Sunday, October 19, 2008

Personal pet therapy

I almost bought a puppy today. I, who have long decried people (friends, family, and strangers alike) who leave their dogs at home all day while they work, took one look at this beautiful Shiba Inu puppy and just about caved. I should have known better than to listen to my friend Linda when she asked if we could stop by Petland during our morning shopping excursion. I've been missing pet ownership like crazy lately. A pet store is the last place I should be! But when Linda asked, I didn't think twice. I figured we'd take a quick look and then move on.

Then I saw her:

Petland employees are quite brilliant. Before we could say we were just looking, the employee scuttled to the cage and lifted out my little Shiba, bringing her over to a play area. This puppy quickly captured my heart with her playful spirit and incredibly soft fur. My hospice patients have the option for pet therapy but I think we can all benefit from a little one-on-one time with a dog or cat. We just relate a little differently with furry critters somehow. It was good to play and laugh and cuddle this sweet puppy. Of course, Petland employees would come back to check on us and then ask, So are you going to take her home today? Or what questions do you have about taking or home? What can we do to encourage you to take her home today? They are persistent! I just wanted to play in peace. Instead, we got the Big Presentation about all that is included in the cost (food, free spay, crate, chew toy!) and, more importantly, how we will have this beautiful dog in our lives and be loyal Petland shoppers for life. All for the grand total of $1395. At least twice what I was guessing! Still, as my little Sheba the Shiba (as I liked to call her) scampered in my lap, I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could budget it in. Every time Linda and I said we'd have to think about it, the employee would say they'd leave us for a few minutes, with hopes those extra minutes would be enough for us to change our minds. Of course, outside of my budget, my apartment does not allow dogs. And there's that whole "not being home during the work day" aspect. I briefly considered pleading Sheba's case with my parents but I'm not sure what Tucker and Buzz would think about a new animal in their home. Alas, I had to say goodbye to my sweet, spunky puppy. At least I have a new favorite breed! And there's a rescue group too so maybe I can get a dog and do a good deed at the same time someday...

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