Friday, August 06, 2004

Dog Hungry

No, the title of this post does not refer to any sudden cravings for certain menu items from the Korean restaurant down the street. Nor is it a commentary on the malnutrition of house pets. It's just this: today I realized what was missing in my life. It's not fame, it's not glory, it's not a wife. It's a dog.

I miss having a dog. I had a dog growing up, one that was grossly neglected and probably led a miserable existence, but dangit I loved it in the few instances I gave it attention.

But now that I'm grown (vertically if not horizontally), I'd like to think I'd be able to take care of one responsibly and give it the attention and affection it deserves.

It's just that I don't trust myself. I have the tendency to love animals only when it's convenient. My pet fish knows that I only take care of him because he makes a good decoration in my livingroom. He knows it, and accepts it, so I guess he's not a good example.

But gerbils are a good example. I owned gerbils a couple years ago and when I say gerbils, I don't mean two or three, I mean twenty-one. I started out with two, but then I decided it would be "cute" if I brought in a female and they had babies. (Reason #314 I think I may have been dropped at birth) Long story short: she kept popping out the babies, 7 or 8 at a time, even after I separated her from her mating partner (how was I supposed to know they go into heat immediately after giving birth?).

My room was overtaken by a maze of plastic tubes connecting cages, activity zones, bathing areas, and digging areas. My poor roommates. Not only were they subjected to the smell (despite the weekly 3-hour cage cleanings I did), but also the possibility of finding a gerbil chewing on their hand during one of their frequent "jail breaks." I was kind of like the crazy cat-lady but I didn't run around screaming and throwing them at people.

Eventually I had to get rid of the gerbils. I was going to study in Africa and I certainly couldn't take them with me. I tried putting up fliers, even offering the cages for free, but in a college town gerbils are not a hot item. So, one cold night, I released them into the mountains where they likely were eaten by snakes or just died from hunger or exposure to the elements, rotting under some bush.

So you see, I can't trust myself with animals. And since a dog is like 40 gerbils put together, that's just too much responsibility. Yes, the void in my life that should have been filled by a dog will have to remain empty, at least for now. Sorry Rover, no home for you.

2 comments:

wilkesyachtingco said...

you know, its people like you who are responsible for releasing non indiginous animals into foreign habitats that then throw off the entire equilibrium of nature, which then results in mass famine, desease, flooding, and forest fires. i short, you releasing your gerbils into the wild will be my first recomendation for a cause of the next outbreak of the plague in utah... because... im pretty sure it will happen soon... see what youve done? youve brought the black death to us all. thanks for nothing pet lover.

Jeremy said...

Haha.. well, plague or no plague, you're off poshing it up in California so it won't affect you. I was, at one time, hoping that they'd all reproduce up in those mountains and then come down in hoardes to take over Utah Valley, but it never happened. Instead, I'm sure they quickly became rotting carcuses. And when's the last time Utah had a good plague? I think it's high time. We had that random tornado, a few years ago, but as far as calamities go, it was weak. We need some devestation to spice things up a bit.