Gentlemen, let me give you a tip: size does matter – at least, when it comes to your dog.
As a personal preference, I’ve always been partial to big dogs. I’ll admit that I was heavily influenced by my mother, who always taught me: “If it’s smaller than a beagle, it’s not a real dog.” With a few possible exceptions, I think that’s fair. So why, then, do I constantly see men walking down the D.C. streets with an ankle-biter on the end of the leash? Guys, this does nothing for your image. (Thanks to one of the many double standards still in existence, it’s far more acceptable for a girl to have a yippy, “tea-cup pup,” although I’m still not a fan. But girls and their purse-sized dogs are another story.)
A few possible explanations:
1. His apartment building imposes the 25-pound pet limit and he just couldn’t stand the idea of getting a cat. (The points he won, however, by choosing dog over cat are negated with an ankle-biter.)
2. It’s actually his girlfriend’s dog and he’s just taking it out for her.
3. The dog in question is still a puppy and will grow.
If it’s still a puppy, you’re off the hook, no questions asked.
If it’s your girlfriend’s dog, it’s semi-acceptable. Props to you for taking dog-duty in the first place, but you still look ridiculous walking something that would fit in her purse. May I suggest, if a small dog is necessary, that you settle on something whose bark doesn’t sound like nails on a chalkboard?
If the apartment is the problem, you have two options: move or wait. Move to a place that allows life-size animals and not just toys. If you don’t want to/can’t afford to move, then wait.
I, myself, would love to have a pet again. But until I have the space, I will wait. And I know it’s possible to have to a big dog in this city because I’ve seen it. For every five small dogs I’ve seen scurrying down the street, I’ve seen at least one big one, with owner in tow – thank God.
And don’t even get me started on cats – especially those on leashes. Ugh.