I'd love to have a pet dog - but lack of space, work (and a cat) get in the way

Join my campaign to make my mum a dog owner

Share
Related Topics

There’s one desire that a surprisingly large number of my friends and acquaintances have in common.

It’s not the usual lottery win/secure job/world peace wish (everyone wants those, after all), it’s something that, on the surface at least, seems much more attainable. It’s to have a pet dog. One friend is obsessed with getting a Whippet, one drools over pictures of Miniature Schnauzers online. Another will argue the merits of a chocolate Labrador until blue in the face.

I want a short-haired Dachshund who I’d call Banger. (As I type my cat is watching me closely. I think he suspects). But the cat, who I adore, is safe - I can’t get a dog because he might get attacked, because of the hours I work and because of the size of the flat I live in.

It’s the same (give or take the cat) for almost everyone I know who wants a dog. We endlessly talk about whether or not we could get a timeshare dog, could take one to the office - a nice idea in theory, but after the death of the resident dog, Alan, at Tatler magazine, after getting trapped in the revolving door, one that rightly sets health and safety alarms ringing - or whether retraining as a yoga teacher or a dry-stone wall builder would mean we could get a canine companion.

There’s even a website, borrowmydog.gy, that sets up would-be dog walkers with other peoples’ dogs. However, despite our schemes, none of us are in a position to take the pooch plunge because we’re time and space poor and it would be cruel.

The only person I know who could get a dog is my mother - and she’s unconvinced. I’ve started seriously campaigning, only partly selfishly, for her to get one. She has the time, the living space and the countryside a dog needs; walking it would provide great exercise and a way to meet people, and she’d have a companion who’d never answer back.

So far I’ve bought her a copy of the charming book “Diary of a Dog-Walker” by Edward Stourton (I notice there is no “Diary of a Cat-Herder”, not least because it would be full of blank pages because the cat had vanished on a 22-hour mammal-slaying mission), I’ve begged her to watch “The Secret Life of Dogs” on ITV and we spent Christmas leafing through the dog-breeds book, arguing about terriers (“I don’t like smooth dogs,” she says. “They have to be rufty tufty”). I’ve even offered to pay the vets bills.

She’s yet to weaken, but having totted up how many people I know who are desperate dog addicts, perhaps we could club together to get her one - she could send us newsletters about how it’s getting on, set it up a Facebook page. Bob’s your uncle, Fido’s our best friend. Come on Mum, throw us a bone.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

Early Years Educator

£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

Nursery Nurse

£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Residents of the Gravesham constituency are 10 times closer to what Peter Hain scorns as the “Westminster elite” than are those of Linlithgow and East Falkirk  

Will no one stop the march of localism?

Jonathan Meades
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam