Why, yes, children, of course we can get a dog … and by “yes” I mean “fuck no.”

One of the many adorable puppies we will not be getting.

Dear My Children:

I’m sorry, but you’re not going to wear me down on this one. Sometimes Daddy has to be a dick. This is one of those times.

Yes, I know you really, really, REALLY want a dog. The fact that you say it on a daily basis has tipped me off. If you ask me every day to wrap my feet in bacon and plunge them into a tank full of starving piranha, the answer also will be “No.” The frequency of your request makes no difference to me, is my point.

Q: What do giraffes and dogs have in common?
A: Neither one will be living in my house.

Yes, I know your cousins have a dog. I encourage you to visit them more often so that you can play with him. Because we are not getting one.

You see, children, the thing is: You have no clue what owning a dog entails … and even if you did, it would not matter, because neither of you will be the one doing what owning a dog entails, day in, day out, for the rest of our hypothetical dog’s life.

You will not, for example, be getting up in the middle of the night to tend to the crying, whimpering puppy. You will not be cleaning the puppy urine and poop off of our expensive, light-colored, wall-to-wall carpet. You will not repeatedly be walking the dog around the neighborhood like a zombie while collecting its poop in a plastic bag. You will not be picking up and disposing of the piles of poop that appear in our yard each day.

Basically, dog = poop … and I officially stopped dealing with any poop other than my own when you two stopped wearing diapers. Sorry.

You also, by the way, will not be supplying the endless stream of cash needed to pay for all of the dog food and dog paraphernalia and veterinarian bills that will total an astronomical sum by the end of our hypothetical dog’s life.

The economics of dog ownership.

Speaking of which: By the time our hypothetical dog reaches the end of his or her life, you most likely won’t even be living in this house anymore … which means you will not be the ones to nurse the dog during its pre-death period of infirmity, nor have to deal up close and personal with said dog’s eventual death. The desire I have to subject myself to that kind of emotional roller coaster and devestating loss can best be described as “totally nonexistent.”

And as I gaze upon the many things listed above that you will not be doing for our hypothetical dog, it is not lost upon me just who will be responsible for all of those things: ME. Which brings us back to: Fuck no.

You see, children, having a dog is like having a baby … except the baby never advances beyond age two. I do not want another baby … so much so that I was willing to let a stranger cut my scrotum open and mutilate things inside of it. Now, think for a moment, if you will, about the level of commitment it requires to subject oneself to that sort of unpleasantness … and then ask yourself if my resolve about not having another baby a dog is likely to falter.

In closing: I hope you are enjoying the fish.

If at first you don’t succeed, kill, kill again

Just like having a dog. Except for the “dog” part.



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  1. Posted January 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I had pretty much this exact internal monologue except the scrotum mutilating part. We compromised and got a hamster because they can’t cuddle a fish. We used to have fish but they were suicidal and jumped into the garbage disposal. and I swear I had NOTHING to do with that.

  2. Posted January 25, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I completely feel you on this one! I’ll admit, I have a cat…which means that I deal with the whole emotional aspect of said furry buddy dying, but he’s a lot easier to take care of than a dog. You get to be one step removed from the poop. You don’t have to deal with it fresh, you get wait until it’s covered in clumping sand and use a scooping implement. They don’t slobber and want to lick your face, ewww. And they don’t go for walks. In MN. During the winter. Yeah. No dog for me. My kid can have a dog in his own house.
    Tess´s most recent blog post: Sugar-free Chocolate Banana BreadMy Profile

  3. Posted January 25, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, kids don’t realize they really aren’t the ones that will be walking the dog like they are king of the neighborhood. I argued with my husband for YEARS about getting a dog. We have one now, but he was crate and potty trained before he landed with us. Stand your ground, your $ are better spent on top shelf tequila.
    Meg at the Members Lounge´s most recent blog post: The Tweets You Wish Politicians Wrote.My Profile

    • Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Exactly. In fact, you raise a good point; getting a dog would be a double whammy: I would need tequila more than ever, and I wouldn’t be able to afford any because of the dog who was driving me to drink.

  4. Dorice
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Love this post!!! We made the mistake of getting my youngest daughter a dog for her birthday. That was seven years ago. She graduates high school in June. I told her to find a college that allows pets, as that damn dog sure as hell isn’t staying home with me.

