A lot of people tell me I need a dog.
I have been receiving that advice for the past nine years since I moved to Columbus.
When I balk at the idea of having a canine best friend, my human pals then suggest a cat.
Since I live alone, they tell me a pet would keep me company.
I counter that I am perfectly content living by myself, and on top of that I don’t want the responsibility, the mess or costs of having a pet.
Cleaning up an animal’s waste? No thanks.
Spending hundreds of dollars on food and vet bills? I’d rather buy myself something or take a nice vacation.
And even though plenty of people tell me they would take care of a pet for me if I go out of town, I prefer just not to worry about it.
Since the announcement that the city wants to make the recently renamed Columbus Animal Care Services a no-kill shelter and have 100 percent adoptions, I’m just waiting for another wave of choruses singing the praises of pet ownership.
I’m sure people will hear the news, realize I don’t have a pet and suggest I help out by adopting one of the animals at the shelter. In their minds, it will be a perfect fit.
I speculate my pet advisers have ulterior motives when suggesting a dog or cat to me.
Sure, some of them think a pet will add to my life.
But I think some of them also want me to have an animal so that they can have all the fun of a pet but leave that dreaded responsibility to me.
The way it stands right now, I’m the one who gets to do that.
My neighbors have a giant black-and-white Great Dane, named Parker, who hangs out with us.
A couple of my friends have a cool cat, named Mabel.
My parents have a happy, entertaining mutt, named Cooper, whom they took in after he showed up at their house a few years ago.
When I visit my sister and brother-in-law, I have the promise of meeting their new pup, Rocky.
My girlfriend’s parents have a funny little dog, named Suki.
I’m hardly what most would consider an animal lover, but pets are fun to watch and give us all something to talk about.
I can even be optimistic and see the bright sides of having a pet.
It would give me something happy and excited waiting for me when I get home.
A dog would get me out the door more for walks around the neighborhood.
I’ll admit to occasionally browsing over the “pets of the week” on the Pet Shop page of The Republic.
Some of them look like they would make good companions.
That’s as far as I get before the realities of pet ownership sink in again.
I hesitated to write this column because I know how passionate animal lovers can be. This could solicit more unwanted advice.
I applaud the efforts of Animal Care Services, but don’t look for me to come for an adoption any time soon.
I think I’ll take a vacation instead.
Chris Schilling is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 379-5673 or email@example.com.
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