Dogs: furry bags of crazed joy. I’ve never had a dog of my own but I’ve always wanted one. Most dogs exist solely to be happy, and why not? If they have a good owner, all they have to worry about is losing their ball behind a fence or losing their actual balls on a nightmarish detour to the vets.
I see dog owners looking bored during walks and wonder if they’ve forgotten that they have an ecstatic cuddly toy at their side. And the bigger the dog the better, although the Great Dane takes it too far for me, standing as tall as my chair.
Sometimes owners approach me, lift up their dogs for me to stroke and I face a dilemma. I want to touch it, but because the dog doesn’t know me I’m relatively sure my jerky arm would scare it. And so I just stare at the dog and smile at the owner and the owner stares back and the dog starts sniffing my hand.
“Nice,” I say. Then hopefully they’ll put the dog down and end the torture. I mean they’ll put the dog down onto the ground, not kill it. The owner ends up thinking I’m scared of dogs when in my head I’ve netted their dog in the bag on the back of my chair and the owner is insisting I take it home with me. Thanks, I say, you’ve made a disabled boy’s life worth living (it’s OK to exploit your disability in daydreams).
I think I’ll be getting my own dog soon enough. We’re looking into getting an assistance dog. Assistance dogs are trained to work with people with disabilities. The sort we’ll probably have is trained to help put washing in and out of the tumble drier, open doors, remove shoes and socks off your feet, stuff like that. None of these things are essential since I have someone with me most of the time but still it’d be adorable to watch. I’ll be constantly throwing clothes over the floor just so the dog can clear it all up. It’s not slavery if they enjoy doing it, right?
I just want a calm dog that won’t jump at my sudden movements, and I guess an assistance dog would need to be calm in order to pass their training. I think the responsibility of owning a living creature would bring a fresh dynamic to my life, since I’d be the one playing caregiver for a change. And maybe I could help add even more awesome tricks to its arsenal, see if it can cook a five-star meal, drive a tractor and clean up its own shit all at the same time. The possibilities are endless.