  5. Posted January 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    brilliant. absolutely hysterical. sharing with parent friends nnnnnnnnOW!
    Sunday´s most recent blog post: Debt Free Part 3: ExpensesMy Profile

  6. Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    We have a dog. I think the only reason my husband tolerates it is because one day we’ll have kids that want a dog and this one is already trained.
    Stacey´s most recent blog post: Pot, Meet KettleMy Profile

  7. Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    And that is EXACTLY why we never caved and got our son a dog. Sure, he feels deprived and all – tough. I don’t need another being to look after.
    Gigi´s most recent blog post: Guess what today is?My Profile

  8. Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Good one, Daddy-o. And this is from someone who has three dogs, two cats and three horses. But they are mostly outside.
    The horses only come in on Thursday nights to watch 30 Rock.
    Horses love Alec Baldwin.
    Heidi H´s most recent blog post: An Ode to my Brother…by the way, you smell.My Profile

  9. Posted January 25, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    I feel exactly the same, not to mention all the annoying barking. They already have a cat that they don’t take care of, so I don’t really have to deal with the begging. Right now they want chicks, but I tell them that it’s impossible now that they have decided to start letting the cat outside, since she would love to eat them for a snack!

  10. Paulette M Clark
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Personally I will never be without a dog. I don’t trust people who don’t have a pet. Get a dog. Save one from the shelter and they will love you forever. You will be a nicer person. It’s the only thing that keeps me sane. Just sitting on the steps with my hand on a dog and I’m good for another day.

  11. Posted January 25, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    well, when you put it that way………….. ;D
    Rilly´s most recent blog post: Wordless Wednesday in Wet `n Windy Western Washington……..My Profile

  12. Posted January 26, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Okay, this is funny. But – I bet you had a dog as a kid, and bet it broke your heart when it died. Or maybe you just saw a movie, like maybe Old Yeller or some such. It’s up to you whether your kids can have a dog, but don’t patronize them by offering them a bunch of fish as a substitute. Geez!
    Charade´s most recent blog post: I Had A Dream, Too…My Profile

  13. Posted January 26, 2012 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    We will not ever have a dog. My husband says he’ll have another child before he has another dog…he has 10 and does NOT want anymore. He’s already had his balls monkeyed with 3 times so he isn’t up for yet another V. “Fuck NO” is his party line on this one as well. When each cat died, he’d do a little countdown…”three down, two to go” sort of thing. We are now petless and happy. Petless…but with 10 kids.
    XLMIC´s most recent blog post: Because that Shut Up and Run girl said to…My Profile

  14. Posted January 26, 2012 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    XLMIC: Maybe if your husband had had numerous dogs to walk, you wouldn’t have had ten kids….
    Gullible´s most recent blog post: There are heroes and then there are AngelsMy Profile

  15. Nicole
    Posted January 26, 2012 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    Brilliant! There will be no dogs in my house either. Other people’s dogs are fantastic, just like other people’s babies, but no thank you. I like to sleep and not clean up shit. I’m done with that.

  16. Posted January 26, 2012 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    Good grief I’m glad you aren’t my father. 😛 We’ve had dogs my entire life with the exception of the time it took to rescue another from a shelter after the previous one passed away. And you know what? Although I definitely wasn’t paying for the dog, I took great joy in helping to walk them and take care of them. I think you’re being fairly selfish in only focusing on the bad, dogs can be a hell of a lot of fun and good for kids. Fish are really boring pets for children, I’m figuring it’s safe to say your kids don’t give much of a crap about those fish. Do they get allowances? Tell them to start saving their allowance for a dog, see how long THAT lasts. If they actually do it, then they really want a dog. Carpet cleaners remove poop stains, that’s what they’re for.
    Heatherface´s most recent blog post: Shit People Say videos. Jesus Christ, enough already.My Profile

  17. Allyssa
    Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    As an animal-lover (and the parent to 3 dogs, 2 cats, and 2 kids), I can’t imagine not having a dog, but at the same time, I respect your decision. It pisses me off to no end when people get animals and don’t really want them, don’t want to invest the time or money that is involved with being a pet owner, and just end up resenting the pet when ,God forbid, they have an accident on the floor when they are sick (for the first time in their life) or need heartworm meds, or any of the other stuff pets do because, you are so right, they are just like babies. Everyone has to draw the line somewhere. While an animal-lover, I don’t get people who want puppies. Puppies are hard damn work. Give me a 1 or 2-yr old dog any day over a puppy. Sure, puppies are cuter, but the amount of work involved is exponentially higher with a puppy and the payoff for that cuteness is not enough for me. Good luck sticking to your guns.

