Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The dog is relatively cheap.

I've always thought that a good hobby ought to be enjoyable with very little money or a whale of a lot of money, or any amount of money in between. 

You can try fishing with a string, a stick, a worm, and a pin, or you can have a giant sport fishing boat with mounted rods and $500 lures and God knows what else. Maybe a private chef to cook your sailfish. You can take up shooting with a Walmart pellet gun for plinking in the yard, or get a gun collection with a walk-in safe, indoor range, and black-market weaponry. You can homebrew with a big jug, some empty bottles, and cheap ingredients, or turn your cellar into a brewery. You get one cheap HO scale set with an engine and two cars, and before you know it there's a room with fifteen tracks and a roundhouse and every Christmas you get Lionel-themed gifts from everyone. 

I guess pets are like that a little. You can get a goldfish and enjoy it in a vase for five days. Or you can get a horse.


Not my car. No horse.
Most of the time the wise hobbyist will start small---perhaps a pair of knitting needles and a couple of skeins of yarn, rather than jumping in all at once with the yard ball winder and knitting machine and spinning wheel. It takes time for a hobby obsession to build.

The dog is a little like a hobby in that regard. When we got Tralfaz I knew we'd have the cost of him, his medical care, his food and treats, his license, and his toys. Then came classes, and possible dogsitting (which we haven't needed, but a friend of mine drops $5000 a year to have someone come to play with his dog for an hour a day). Then the possibility of fencing off the backyard, which we have not yet done, but probably will when we have the dough on hand (buy my books! Help give my pup a big playpen!). And then maybe a homemade agility course to keep him trained. And THEN a second dog, or third....

Still, it's cheaper than a horse. So it could be worse.

I've always kind of wanted an elephant, and that would be worse. An elephant might be lonely here, though; not a lot of other elephants to play with. Besides, New York probably has some stupid law against keeping elephants in the yard. Stupid New York!

Hey, do they breed dwarf pygmy elephants?
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