Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Doglessness (is that even a word?)

For 42 of my 55 years, I've had a dog (or dogs) in my life.  I've been without a dog for a little over 2 years now.  That is the longest stretch of being dogless that I've endured since I was eleven years old.  I've been thinking a lot lately about getting a dog.

Something that helped me realize that I need another dog in my life was a short film that I recently checked out of the library.  It's a film titled "Still Life with Animated Dogs," by Paul and Sandra Fierlinger, Czech husband and wife animators.  It won the 2001 Peabody award and has been shown on PBS but unfortunately it is no longer available through Amazon (It might be available through PBS, I haven't checked yet).  If you love dogs, it's worth tracking down.  The film is divided up into short episodes, each episode telling the story of a different dog that has been a companion to Paul Fierlinger and recounts in an unsentimental way, what he learned from each of them.

The very first episode where Paul (the narrator) is walking his dog through the woods, reminded me of when I use to walk my three (sadly, now departed) dogs through the woods on the way to the river when I lived in Washington.  The scene brought back such vivid memories of those walks and made me realize how much I miss my dogs, that I began to sob uncontrollably.  At that point, my wonderful partner, Mark, put his arm around me and said, "We need to get you another dog."  Through my tears, I said "I know."

I think about it almost every day, especially when I'm out walking in our neighborhood park and see so many people out walking their dogs.  But I know what a big responsibility it is and it's one that I take seriously, that's one reason why I've waited so long to get another one.  Now that I'm no longer helping care for my mother, I now have the time to devote to a dog.  I know getting a dog will change our lives quite a bit.  Since we don't have a fenced in yard, the dog will have to be an inside dog, and when we want to go somewhere, we'll have to either take the dog with us or put it in a kennel.  One of my major concerns is a financial one.  When we get a pet, we will have to put down a larger security deposit on our rented house and our rent will go up by $25.00 a month (which I think really stinks).  But in the long run, I think these are minor obstacles.  There are so many dogs at the pound that need a home, that I think it's time for me to rescue one.

Anyway, below are some stills from "Still Life with Animated Dogs."

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