  18. Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    But, what happens when I want a dog? Does it work in reverse? Like, because I really, really, really want one, my son will actually to the training and taking-care of said dog?
    Casey´s most recent blog post: The AnniversaryMy Profile

  19. Posted January 26, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Great post. We got a puppy 18 months ago and my three teenage sons all swore they would help walk him and feed him and love him. Guess who is walking him and feeding him and loving him? My husband, who already has the responsibility of paying the mortgage and works 10-12 hours a day. He LOVES that dog and I would walk him, but he actually enjoys getting away from his desk for awhile and has lost 38 pounds. He says the walking is a stress reliever. I’m just glad I don’t have to walk him.

    Oh and the cost! My god, that dog has cost us about $3,000 already and he’s only 18 months old. He should have come with diamonds or something to make it worth the expense. And he barks at nothing and there’s lots of poop.

    If I had it to do over…yeah, I’d probably get the dog. But only because my husband loves him so much. Good thing, because we are the only ones who pay any attention to him. The kids started ignoring him about 5 minutes after we got home. Little buggers. Don’t believe their promises.
    Chelle´s most recent blog post: Life Without Credit Cards???? EEEEK!My Profile

  20. Diane
    Posted January 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    methinks the lady doth protest too much….my guess is, there will be a Here’s My New Dog post on this blog pretty soon. And when that happens, I’ll be pleased to gloat and say “I told you so!” (one of my fortes). I lurk incessantly here anyway so will just continue to do so in wait for said post.

  21. Frannie
    Posted January 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Can’t wait to find out what breed you get 🙂

  22. Posted January 26, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    I feel the same way, and this is why we have a “no large animals” thing going on currently. I recommend betta fish.
    (P.S. I “pinned” your graph on Pinterest because it is hilarious).

  23. Posted January 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Shit like this is why I like to read your blog: “The desire I have to subject myself to that kind of emotional roller coaster and devestating loss can best be described as ‘totally nonexistent.'”

    Team Suzanne´s most recent blog post: The problem with natural consequencesMy Profile

  24. SARAH
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Adopt an older dog from the humane society when you get a dog, then you don’t have to do the puppy stuff.

  25. Posted January 27, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Is it wrong that sometimes I like my dogs better than my kids? Sure they poop…but they can’t talk back and tell me how much they hate me.

  26. so
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    you’re getting a dog, aren’t you? 😛

  27. Tulip's Mom
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    The Tulip in my name line is the dog. I’ve had up to 9 dogs and 5 cats (on my farm, not in the house!) — can’t live without them, blah, blah, blah, and I agree with you completely. Why? Because I volunteer at an animal shelter and see dogs and cats killed daily after their families abandon them. Hang in there!

  28. Susan
    Posted January 29, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Yeah, right. You should’o thought about this before you had your first kid. You’ll have a dog soon, or be Daddy Sucks, in the front row seat of their scowls and future therapy. Yes you will!

  29. Posted January 30, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Fish are for pussies.

    That being said, this might be your best comedic blog post! Best in a long time, at least.

    Poor children.

    • Posted January 31, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, sir.
      (And, just for the record: I am a pussy. So fish are perfect for me.)

  30. Posted January 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Where were you nine months ago? Our dog died and we went to a pet store ‘just to look’ and now we have two puppies. Sure they’re cute, but every day I wish someone else was taking them out to poop in three feet of snow.
    Melissa´s most recent blog post: Journal SchmournalMy Profile

  31. Posted February 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Where the hell were you two years ago when I caved to this arguement? I should have just doubled up on the medicine when I had the chance. Now I have a 4 year Bichon who is a pain in my ass.

    I am now blaming you for me getting a dog. Damn you Daddy Scratches!
    Onethirdacrewoods´s most recent blog post: Kindle vs. PaperMy Profile

  32. Posted February 1, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I stumbled here from the bloggess… this post made me laugh. I have a German Shepherd that my neighbors – a family of five – mom, dad, three boys (two of whom are autistic) have become home away from home for my dog. The boys really, really, really want a dog, but the answer is NO. So, they borrow mine. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but I know my girl and I know she’ll be alright when they give her wrong commands (my dog speaks German), step on her tail, or play keepaway a little too long. Maybe there’s a damn good dog in your neighborhood you could borrow?

  33. Andrea
    Posted February 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Children: “Daddy can we get a puppy”
    Daddy: “I would love to get a dog girls, but daddy get’s very sick when he is around dogs and cats…it’s something called allergies. I’m sorry, but we will NEVER EVER be able to have a dog or cat because daddy will get VERY sick.”
    It may not be true, but it worked.
    The End

  34. mexmom
    Posted February 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    We also have fish instead of a dog, and we live so happy, at least me of course no my son.

