I’ve Got A Bad Case Of Puppy Fever

I’ve come to this point in my mid-20s where all of my friends are getting married and having children, because to paraphrase Gore Vidal, man + woman + family pressure + reruns of Leave It To Beaver + time = baby. You think that being queer might get in the way of that, but science and marriage equality had to go and make all of us queer babyphobes accountable. Two of my old queer friends back home are having a baby, and I’m ludicrously happy for them. I love the idea of children, just as long as they belong to other people, because I’M JUST NOT THERE YET, MOM. That was a lot easier to insist to my family when being able to legally get married was light years and endless filibusters away. But these days, every single marriage equality video that pops up on the internet insists, It’s time, and I reply: Only if you mean hammer time. I swear those adorable Australian dudes are in cahoots with my mother.

However, the overwhelming desire that my high school friends have to reproduce all over my Facebook page has manifested itself elsewhere. My biological clock isn’t ringing; it’s howling, and it wants its belly scratched. I don’t know when it started or where it came from, but the only pitter-patter of little feet I want to hear these days are the kind you need to periodically keep from humping your leg. This summer, all I need is Puppy Lovin’ in my life. I want to have summer days drifting away into summer nights with a furry, fifteen-pound bundle of joy by my side. I want to run through the field and see a slightly mangy rescue Lab bounding toward me with a frisbee hanging from his mouth. I want to pretend to be so mad when I wipe his doggy drool from my face.

I can’t decide on what breed I would want or what I would name it, and that generally depends upon my mood. When I’m tired, I think about owning a Bassett Hound named Sherman who almost never moves, kind of like that dog on Scrubs. When I’m feeling down, I need one of those Chinese Crested and Chihuahua mixes by my side, because I feel like they understand my pain. When I feel like jumping up and down for no reason, a Terrier. When I’m feeling not quite with it, a Chow Chow. When I want to chase mountain lions and boys, a hunting dog like in Where The Red Fern Grows, but not one I have to shoot at the end of the book. And when I just want to stay in bed and cuddle, I want a Corgi, a dog that’s just made to share a lazy Saturday morning with. We can do the crossword together, watch reruns of South Park, make our own submissions to the Lawyer Dog meme and play fetch with my unopened student loan envelopes.

Sure, I don’t think I have time for a dog, but doesn’t everyone always think they don’t have time? Everyone in the world is so busy, but somehow manages to find the time to spend 17 hours every day looking at pictures of cats on Facebook. This tells me a couple things: First, Mark Zuckerberg is evil. But after that, it shows me that we will do anything for our love of pets, including spending the entire day posting pictures of them wearing funny hats, because we swear they love it. My mother worked three jobs to raise me, and I was drunkenly conceived between wine coolers in a hammock. If that’s how babies are made, I can surely find the time to juggle my hectic Twitter and Facebook schedules with cleaning up the vomit of man’s best friend. And from what I hear, if I wait long enough, he will just clean it up on his own. Mission accomplished!

I don’t know if I’ll ever be completely ready for a dog. How do you know when it’s right? How do you know when you’re there yet? Every time I get to that point — that almost-moment where I’m just going to go to the pet store, pet some puppies and see what happens — I tell myself not now. Wait five years. Wait until you’ve gained some perspective. What could you even teach a dog, anyway? You have nothing to give. But then I walk down the street and I see a dogwalker barely holding back a Retriever and a Boxer coming at me with love in their eyes and slobber all over their mouths. And I’ll just know. It’s time. TC mark

image – ascappatura

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  • catch

    I’ve been feeling the same pangs over the past few months – ok, years, but I just haven’t been able to justify any possible way I could give a dog the attention he/she needs. I’m single, I work an 8-5 roughly a 45 minute to 1 hour commute away from home, I’m constantly traveling, and living in a city my backyard isn’t a sizable or safe enough place to leave a young’un for broad stretches alone. Le sigh.

  • Jenne

    you should get an australian shepard. best. dogs. ever.

  • doglover

    Get a shih tzu… they are totally lap dog and great for apartment!

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/06/i%e2%80%99ve-got-a-bad-case-of-puppy-fever/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Life Add a comment […]

  • JBow

    There really isn’t a time that you just decide this is the right time. We use to go to the dog pound once a month and then we just found a dog that called us and we got him. We weren’t prepared or anything but we love him TONS :)

  • http://wevehadenoughohio.wordpress.com WHEOhio

    This was me for years. Got my pup February 1st! <3 But please don't use a pet store. :)

  • Deven

    I had this exact feeling last summer and, so I went to the local shelter to hand in a volunteer application….and three hours later came home with a pup. It was the hardest, scariest, most trying thing I’ve ever done and i needed a LOT of support.

    The first few weeks, i even second-guest my decision…i just couldn’t believe i would ever have the capacity to give this dog what she needed. But then i realized…all she expects from me is to love her. It’s very expensive, and i HIGHLLLYYYY recommend having someone to help you in the beginning (roommate, friend or family that works different hours than you), because the dog will probably attempt to destroy things while you’re at work because it won’t know you’re coming back. (For example, my beautiful pit/lab mix, Luna, ate about 10 pairs of shoes, my comforter and my front door. yeah…my front door, and the list goes on)

    But now, a year, eight weeks of obedience school, lots of at-home training and a TON of patience later…I literally could not be more ecstatic with my decision. Luna is the light of my life and the most well-behaved dog i know (but you must train..a LOT!) This little lady provides me more happiness and love than i know what to do with. And I have about 1,500 pictures to prove it.. :)

    Just keep in mind that it’s very expensive, and you’ll almost definitely have to pay someone to walk the dog while you’re at work, and your life will have to revolve around your little furball. People kept telling me that before I got her, but I don’t think you can ever truly know until you get one. SO! Good luck! Get ready for a crazy, but amazing ride :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/michellerows Michelle Garcia

    I won’t lie. My life with my rescue pup (been almost two years now) has been a whirl wind. She is absolutely crazy and drives me up a wall, but when she lays down and cuddles with me and shows me 24/7 that I am the light of her life, it is all worth it.

    I work 9-5 and live in an apartment, but having these challenges gives you a reason to go on more walks/runs and bond with your pup.

  • Alexandra

    I want a dog so bad. I could have written this article myself. I say you go for it.

  • http://www.aquaticbehavior.com Tori

    I ended up with both my dogs accidentally. Best non-decisions I’ve ever made.

    I’m with the commenters above, though – please check your local shelter and / or rescues for pups if you’re going to go for it! Not only will you give a deserving dog a second chance, but you’ll also free up a spot for another dog who may have otherwise been euthanized. Not to mention that rescued pets are forever appreciative, and they show it.

  • Ashley

    I would suggest perhaps fostering a dog first. My roommate and I, 24 and 23, decided we both were ready to get a dog as we both have been considering it for a long time and grew up with dogs. Three weeks into fostering and we realize we’re not ready for the time commitment and effort. We hadn’t thought about the fact that if each of us had a date after work one day, that wouldn’t work because the dog needs to be taken care of. Now, we have to check with each other every day to make sure our schedules don’t coincide and, god forbid, that we aren’t both planning on going somewhere for the day on the weekend.

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