I love dogs. If there is another creature on earth that is born with a greater capacity to love, I don't know what it is. The unconditional love that comes from a dog is unparallelled.
Someone (who reads very closely) asked me if I love dogs so much, why did I wait until I was 30 to get my first dog. An excellent question. My first thought was that I didn't know what I was missing, but that's not really true. Even in my 20s I used to hang out at an animal shelter and take pictures of the dogs for the local newspaper to help them get adopted. There was a dog there I absolutely adored named Mollie. (Not to be confused with my black shar-pei named Molli.)
|This is Molli, not Mollie|
Mollie ran the animal shelter. She was the most terrifying looking dog you've ever seen, maybe a cross between an English Bulldog and a Rottweiler. Of course she was a total sweetheart. When I would sit in the chairs in the lobby of the shelter she would come and lay her gigantic head on my thigh and look up at me with pure love. Mollie only hated two things. She hated the dog catcher, and she hated rats. I know it sounds disgusting, but this was a no-kill shelter. When they needed to expand they had an anonymous donor who gave them money to build outdoor cages out behind the shelter. So the place was really vast. And anytime you have a lot of cages with a lot of dog food around, you are going to get rodents. It's a fact of life. And I saw Mollie plow through 55 gallon trash barrels to try to catch a rat. It was the most hilariously terrifying thing I have ever seen.
Mollie was a sweetheart, but she was never leaving the shelter. That was her home. She was the queen of that castle.
|This picture actually ran in a newspaper once upon a time|
This was the woman who ran the shelter. Yes, it's strange that I can remember Mollie's name and not hers. They only destroyed dogs that were sick. They didn't even kill dogs that would bite. They would try to socialize the smaller dogs that were biters, and the big ones just lived out the rest of their lives in the cages. I think both the dogs in the picture above were recovering biters. Now all they wanted to do was lick you. Puppy dog kisses.
So I didn't answer the question, because I don't really know what kept me from getting a dog for so long. Maybe I never thought I was responsible enough for a dog before then? That implies a self-awareness that just doesn't fit. All I know is I always loved dogs, and I'm glad I have them now.