Get A Dog

August 23, 2011 § 26 Comments

If I had had a pound for the number of people who have told me to get a dog.  Fuck, I’d be rich.

The main thrust of their argument is not so much for the companionship – although that plays a part no doubt – because most people know I have children who I can hug and kiss as a plankton might her dog and who can be called upon to give me hugs and slobbery kisses, like dogs.  And who still romp and tumble about and generally roll in the dirt like puppies.  And, who need lunging and exercising, like dogs. And who eat with a certain freneticism and lack of social grace, like dogs.  Who cost me a merry fortune in biscuits and playthings, and who want me to throw them things (balls, food) like dogs.  Who, now they are getting older, have a tendency to smell quite high, like dogs.  And so forth.

No, I think people tell me to get a dog – in the same way they tell me to go on a course or a walking holiday (cf. Go On A Course, Why Don’t You?) – because they swear I will find the love of my life out dog walking.  Each one of them has a story to tell about a plankton they know who is no longer a plankton because she met a fellow dog owner out walking his dog and their eyes met as his lurcher was sniffing her poodle’s arse.  These stories exist a bit like that urban myth about the woman out for revenge on a cheating partner who rang the speaking clock from his phone when he was out of the country so on his return he had to face a bill of thousands of pounds.  (Only a week ago, when on holiday, I met someone who told me that that had happened to a friend of a friend of his and I thought, can you be for real, that you believed it and hadn’t heard that one a million times before?)

Anyway, there’s just one problem with this piece of advice.  I am a single mother with a certain amount on my plate already what with work etc.  I am not even remotely complaining but I will say this:  The last thing I want is a dog.

Lovely though they are, I am sure, I am not really a tremendous dog-lover and nor am I a tremendous one for walks, so meeting and falling for Mr Right out walking in the park when his lurcher is dogging with my – what? labrador? spaniel? – is not a scenario I can very easily envisage and, call me narrow-minded, does not feature very prominently in my most wistful wishings.

§ 26 Responses to Get A Dog

  • Sarah says:

    I agree, the last thing I need is a dog! Talk about daily hassle.

    Cats on the other hand… but they won’t get you meeting anyone except the vet or an angry neighbour fed up with cats digging up his flowers to poo…

  • dannyrees says:

    been there and done that one – DO NOT GET A DOG EVER!!

    they are lovely but if you’ve got work / kids / a life then they are the last thing you want

    oh and they poo and slobber and you can’t take them down the beach in the summer and you can’t take them on holiday…blah blah blah and so on until you get rid of it (or take it to live on a farm)

  • Bambi says:

    Oh Jesus, I got all of that too. Though I think it was suggested more with a view to HAVING a companion (because I don’t have children to romp and tumble with) than with a view to MEETING a companion (with whom I might romp and tumble). Sometimes the suggestion changed – “Get a cat”. I hate cats. I did get a dog at one stage. (Must have got worn down). It didn’t work out between us; because, guess what? I was/am out/away too much – romping and tumbling (metaphorically speaking (well, sometimes :-))) with Friends, Romans, Countrymen etc…..

    Finally, my friends have realised that, actually, no, I shouldn’t get a dog. Or a cat. Ever. (It may have been to do with the colourful language I was inclined to use when it was suggested).

    Some of the advice a Plankton gets may be of general application and is proffered to non-Planktons. The advice to get a dog/cat/rat (sorry, hamster) seems to be Plankton-specific… least in my ‘umble experience….

    PS. On another topic – Someone (Mack, I think?) asked me (very politely) a while back why I had chosen not to have children. Apologies – I haven’t had a chance to reply (too busy entertaining, feeding and exercising non canine companions just now), but I will do as soon as I can. However, a good foretaste of part of the answer is provided in Chapter 13 of Caitlin Moran’s book “How to be a Woman”) referred to on this blog at some stage…. I don’t particularly like her style of writing, but this was actually quite entertaining and did say things which many people (women) don’t dare to admit…


    I am thinking of getting a dog-for several reasons.

    It will get me outdoors instead of house hatching.

    I am thinking that I could train the dog to get ladies phone numbers for me as I am quite shy.

    The other thing in having a dog makes you social and people will stop and say hello if you have a dog.

    The downside of a dog is they are turd factories and leave land mines all over the garden for you to step in and then stain the carpet with. Or you have to pick up after them if they foul the path-that is one job that makes me physically wretch.

    No-stuff the dog, get on your heels and posh frock, get a big baseball bat and go out, mesmerise a man with your sexiness, belt him on the head with your bat and drag him back to your cave. That would work for me.

