Dudes and Dogs

So my roommate got a kitten. She’s tiny with piercing blue eyes and her name isBowie.

When she started flirting with the idea, browsing Craigslist looking for eligible animals that were rescued or abandoned and now up for auction or for free – I admit I was a little jealous.

I’ve never quite been a cat-person, though I grew up with one who recently passed away. His name was Indiana Jones Tigar, named after one of my favorite series as a kid. We nicknamed him Indy, and he was adventurous and quick, always getting away from me with a smirk that spoke louder than his meow. And then of course, there’s M’s baby Milo, who as my “godson” is permanently embedded in my heart and I’ll admit, that when the earthquake shook New York, I wondered how he was alone in M’s apartment.

And now, there’s yet another kitten sashaying into my life and with her arrival, my heart sinks just a bit. While some women at my age, God bless ‘em, feel like they’re achin’ to have kids, I’m achin’ for a pet.

Specifically, one of those puppies with sad, sad eyes from the Humane Society commercials. Or maybe one that’s across the street from my friend K’s apartment in the WestVillage– the one that every time I walk past it on my way to her place, I fight the urge to ask just how much is that puppy in the window?

The time isn’t ticking on my ovaries anymore than it’s ticking on my ability to support a dog right now, but I have this overwhelming desire to own one. I want to come home after a glorious day at work, followed by drinks with my favorites, to a wagging-puppy-dog-tail that’s excited to see me and will lay by my feet at night. I want to have responsibility for something else, something to take care of, something to depend on me, something that’ll grow because of my loving nature and guidance.

Rationally though, I know I’m not in the right time of my life to adopt a dog. While I could support it financially, I couldn’t give it the time and attention it deserves and that it would crave. Walking a dog through Central Parkwhen it’s painted with an earthy palette while wearing my fleece peacoat seems beautiful and idealistic, but it’s quite unrealistic.

Animals, like relationships, aren’t as cute as we imagine and far more work than we’d like to realize. I’m fully aware of this truth, both with puppies and men (quite similar if you think about it…), and yet, I still want them both. I’m not sure which tail is cuter, frankly.

But sometimes, the right decisions and the hard decisions are one-in-the-same. Being an adult means sucking up what you want to decide what’s best. Ensuring your life and your happiness continue to excel means getting rid of those things, those people, or those ideas that hold you back. Even if one of them happens to be the image of a rescued, wet-nosed pup who adores you. Maybe even a man who adores you, too – though he’s not the best for you, as much as you’d like him to be.

Because when you take the plunge and commit to a puppy or to a guy, you’re promising to come home each night, just as you said you would. You pledge to be there to fill their bowl and build their ego, stroke their cute little heads when they need encouragement or to be soothed. To excitedly call their name, even if they’re not really doing anything you are getting excited about, and to play with them, regardless if you’re tired and have a headache or not.

Men and puppies require attention and time, both things that aren’t difficult to sacrifice when you have many other things that fulfill you. But the fever that comes with dudes and dogs is one that’s rather difficult to extinguish.

But I fight the puppy-fever by volunteering to help others with their pets. By giving Milo andBowiean extra pat on their tiny kitten heads, by complimenting dog owners on their adorable pets, by volunteering when I can at shelters. By bookmarking photos of dogs I’d like to have and stopping at every rescue center or puppy-for-sale store I see.

And man-fever? Well, I still have 26 days to figure out how to battle that high.