By KATE HUNTER
I don’t love my dog as I should.
Right now he’s at a boarding kennel – he’s been there 10 days because we’re landscaping the yard and all our fences are down.
It’s a nice kennel in a lovely ruralish part of Brisbane, but I only paid for basic accommodation.
For an extra $35 dollars a day I could have upgraded Tiger to an executive suite with couch, tv and air conditioning. But he has none of those things at home so he figured he wouldn’t miss them as much as I’d miss the money – landscaping is expensive.
Tiger will be home in three days. The kids will be happy, and I’ll be happy because they are. But I can’t say I’ve missed him.
Before you call the RSPCA on me, I’ll just say that Tiger isn’t abused or neglected. He’s fed, walked, taken to the vet when he’s sick. He sleeps on the deck but during the day he’s in and out of the house – just like the rest us. He’s loved (mostly by our 9 year old) just not by me.
My ambivalence towards Tiger is unexpected and mysterious and I wrote about it here a while ago. The response was greater than to anything I’ve ever written before. People feel very strongly about my lack of strong feelings for my dog.
Tiger was a much-wanted family pet, as much by me as the kids. Our previous dog, Jonah, died of oldness six years ago. There was a decent mourning period. Then a year and a half ago, I deemed the time right. I began research. Did not want a dog too big or too small. Prefer non-shedding. Nothing with ‘oodle’ as a suffix (this from Jim). Friendly, good with kids, cute. Enter the Lagotto – Italian truffle digger. Bigger than a spaniel, smaller than a Labrador. Perfect. And wouldn’t you know it? There was a breeder not too far from us – two puppies still available, ready for new homes at Christmas. We did our research and spoke to a vet (didn’t want an over-bred freak with bung eyes and dodgy hips).
Everybody said, – ‘Great family dog, go for it.’