  • DAN says:

    Very good plankton,very funny and i can sence a lift in your spirits since your last post! HA ! HA !

    If you have children (by the way you have not told us how many and what ages they are?) depending on their ages you would not have time to walk the fucking dog to begin with!

    Unless, and i stress the unless you would like to be like brittany spears and all the other socialites and get one that would fit in your handbag and that way any prospective partener that you may come accross , when he sees this small dog may say “oh what a cute little doggy” , and therby you may be able to start up a conversation with the said person!
    Just make sure to get one that is calm and cuddly, otherwise it could have the complete opposite effect ,if he puts out his hand , and the dog bites him.
    Ha ! Ha !
    As dogs behaviour patterens are nearly always the same as there owners and could send out the wrong signals.
    By the same token dogs are a good judge of character of an individual, and if being of the calm type will not snarl or bark at an individual, unless they sence something is wrong with that individual!
    You’ll never see a dog bark or snarl at a small child as the dog can sence that no harm will come to him or whoever he’s with.


  • Well, it’s reassuring on a day like this to learn that’s how many women perceive men… “can’t find a boyfriend or a future husband? Get a pet”

    • kidrock says:

      Men ARE pets.

    • Bambi says:

      Scott, where does it say that it is only women who give such advice?

      I got my dog directly as a result of male advice…. So….does this mean men have the same perception as you suggest women have…..

      • I cannot speak on behalf of all of the men in this world, but me personally, no- When I am lacking a girlfriend, I do not actually believe that if I were to go to a petstore and purchase a parrot or finches or tropical fish, a turtle, etc., would be much of a substitute at all…

        That’s just me though…

      • Some parrots do have a habit or repeatedly asking all whom they encounter if you think that they look pretty, as do some women, but the similarities do seem to stop there…

    • Bambi says:

      So….you cannot speak on behalf of all the men in the world…. but you can attribute perceptions to “many women”….


      I think you slightly missed my point….and the question was rhetorical anyway… no matter.

  • stormwind says:

    Plankton, let’s assume, just for a moment, that your perfect man lives 10 miles away from you. Just how is he supposed to meet you? You’ve told us so far:

    – you reject internet dating out of hand
    – you won’t do any courses or classes
    – you hate sports and outdoor activities
    – when you do go out with friends you pick on the married men to talk to
    – you’re not the sort of person who chats to people in the supermarket queue
    – you don’t want a dog, or any other pet that might give you common ground to strike up conversation with new people

    What’s he supposed to do – fly down the chimney?

    It’s reminding me of an old jewish joke (well, it was jewish when I heard it – but it works for any religion – just substitute the names):

    Sammy goes to the synagogue every week and prays to win the lottery, to no avail. He pleads with God, and begs God… “Please, I come to the synagogue every week, I keep a good, kosher home, I read the Torah every day… why won’t you let me win the lottery?”

    This goes on for months and months, then eventually one day the voice of God rings out through the synagogue – “Sammy, my son, give me a break – BUY A TICKET!”


    • I suggested in replies to some of her blogs from last week that she might want to consider going to the alumni events of the college or university she attended, or perhaps see what happens if she attends a booksigning event at a bookstore- Ms. Plankton appears to be a bibliophile, you never know who you might run into on the lines at those (not all of those men are going to be married)…

  • EmGee says:

    That is the most faulty advice I have ever heard…

  • Lydia says:

    You certainly have to meet them. I hate dogs and tend to reject men who live with a dog but feel I have more than enough choice by imposing a no dogs rule. I did get reasonably close to someone with rottweilers but we never met in the end. It was not just the dogs but other things.

    However yes, you need some way to meet a lot of people as the more you meet the more likely one will be right and anyway it’s huge fun to meet people, get to know them and of course it’s not that nice if something breaks up but it’s better than just being kind of sexless and stultifying.

    Are plankton in real life hermaphrodites like snails? Do we know how they breed?

    Like the lotter ticket. My daughter aged 10 won top top prize in a competition. She was so convinced she’ d win she picked up about 100 tickets discarded on the air port floor. She won top prize. I have her optimism too. Every day is great and if today isn’t tomorrow willb e even better.. The world is jam packed with lovely men and we have the privilege of getting the chance to meet them and get to know them in a way denied women who are married to one already. Lucky us.

    If I felt I were short of men I suppose I could speak to more. Try asking some out. Quite a few would like that.

