If I Didn’t Have a Dog… or a Cat…

I received an email from my practically mother-in-law that made me laugh out loud. It was one of those cute forwards, filled with fuzzy puppy and kitten photos. While I can never get enough of adorable pictures, it was the sentiment behind this particular email that stayed with me. I thought it might be fun to come up with my own variation on the same theme.

If I didn’t have a dog or a cat…

I could sleep in till seven am every single day. I wouldn’t be woken at half-three by a crazed feline chasing invisible mice.

My arms wouldn’t ache from sweeping the floors five times a day. The mop would gather dust in a closet. Friends wouldn’t smirk at the sight of my hair-covered pants. I wouldn’t be embarrassed by the random hole in my sweater, created by nails too long untrimmed.

I could eat breakfast unbothered by staring eyes.

Pizza would be delivered to our home without hours of preparation. The mail carrier wouldn’t drop our packages in puddles.

I could sit on the couch instead of curling up on the floor. The leather furniture wouldn’t be destroyed due to dirty paws. My  blanket would smell like laundry detergent.

Not wet canine.

I would still have my favourite pink flat-iron. We wouldn’t have to put tin foil around all our loose cords.

I wouldn’t trip over antlers in the dark. My shins would still be unscarred.

There would be dozens of of fancy shoes in my closet. I would still know how to walk in heels. My coat pockets would be smooth and empty, not filled with poop bags and stained with kibble dust.

My bank account wouldn’t break out in tears on a daily basis. I could afford better quality cheese. Our dog trainer’s great-great-grandchildren wouldn’t have their university degrees paid for.

We could take regular trips and stay at hotels and go out for expensive meals. We could go out at night after working all day without feeling guilty. We could fly on airplanes.

I wouldn’t know the beauty of a winter sunrise. The only exercise I would receive is walking from the bus stop to my home.

There would be no laughing at puppy antics or cuddling with warm, furry bodies. I wouldn’t fully understand the joy of sharing the simple things. I wouldn’t get to come up with sarcastic retorts when I hear people say, “it’s just a dog.”

I wouldn’t have met some of the kindest people I have ever known.

If I didn’t have a dog or a cat, I would probably be cleaner, dressed nicer, and far richer. But I wouldn’t be nearly as happy.

22 thoughts on “If I Didn’t Have a Dog… or a Cat…

  1. LOL. I can soooo relate!

    I always think about all the wonderful places I could travel to if I didn’t have dogs….but I’m not ready to give up my daily dog routine for a few weeks of adventure.


  2. Hear, hear!

    Now, I doubt I would be dressed better as my dull, unoriginal ‘fashion sense’ pre-dates dog guardianship, but we would definitely be richer.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t spend nearly as much time outside, and I wouldn’t have the blog. And then I wouldn’t be reading this.

    The Pros win it.


  3. Such a great post… being a dedicated dog/cat/cavy/fishy/etc. owner, there are definitely some sacrifices (like not having nice things, or extra money for nice things, or the ability to just pick up and leave for an impromptu vacation) but it’s so worth the amazing companionship and relationship and experiences being a dog/cat/cavy/fishy/etc entails.


  4. One of my friends gave me a picture frame that says, “No outfit is complete without dog hair.”

    I wonder if pet ownership ever becomes like having kids– once your own are grown, you enjoy the freedom and are happy to visit the grandkids, but happy to hand them back at the end of the visit too. I tried to pawn off my foster dogs on a prof once, and he said, “I’ve enjoyed owning dogs in the past, now I’m enjoying not owning dogs.”

    Right now I’m NOT enjoying not walking the dog ’cause there are daily wind chills of -25 and lower, but I plan to get my act together and get back on the leash soon.


    • In the my-weather-is-worse game that we Canadians like to play, I would just like to emphasize that it is -29 here, with a “feels like” of -42°C (that’s -43 F for our friends to the south).

      Do the Moses and Alma get walked for 60 minutes straight today? Heck no! Even we have limits.


      • And yesterday I walked to the Byward Market… Which means something to you, but not to most of Kristine’s other readers. It was cold but doable. 🙂

        Tomorrow back home it will be -9 with a wind chill of -21. You still win, and I’m going to TRY to walk the mutt. At least a little. After I sort through the eight bags of hand-me-downs in the guest room….

        Do you think Kristine minds us stealing her blog like this?


        • Alberta always wins the temperature battle. Always. Why do you think I moved? My best friend lives in Edmonton and she loves to regale me with cold weather stories. Just as I love to brag about Nova Scotia’s mild climate. Well, relatively mild anyway.

          For instance, today it is plus two with no wind. Tomorrow it is supposed to be plus seven with rain. Rain. Not snow.

          I guess that means I have no excuses about walking the dog tonight…


  5. Right on. The benefits outweigh the poor bank account; the wonderful people met outweigh the expensive trips (though I would like to take a weekend off sometime). I’ll take dog hair over a pristine house anytime – because it would be just a house, not a home, without a dog or cat (or horse!).


  6. Awwwww! You’re so right.

    Every time I’ve lost a dog I’ve taken a few months to take care of all the things I need to do before getting the next dog in the house. Yes, everything is easier and cleaner. But when the time comes to bring in the next dog, I just can’t wait.

    It’s too hard to live dog-free for long.


  7. Hi Kristine, ha, ha, ha – that’s me but my mom and dad are “crying” and nodding their heads like little bobble-head people. If they didn’t have us, they could afford a new truck and get rid of their 21 year old one and actually afford a home in Vancouver. But I bet they wouldn’t smile half as much as they do now with us here.


  8. Love that, it is so true. Nothing about the furniture being neat and unscathed by kitty claws though! the corners of all my couches are frayed because the cats like to attack them, and there is a spot on the rug which is frayed from Frou’s constant ‘softening’ attempts. :O


  9. HA! If I didn’t have dogs I never would have known how adept I can be in mopping down the entire kitchen floor in 3 minutes flat! Yeah, pets can be a pain, but I could never imagine a life without them. Dexter included!


  10. Loved this! You know, some people just aren’t bright enough to appreciate cats! While I love dogs too, for entirely different reasons, my life would be incomplete without my cats!


  11. Ohhhhh…this is so true!!! If I didn’t have dogs none of teeth would be chipped, I could wear white anytime I wanted, and I would have grass in the backyard! I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world!


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