The Almost Dog

18 Feb

On Saturday, we almost got a dog.

See, Andrew and I frequent the SPCA like no other couple and so, three or four weeks ago, Andrew fell in love with a 2-year-old pit bull mix named Hype. I said no immediately because, as it turns out, Hype is quite hyper. While he’s not a large dog (only weighs about 40 pounds), he is a jumping, leaping, quite-possibly-flying dog.

Since Andrew’s first encounter with Hype, we’ve been back to the SPCA several times, each trip going pretty much the same way: Andrew beelines for Hype’s cage, ensuring that he is in fact still there and thus inferring that he is OUR DOG, feeds him a few treats, marvels at how high Hype can jump and then pouts at me for the rest of the day (or week). Inevitably, I become the big bad bitch who won’t let him take his best friend home.

And then, on Saturday, I caved a little. After watching Andrew pout more than usual I broke down and told him to arrange an up-close-and-personal meeting with Hype so we could determine if he’s as crazy in the cage as out of the cage.

Long story short, the answer is yes. To see if Hype knew the difference between toys and not-toys, I took off one of my shoes and laid it on the ground. Hype playfully attacked it, proving that no, no one had ever taught him the difference between toys and shoes and that really, he would like nothing more than to eat my shoes, even if they’re on my feet. And then I said no again, and Andrew pouted even more. Hype is a great, wonderful, hilarious dog but I don’t want to have to train him to ignore his bad habits and as much as Andrew LOVES Hype, I don’t think he’d be too happy if Hype came home with us and ended up eating, oh, everything we own.

The good thing about the Richmond SPCA is that it’s a no-kill shelter so it’s not like Hype’s going to get put down because we didn’t take him home. Eventually, he will find a home, hopefully a home that will teach him all the things his previous owners didn’t, because really, he’s freakin’ adorable and more than deserving of a house to call a home and a family to give him lots of lovin’.

Even though I’m the one that ultimately said no to Hype, I still find myself really, really, really wanting a pet. I’m just too conflicted about it to commit though. I mean, I’d love to get a dog but there’s not much grass around our apartment building, and oh yeah, we live in an apartment and there’s the question of what to do with a doggy on drill weekends when we both have to head to Northern Virginia for one weekend a month (and that pesky two weeks in the summer thing). As much as I want a dog, and I hate saying this, I’m not sure I’m in a place to actually have a dog.

And then I think, what about a cat? Couldn’t we get a cat? Cats don’t need to be potty trained (litter training is, in my opinion, WAY EASIER), or walked for that matter, and you can definitely leave a cat at home over a weekend, or even a week for that matter.

Ultimately, we’re in limbo. Cats are, well, cats, needing less but giving less and dogs need so, so much time and energy but they give so much back.

Screw it. Maybe we’ll just get a fish.


6 Responses to “The Almost Dog”

  1. Nicki Fellenzer February 18, 2008 at 9:18 PM #

    My cat misses you. She wants a hi-five.

    My fat cat got so fat, that he walked through the cat door in the laundry room, and took the frame with him, stuck on his fat ass. I had to remove the cat door frame from his rather voluminous derriere, because he couldn’t shake the damn thing off.

    Cats are way easier, and they’re fun, because no matter what anyone tells you, they’re really really really cuddly. And they won’t eat your shoes. They might pee in them, though, if you accidentally lock them in your closet.

    I speak from experience.

  2. tilly February 18, 2008 at 10:44 PM #

    lol. i have seen this dog first hand at the spca.
    it’s true…hype can jump like no other!

  3. kirby February 19, 2008 at 7:21 AM #

    I work with dogs. Straight away pit-bull suggests.. don’t put it in an apartment. Even more so if it’s already hyper… and that’s the trouble with a lot of rescue dogs.. their backgrounds are so messed up (especially pit-bulls, because who knows where they came from as most people have them as a fighting dog) that often it’s tricky to figure them out, and if the SPCA in America is anything like the RSPCA in Australia, they do good work – but they can’t tell you any kind of history to the dog, like where they found it and in what condition and any rehabilitation that may have taken place.
    It’s good that it’s a no kill shelter. There aren’t enough of them.
    But, I’d suggest if you guys are serious about getting a dog.. Research until you can’t research any more! I suggest Cesar Milan. Clever man calls himself the Dog Whisperer. He’s a genius – I refer him and his show/books to a lot of my customers. I’ve used his theories with my own dogs and the difference it’s made is phenomenal.
    I know we don’t really know each other very well, but .. like I said, I work with dogs, so if you’ve got any questions – don’t hesitate!

  4. instatick February 19, 2008 at 7:58 AM #

    Kirby –
    Thanks for the tips. A big part of the reason why I said no to Hype was because we do live in an apartment and that dog really, really needs to have a big yard to run (and jump) around in. I’ve been around dogs my whole life so I am pretty familiar with behavioral issues that can arise (but I am by no means an expert).

    I’m actually already familiar with Cesar Milan and you’re totally right, he is a genius. My mom got me into his show a while back and everything he does just makes sense.

    Again, thanks for the tips and I won’t hesitate to contact you if I have any questions!

  5. instatick February 19, 2008 at 8:00 AM #


    Don’t you just kinda want to see Hype outside running around? I know he can jump much, much higher than his cage at the SPCA.

  6. instatick February 19, 2008 at 8:01 AM #


    Maybe I should just come steal your cat? Yes? No? Maybe? You know we get along with all the high-fiving and whatnot.

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