The other day in the elevator at work. The nurse was just trying to leave work but instead got trapped on the way out and forced to look at pictures. Pictures of doodles.
Labradoodles. Goldendoodles. Cavoodles.
I told her how much I wanted a dog. You would be surprised at how much can be said during a three-floor elevator ride. As the nurse scuttled off towards the carpark, I marveled at what I had become. Obsessed with dogs. Seemingly, it had even surpassed my hatred of elevator chat with strangers.
I wasn’t allowed a dog growing up because my mother was traumatized by the loss of her childhood dog, Hanky. Or at least that was her excuse. Really, I suspect she didn’t want to pick up the excrement of yet another mammal under her care. I would ask for a dog repeatedly until the age of 12. That’s when I concluded that my dreams of a canine companion like Timmy from the Famous Five would probably never be realized.
I gave up on my dream. At some stage, I think I even started to dislike dogs. Why were their mouths so saggy? Why did they have so little control over their salivary glands? Why did they have so little respect for personal space? They were the very same attributes I disliked in human beings.
I went on with life. Sans dog but also increasingly ambivalent about it. Until I got my own house and realized I was no longer under the oppressive rule of my Asian parents. I could finally get a dog.
Over the first 24-hour period, my longing for a dog grew ten-fold. I spent hours on Instagram looking at doodles. How could they be so perfect? They shed less fur, apparently didn’t smell as much as your average dog and were remarkably intelligent.
I shared my thoughts with my parents who immediately attempted to sully my dreams. My dad sent me articles comparing Labradoodles to Frankenstein. My mum sent me memes comparing Cavoodles to KFC.
It was just enough to plant the seed of doubt in my mind. How would the dog cope while I was at work? What if it got separation anxiety and ripped into my couch? What if it had explosive and mucoid diarrhea all over my bed? How would I move on with life?
Yesterday night, I nearly ran over the neighborhood cat in my driveway. It was an accident, I swear, but as the cat looked back at me accusingly I was filled with guilt. Maybe domestic pets and me just aren’t meant to be. I could barely avoid harming an animal. How could I be trusted to actively care for one?
I just look at dogs all day now. I go between desperately wanting a dog and wondering if this desire for a dog is actually just a new obsessive component of my obsessive-compulsive personality type. Or maybe it’s a delayed and incredibly lackluster attempt at parental rebellion. We’ll find out.