merchandise out to your van… I even got pick of the litter because we intended to breed her. But it turns out I just don’t like big dogs. Or, at least, living with big dogs.
And you know what? That’s ok. In in the process of deciding what to do with her. Because in my quest for simplicity, this dog is just “stuff” that is not adding much, if anything, to my life other than annoyance and frustration. And if the idea of simplicity is to minimize those things to the extent possible, then it’s ok to consider relocating said dog to someone who might actually get pleasure from owning her. Which I think should be the point of having a pet.
My cat, on the other hand, really does brig joy. He greets me when I come home. He catches mice and other vermin in the yard. He is uber tolerant of small children manhandling him. And he’s cute. His name is George Bailey and we rescued him from a friends yard when he was emancipated and limping. Lots of TLC and 1 surgery later, he still limps but he sure isn’t emaciated! Even though I’m allergic to him I still like him enough to pet him and let him in the house on occasion, especially when it’s really cold out. (We live in the country and he has an “apartment” in the garage complete with heat lamp in the winter and a bed because my allergies won’t tolerate a full time indoor cat). The kids play with him all the time. So does he add value to our home life? I’d say a resounding Yes!
So hard decisions lie ahead. I have a friend who already loves my dog and has played dog sitter for me who would take her. And I have contacts who could help me rehome her or even the breeder I bought her from would help for certain. If I do, it won’t be lightly because she was an investment and she isn’t altogether awful. If I do, you can be sure I won’t be getting another dog for quite a long time and you can bet it will only be if I fall completely in love with one. Dog as investment? Bad idea.