December 28th, 2011
One of the things that has been the most regretful in my life is that I never had kids. At 44 I think I’m past the youthful Dad part but it’s always been a nagging ghost, milling about, rattling chains behind me.
I’ve been told I could adopt and while that’s true I think I’m past my prime. I think that I’m mostly too old because I’ve been too selfish for so long that being a parent would delve into my drinking time, and nobody keeps Scoundrel away from his “medicine”.
But at this time of the year, especially at Christmas (see holiday season) when you see the nieces and nephews playing and getting excited about the season. Santa coming and all the packages with their names on them; and just the sheer elation is enough to make me pine for the loss of the child that never was.
It’s been said that I’d be a good Dad. I’m not sure if that’s true but I have a feeling that I wouldn’t be so bad. It’s not like I would lock my kids in a closet and tell them they were a mistake but I’m not sure, though, if that’s the barometer of being a good parent.
Maybe that’s where my love for my dogs comes into play.
When I lost Rufus, putting him down was the hardest thing I ever had to do – it was the right thing – but it was also the most difficult. People said I should get another one. I couldn’t at that point. Also, I couldn’t afford the energy and the time.
Working full time and going back to school, I thought it would be cruel to get a pet that needs attention. So the alternative was get a cat. Ummmm, no. I’m not a cat person. There’s a saying, “You own a dog, a cat owns you.” I needed something that needed me. I’m far too co-dependent for a cat.
So enter; Numa. It’s been two and a half years since they stuck the needle in Rufus’ ankle. I was there. I saw it go in. I held his head and knew he was dead when I felt the weight of his skull in my hand. I’m telling you, there was more liquid coming out of me than an ’87 Chevy. Every orifice that could leak did.
My nose was a faucet, my eyes a sprinkler.
So these “pets” have become my children. And I know it must seem creepy to those who don’t understand. Who have kids and maybe the family pet but for those of us who don’t have kids, we look to our pets to greet us when we come home. Hell, to even give us a reason to come home.
But they’re not our kids. They never will be. They will be a great, tremendous, substitute and you never have to worry about them borrowing the car but you, also won’t see them grow up, go to University, get married and become a Grandpa.
I see my beautiful Nieces and Nephews and I see the love dripping from their parents and it’s the same love I have for my dog. And she’s a dog. Really, just a dog.
But that’s the thing. Love doesn’t know something like species.