Another story. “God’s kingdom is like a pine nut that a farmer plants. It is quite small as seeds go, but in the course of years it grows into a huge pine tree, and eagles build nests in it.”
It may seem like a waste of time, but I brought Carmel over… and then vacuumed the house while she was here. This time of year, Golden Retrievers convert from being dogs to being dog hair-generating factories. Regular brushing barely begins to mitigate the hair. Also, they tend to smell, well, doggy due to the fact that every time they go outside, they get damp. That’s not to mention the other biological functions involved, of course.
Fortunately for me, I get to experience all the nice parts of dog ownership — going for walks, but only when I feel like it; cuddling, petting, and adoring gazes; ridiculous ball-fetching behavior; being followed around the house adoringly; good company — without the downsides. This is because Carmel really lives with my parents, and I just borrow her whenever I feel like it. Thus, I get to experience this:
Without the attendant downsides.
It’s true: Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted a dog. By the time I was old enough to responsibly care for one (high-school age, really), we got Carmel — and only a couple years later I went off to college, missing Carmel’s best years. Now she’s a pretty old Golden, content to spend most of the day sleeping, with the occasional gentle walk. Old age certainly could be worse. She lives with my parents, and I still want a dog. Every time I think “OK, the time’s right,” something in life comes up to make me wait. I’m sure eventually we’ll get a dog, but in the meantime, Carmel and I seem to have reached a satisfactory arrangement.