We have a bird at home that Shannon and I have had for over ten years now – it’s a small green bird (we named him Munki – it was either name the first pet or name the firstborn) that hates me and wants to gnaw a piece off of me whenever I get close. The kids don’t like playing with Munki either.
We all want a dog, but we just don’t have the space. My parents and sister have two dogs – the boxer is still a puppy and the black lab is a sedentary wanna-be lapdog – the calmest dog ever. I’d love to take the black lab, but the shedding and the maintenance and the food…
I think I like the *idea* of having a dog, but I don’t really like having a dog. I don’t want another being that would cause heartburn and eventual heartache. Thoughts of a rescued dalmatian that peed all over the place come to mind.
So, instead of a soft and cuddly pet, we have a grasshopper in a glass jar. The kids named it ‘grassy’. It’s on a strict diet of organic basil. Actually, I don’t know if it’s a grasshopper since it doesn’t have wings, but it has long back legs. We’ve had ‘grassy’ for a long time now – since he was a tiny thing. Now, it’s pretty big.
Before ‘grassy’, we had several caterpillars – also in glass jars. Oh, Shannon also keeps worms to make compost. Insects are easy pets since their death doesn’t really cause dismay for the kids…if the insect dies, there’s plenty more outside. I think the kids have grown somewhat attached to ‘grassy’ though, so maybe they’ll be a little sad.
In any case, my coworkers all talk about their dogs, and I’m living vicariously through their dog ownership. Is that sad or what? Some people live vicariously through another person’s life because they do extreme sports or go clubbing all the time or date beautiful people. I live a life of vicarious dog ownership.