They say having a dog is like having children. I've heard this not just from people with an agenda, people like my parents who are worried that they'll end up paying for a dog if I ever got one, so that statement must hold some truth. I now live with my roommate's dog, and I have to say, I'm not any closer to willingly having children of my own. This is more than enough for me.
Taking care of a dog is remarkably similar to having a child. The only difference of course, is that this child is on permanent summer vacation and has no visible hobbies or interests. Much like children, there seems to be no end in sight to the time you will be spend picking up after them in their lifetime. Like children, they also pay no rent. They are unemployed. A recent example demonstrating this point:
My return home from work last night preceded my roommates. After several minutes spent cooing over our dog (we'll call him "Dog" for anonymity's sake, and also because that's what I've been calling him since the incident), telling him how pretty and nice he was and thanking him for not letting anyone break into the house and for not voting Republican in the last election, etc., I walked into the kitchen to find that he had relieved himself in every possible way on our kitchen floor. Though he shamefully offered to help, I of course protested and cleaned up the mess myself, not wanting to further embarrass him. I instead chose to voice my disapproval my usual way, with biting sarcasm and an exaggeration of events ("No no, you've done more than enough already, put away the Clorox.").
One and a half rolls of paper towels later, I walked into my bedroom to find that things were about to get even worse. Not only did he mistake the kitchen floor for an outhouse, it seems he had also been rifling through my purse and made a number of online charges to my Mastercard (just what was he planning to do with four copies of a Jane Fonda aerobics video and a Waterford sangria pitcher?). Fortunately he had not made it out of the house with my credit card, as he must have realized he has no opposable thumbs and had no way of signing for the purchases. From the looks of things he had also tried on quite a bit of my clothes. Upon realizing that he is most certainly not a size 4, it appears he suffered an acute nervous breakdown and went looting through my purses for cigarettes. The poor thing, I don't know how I'm going to tell him that this is a non-smoking apartment. It now occurs to me that the doggy door I had installed in my bedroom door might not have been one of my better ideas, even though I specified it was only for use in emergencies (like if the apartment was on fire and he needed to rescue me).