Today is my day to review prayer requests. Here is one I got this week.
“My husband and I have been together for 20 years. I grew up with a menagerie of pets, and he didn’t have any. (His mother hates animals.) Today we have two cats, though I desperately want a dog. We both work full time, but I permanently work from home, so I would provide 100 percent of the care (as I do for the cats—I don’t mind; I’m the animal caretaker). He’s ambivalent about the cats, but he says we can absolutely not get a dog. He says they are too messy, smelly, and expensive, and he gets angry when I bring it up. But really … those are not good reasons to me not to adopt a dog! We have a huge property, and both work in the tech industry, where we make good salaries. I’ve wanted a dog for 20 years and have never been able to get one, but Hubby spends freely on his incredibly expensive hobby. Is my marriage doomed? Is there any way to convince him to “let” me get a dog? (By the way, I know pets are generally a family decision that should be unanimous, but I consider myself a modern feminist, and the idea that I need my husband’s permission for anything really, really irks me.)
Is there any hope? I want a dog in my life, and I’d like to keep my husband too.
My family says I should just get the dog and let the chips fall where they may.
Please help me convince him that a dog is not the end of the world!”
Dear Lady: You’ve got a lot of problems. The biggest of which is that you married the wrong guy. How does someone who loves dogs marry someone who doesn’t? It’s like a Liberal marrying a Conservative. I don’t know your background. Maybe you were desperate. I know women who will marry anyone, but even they make sure the loser she moves into her house likes dogs.
You are mostly to blame for not preparing. When my Daddy was dating my Mommy, he knew she did not love dogs, so he prayed to his angel dog, Dirty Barney, who arranged for a Shih Tzu to jump out of the window of a car stopped at a red light car by Mommy’ home. Dirty Barney guided the dog to Mommy’s house, where she fell in love with the baby. Dirty Barney made sure the dog was returned home to its family after a couple of days, thrilling the dog and her family but breaking Mommy's heart. It had only been a weekend, but that is enough time to change a wandering dog into a part of the family. The Shih Tzu had done her job by showing Mommy how special a dog could be. Within three years, Mommy agreed to get a dog. You did not arrange with your angel babies to convince your husband what a great addition to the family a dog is. Now, 20 years later, you are up Shih’s creek without a dog.
It has been my experience that divorcing someone after 20 years of marriage is the exact right time. My Mommy divorced her first husband after 20 years, and it was the best thing she did.
I know you have tried to fill the dog-sized hole in your life by getting cats, but that never works. When a person loves dogs, cats are an ill substitute and vice versa if you like kitties. If you need constant attention and adoration, you must have a dog. Cars are roommates. We dogs are lovers.
My advice to you is to go ahead and get a dog. There is no better way to measure a person’s worth than to see how they react to a pup. If your husband does not immediately fall in love with the dog, then he is not worth your time.
You are still young enough to marry again, this time to a dog lover. People break up over not agreeing about having children, so why not break up over not wanting to have a dog? If you don’t remarry, you shall be pleased living with your dog. They are much better than men. They will get you through many a cold night.
You will thank me for it later.