moragmacpherson: (Default)
moragmacpherson ([personal profile] moragmacpherson) wrote2014-09-01 02:17 pm

A New Rant for a Different Kind of Labor

This is one that I've encountered over and over again, very often with people who are my closest, dearest friends, and it's happening right now. Maybe this is slightly cruel, or hypocritical, but I'm sticking it out with him, so, he's got that.

There's a reason I own cats. My first I got when I was a grad student with odd hours and frequent travel. I lived in an apartment  (this same one, and technically, my cat has lived here longer than anyone else). Cats are relatively self sufficient, and when I too became "relatively" self-sufficient, I kept with cats, even though I grew up in a dog family and was offered a rehab dog: because I can't take care of a dog, especially not a working breed. 

There are days (less often) when I can't get out of bed, when the best I can do to make my mandatory once a day exit is to run to the mailbox and back.  I couldn't, and still really can't, accommodate a dog's needs. Sometimes I'm so anti-social and overloaded that I lock myself in a room where the cats can't get to me.  I make sure the litter is clean, the bowls are full, and when I'm unhappy, a purring cat does the soul plenty of good.

A border collie, staring at me because I woke up at 8am to take him out and then fell back asleep, it's 2:30 now and he needs to go out again,  he needs someone to play ball with, he needs to stretch out his legs and run, but it's August in Texas and the last place in the world I want to be is out in the open?  That rends the heart with guilt.

Or at least, it does mine. His owner is lying next to me, dead asleep.

Me and the dog spend a lot of time together. Too much time, really. I understand that yes, I'm the one who's unemployed, the my guy-thing-person is the one covering my bills, that he's young, and that he works a physically strenuous job with irregular hours. I know that when they moved in, I changed my mind about insisting that the dog needed to be given to someone and someplace where he can work and run the way he ought, because the dog may not know it, but he is a therapy dog. I love them both.

But every time the dog is clearly looking to go outside and the guy says, "I don't wanna, I'm too tired, can't you do it? etc."  I wanna shoot him. I saw this lots when I was younger, friends fresh out of college or high school who'd buy dogs, but they're still pretty much teenagers so they'll sleep well into the afternoon and I don't sleep well, so when I stayed over, inevitably I'd wake up with 30+ pounds of dog on top of me, crying to be let out. And I'd walk them, even though I can't really control a dog that large. Good, sweet dogs: pitbulls, rottweillers, labs, collies: big, sweet working dogs with lots of energy and an compulsion to please their owner.

Which is tough to do when the owner keeps covering their head with the comforter and saying "Not yet."  Makes the dog think he's doing something wrong. Right now the collie's in his kennel, staring at us, after spending close to a half hour alpha rolling for me, which is just wrong. But dammit, I'm not doing it this time. I can't cover for this: there are reasons I can't own a dog.

Right now, I really need to pee too. But I won't. Not until the dog gets taken out by the person who owns him.

Maybe it's cruel. But even if he doesn't know it, we're in this together.

And shit: his bowels just gave out before I did. Now I really want to hurt something.


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