  35. Barbara
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    “having a dog is like having a baby … except the baby never advances beyond age two”

    Truer words were never spoken. Stay tough!

  36. Posted February 18, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    All true and I made similar arguments to wife and daughters for years. Having gotten The Beast I now feel totally vindicated in that everything I said was true. My favorite thing to say to my wife when she yells at the dog or yells at me for something the dog has done is, “If only there had been a voice of reason, someone to think through all that was involved in owning a dog…oh, yeah, there was. ME!!”

    He’s a pain in the ass but…I still love him. Plus he’s male (well, sort of) and I need all the help I can get over here.

    • Posted February 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      I was going to say, “I feel your pain, bro.” Except, I don’t … because I don’t have a dog … and I NEVER WILL.

      When I was driving a patrol car around in the Mojave Desert with my K9 partner, I was 100% sure I would have a dog someday. Then I had two kids. Number of additional beings I wish to keep alive and be responsible for? Zero.

      Sorry, dogs we won’t be getting. I hope you find a nice home … somewhere else.

  37. Posted March 11, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant. Just fuckin brilliant. You should go on to write that novel or screenplay or scene for “the Office”.

  38. Brender
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    I know this post is old, but I just found your blog and I’m about to explode from keeping laughter in while my family sleeps.

    I have a “can we get a dog” story for you.

    A dad and his kids wanted a dog. The mom said no way, she doesn’t want to do all the work. This went on for some time. One day, kids and dad are out and about, and they start talking about winning mom over on the whole dog issue. One child chimes in, “So… can we get a dog when Mom dies?” Dad reports this conversation to Mom. Two weeks later they have a dog.

    In my opinion, she should have held strong and replied, “Yes, you can get a dog when I die. And I will be doing ALL of my own cooking from now on.”

    Of course, I’m not really one to talk. I got suckered into the dog thing. Yes, I did all the work. Yes, I fell in love with the dog. And yes, I’m the one that had to decide it was time to put our 3 year old dog to sleep because his cancer was so advanced. That sucked WAY more than all the walking and poop cleaning. I’m still glad we had the dog, I just wish it would have been for longer.

  39. julie
    Posted May 13, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I followed you home from the bloggess’. You stole my first comment on her post today right out from under me. So I followed you home. I think I am gonna stay too. I find you most amusing and quite kind hearted. I have poked around a little and think rather highly of you. I lost the “we’re not getting a dog” battle. Partly because I love animals too, and partly because beer. The biggest beggar in my home actually does the majority of the care and now she is also old enough to contribute financially to the care of said dog. Plus he is a pretty cute little guy.

  40. kat
    Posted September 25, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I just followed you over from The Bloggess on your link to that post. If your kids are still nagging about the dog I have a suggestion for you/them: If there is a shelter near you, your kids could volontier to walk some of their dogs regularly.

    A friend of mine did this after found out she was allergic to all animal hair. She was heartbroken because she really wanted a dog. With the shelter dogs, she could come on a fixed schedule (twice a week for her) and in between if she had extra time on her hands. The shelter was happy to have her help. She was happy to be able to care for dogs without having to take them into her home and cause her allergies to flair up. The dogs were happy to be taken for walks. Win-win-win.

  41. Posted December 27, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m just warning you about what could happen: My mom was like this when I was a kid. No dog. No way. Anything but a dog. Of course I wanted nothing more than a dog, so this is what happened: One, I swore a great vow that the minute I grew up and moved out I would get a dog. Two, I collected every possible kind of non-dog pet to fill the gaping dog-shaped void in my soul. Caterpillars, spiders and scorpions. Cats, bunnies, hamsters, mice, rats and parrots. I tried to walk the bunnies on leashes. I put leashes on beetles. And fish, of course, endless tanks of increasingly complicated fish. I got married, got a dog. I didn’t go off all the fish and exotic pets (though I love my dog best of all).

    And THEN… you know what’s coming next. I moved back in with my folks, trailing:
    1 husband. 1 dog. 4 cats in total. Sugar gliders, parrot, and fish. Tanks and tanks and enormous tanks of big fish, small fish, delicate fish, murderous fish… you get the picture. You have been warned.

    P.S. My mother LOVES the dog, she calls it her grand-pup. She doesn’t much appreciate the fish though.
    Lesley´s most recent blog post: EmoMy Profile

  42. Posted August 18, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    My kids are grown and out of the house and everyone keeps asking me why I don’t get a dog to keep me company.
    What part of my kids are grown and out of the house, I don’t want the company anymore don’t they understand?
    Loved this post. Hilarious!

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