Should you get a dog?
It’s honestly safe to say that I am, with every fiber of my being, a cat person. I love my cat above anything else and would definitely call him my best friend, by far. Which may or may not be very fucking sad. It’s not that I don’t like dogs, I just love cats. However over the span of my lifetime I’ve had 2 dogs.
The first one was Presidént. A big fucker, definetly taller then I used to be back then. He would stay outside and would always attack me whenever I tried to open the door. I had to make a detour everytime I wanted to go out in the garden. Which at one point I just stopped doing because Presidént would always be there. Everything about that dog terrified me. Later I found out, he just liked to be indoors, but my grandparents didn’t want him to, because he was just way too big. Ironically, he got in the house one day (somebody left the door unlocked), bit off a chunk of the table and choked on it. My grandpa found him lying on the floor. That was the end of Presidént’s era, a truly misunderstood giant.
The next dog was called Basta. A product of my desire to get a dog, for reasons I don’t know, and my talent for constant nagging. So grandpa and I drove to the shelter to get the smallest dog we could find. It felt so wonderful to pick one, little did I know, when I picked him I sealed his fate.
The conditions for getting a dog were the most standard ones you can think of: you feed him, groom him, clean him and walk him. I might have fed him 5 times in total myself, my grandma ended up doing it most of the time. As with the cleaning and the grooming. However I loved walking him, I always did that, even though holding on to his leash was the equivalent of an entire workout for me. I mean I was maybe 6 years old and Basta was a hunting dog.
There used to be this patch of land, which was completely sealed off except for one very narrow entrance, which made it impossible for Basta to escape. On that patch I let him run around until he tired himself out. And believe me he always did, because after our walk he had to go back into his cage. A 5-by-5 meter square, that looked like you’d see in the movies, when they showed these really run down, sad zoo’s. Basta always tried to escape, that was my grandpa’S justification for keeping him locked up like that. Sometimes the dog would actually escape, but we lived in a village and everybody always brought him back. I used to hate Basta for trying to get away at every chance, now I wish nobody would have brought him back.
Every day we went for a walk, until one day we crossed paths with some old man and his 2 gigantic dogs, not as big as Presidént, but still just too big. I only remember me crawling on the ground desperately trying to grab ahold of that leash, as well as the walk home, I was completely terrified (As a kid I used to already be scared to death by seeing my own reflection in the dark, if I would pass a mirror.) and Basta having some wounds, but being very content. After that I actually neve went on a walk with him again.
The last time I interacted with Basta, was when I went into his cell and tried to pet him. He wasn’t the petting type, so I tried to leave again. However every time I tried, Basta would try to get out too. Which meant I was stuck, so I did what every 6 year old would probably do, I cried and yelled as much as I could. My freedom finally came when my grandma came to feed him, 5 hours later.
After that Basta never really left his cage again. Nobody walked him, since I, the only one who could walk him, was too scared to even go near him anymore, and nobody else really cared or had the time. He died many years later of a broken heart and spirit.
My cousin blames my grandparents for letting a 6 year old choose a dog, especially when they themselves knew they couldn’t properly take care of a dog. But I’ve never forgiven myself for forcing that kind of life onto Basta, and being too selfish to understand the basic needs of another life form. To this day, it’s near impossible to look at a dog and not see Basta.
I’m sure you’re not as horrible a person as I am, but please I urge you, if you’re considering getting a dog, don’t forget to commit to them. Take care of them and out in the effort. They’re living beings, with feelings and personalities. See them as humans. There’s this wonderful short film on Youtube called “Gift”, watch the director’s cut before you decide. I know you’d never think that you’re capable of such a level of neglect, but this isn’t some coat you can just give back or hang in your closet until you’re ready to put it on again. Also I realize you might think I have no right to preach anything, but please don’t make the same mistake I did.