There’s been some discussion at home recently about Mrs Adams and the kids wanting a dog. I say discussion, but lively debate might be a more accurate turn of phrase as I fear I have little desire to take on a pet dog.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a dog person. I grew up with dogs and I am much more familiar with them than cats.
A dog would be our second family pet. We have a family cat called Poppy. Poppy was Mrs Adams’ from before we got married and I knew I’d be taking on a cat-child when we did settled down together.
The issue is that I simply don’t want to expand our family with any further pets. You have, after all, got to be prepared to take on the responsibility of a pet and I’m simply not interested, especially while out kids are so young.
Mrs Adams has tried to persuade me of the positives. Apparently, having a pet dog would be “fun” and the animal would be “loyal” and that “we’d all go out for lots of walks.”
I have different scenarios in my head. They involve having to take the dog for a walk in the rain and keeping carrier bags in my pocket so I can bend down and scoop up the animal’s excrement. You know what doesn’t appeal? I’ll tell you: keeping a bag of warm dog excrement in my pocket until I can get to a suitable bin, that’s what.
Added to this, of course, is the fact Mrs Adams works in Central London for the best part of 12 hours each day. The responsibility for walking said creature would fall on me until the kids were old enough to do it.
Even then, there’s no guarantee they actually would walk the dog. When I was growing up I did all I possibly could to avoid walking our dogs as I always wanted to walk solo without interruptions.
My upbringing, you see, is part of the problem. When I was growing up, our house was reminiscent of Gerald Durrel’s book My Family and Other Animals, in which the famed conservationist writes about his early years living in Corfu surrounded by, well, lots of animals. Animals outnumbered humans in my early years too.
During the years of peak occupation, six of us lived in the same house. Added to this we had: three dogs, one goat, two ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs and goodness knows what else.
Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t all live in the house. I had a delightful rural upbringing and there was land for all these animals. That said, my brother did occasionally sneak his ferrets up to his bedroom and boy could you smell it.
I don’t exactly have the fondest memories of having to feed the goat in the middle of winter or of the charming odour that emitted from the ferret cage. Truth be told, the dogs were probably the easiest of our animals to look after.
Here is the issue: the animals took so much looking after. I just don’t think I can face that again. I just want a simple, easy life and much as I love dogs, they require looking after and you have to be prepared to do it.
Yes, I know, all I’m being asked to consider is one dog. I really, honestly, genuinely love dogs. I just don’t want to live with one.
I have a strange feeling these discussions are going to continue and that they’ll probably go on longer than the Brexit negotiations. Unlike those involved with the Brexit negotiations, however, I don’t see my position changing at all. Wish me luck holding out against my wife and kids!