    • MissM says:

      Surely I am not the only one wondering where on earth you are seeing all these “lovely” men? Dan was correct when he said “forget your dating agencies, they’ll only depress you”, and indeed courses and classes really are only full of other plankton. Or are you in a part of the world where that is not the case? I perhaps live in the wrong place, where doesn’t matter how optimistic you are, there are simply none of these men around to try asking out. Maybe I need to emigrate.

      • MissBates says:

        I am in the same boat as you, “MissM.” Seriously, It has been YEARS since I have been at a social function where there was an available man. (Note: I’m not saying “handsome” or “funny” or “smart” or “sexy” or “successful” or even just plain “interesting” man; I’m saying ANY available man.) I am impressed that Plankton has encountered so many!

      • Bambi says:

        I have to be honest, I have never done/taken up anything with a view to/in the hope of meeting a man, but I DO meet available men – and some of them are genuinely lovely and have been interested in a relationship. Others are SFARs or just not right for me (or me for them!), which is the way of the world. I have had a few short-term relationships and formed some great and lasting friendships. I meet available men in different places/situations – out socially (quite a bit), while travelling, through friends (mainly), sport (less often) etc… Miss M and Miss Bates – come to Ireland!

        Lest you are wondering, then, about my “Plankton” status, In my case, the problem is ME! I have spent the years since I separated building up an independent life – and walls. I don’t really allow men in because I am unwilling to let go of my independence, am less and less prepared to compromise and am afraid of being hurt again. I am also quite happy, most of the time, being single. Yes, sometimes I would like to have a soulmate on whom I could lavish my love and from whom I might receive love in return – or even someone to just hang out with. Sometimes I am afraid that when the day comes that I don’t have the choice, I will desperately wish to be with someone….but it will be too late…. And that desperate vibe alone will frighten men away!

        Btw, I did try internet dating sites for a while. A few hilarious tales to tell, but maybe it was just my luck – I met complete idiots/weirdos! I stopped it because it’s not really my millieu – and also because I wondered why the hell I was doing it at all anyway, when I was so unsure about even wanting a relationship or not! Internet dating is not for everyone, but I think that if one doesn’t take it too seriously, it can be a bit of a giggle for a while…. then it can become a bore…..

    • toyman says:

      Hi Lydia

      I visited this blog just to read what you wrote…………….

      Again I could not agree more, dogs have their place; which is in the dog house out back…………

      You consistently give good advice…..

  • june says:

    With me its a cat, guess as i did own a cat before i moved to city but it died, but as i now live in a city apartment, when i signed my contract my solicitor said pets are banned,i said but im buying this flat i am not a tenant, although i had no actual intention of owning another cat, mine was a sweet thing, but the hairs drove me mad, constant hoovering , keeping it off my expensive leather sofa, in a three bed houzse easy, in a one bedroomed apartment impossible, and of course finally and most important of all, in my house i had a cat door, i refused to own a litter tray, i was on phone to my friend the other day she had just walked in front door and said omg the cat has s……in litter tray,it doesent usually, i said get a cat door no way would i clear it up,id make my partner, she has one i dont. So secretly i am quite glad i cant have one, people say they are company, o yes they can sit and have meal with you, have discussion about whats on tv,make you a cuppa! its human company you want not a pet.!

    Anyway i dont need a cat everyone in the bloody neighbourhood heads for this block.i think they sense no cats live here.!

    • nope says:

      What the hell are you on about? Cats and tenants and landlords and feces… are you drunk? You type like you’re drunk.

      Anyway, I just wanted to say, thanks for being one of those people who doesn’t own a litterbox so that everyone else in the neighborhood is forced to pick up after your cat. Schroedinger’s cat isn’t dead, it’s shitting in my garden.

  • SARTM says:

    I hate dogs. But do you know whats worse? “Doggy people”. The sort of eejits that dote on their dogs and probably would put them first – before any friend or family member. Thats the last sort of man I’d want to meet!!

  • Jane Saunders says:

    No, I think they’re telling you to get a dog because, on the whole, dogs are more reliable than men.

  • joules says:

    In support of our canine friends I have a Plankton friend who took the advice of “get a dog”. Best thing she has done. The dog gives her the unconditional affection that she has been really wanting having no partner and children who are grown and have a life of their own. She is now dating someone and seems to be taking this relationship in a more balanced way than I have seen her take others. So hope for all Plankton I guess. For myself I do not have time for a dog and am perhaps too cynical for that kind of affection – though I am “auntie” to lots of dogs as well as lots of children.

  • Oh fuck! I just bought a dog….

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