Sunday, September 25, 2011

I had a sleepover with a dog

Never Done: I had a sleepover with a dog

I don't think a dog ever spent the night in my house when I was growing up, and I have never lived with a dog in all the years I've been on my own. The few times a friend has brought a dog along on a visit, the dog has stayed outside. Of course I've stayed in many homes with dogs -- but that is completely different from having a dog stay at my place.

Mich came to Brooklyn for the weekend and brought her sweet (and somewhat cowering) pit bull Tsippy with her. At first it was hard for her to find a place to stay because all her close friends have cats. She couldn't stay with me because Josh is allergic to cats and dogs (which is one of the reasons we don't have cats.) but then, as it turned out, Josh isn't home this weekend, so I texted Mich and asked if she wanted to stay with me. She asked -- what about Tsippy? And I wrote back, "When the cat's away ..." to which she promptly responded, "The pit bulls play!"

And so we made a plan, and when I got home Saturday night, they were there waiting for me. Here's the ethical question part. I didn't tell Josh in advance. I didn't want to give him something to worry about. Instead I set it up so that Tsippy wouldn't go anywhere with carpet and wouldn't get on the furniture. When she is gone, I will vacuum a lot, which frankly needs to happen anyway. And maybe this will really sound like justification, but Josh is usually the vacuumer in the family, and so maybe it will all turn out to be an excellent gift for him -- that he will come home to a very vacuumed apartment. Justification? Or ethical decision? When is it better to not say something? When is it better to say something?

In Catholicism, there are many kinds of sins -- two of which are sins of omission and sins of commission. If this is a sin, it is a sin of omission. But I'm not sure it's a sin at all. I know for a fact that Josh would love for me to have some close time with Mich. He would definitely see it as a silver lining to the events of this week. What I am counting on is that what he doesn't know won't hurt him -- and also that once he's back home I'll tell him. Also, I am practicing the mide (middah) of Silence: Reflect before speaking. Which, admittedly, is sort of an easy mide to use to justify not telling someone something. But also, it's true -- I am reflecting before speaking, and really thinking through all the implications of saying something or not, and when is the best time to, and what to say, and why I would say it. Which is something I don't do enough. I tend to blurt things out first, and then regret them later. So for what it's worth, I am holding back this time (only sort of not, of course, since you are reading this) and choosing to be silent, in order to give my sweetie some piece of mind. You know how the Car Talk guys sometimes ask people to check back in with them later, to see how their advice was? I feel like I should check back in with my blog readers later, to let you know if this was a good decision on my part. In the meantime, what do you think?


  1. Check back in with us, not only on what you decided to do about telling Josh, but on how did it go with the dog? Did she stay off the furniture? Did you have a good time? Do you know how to keep the dog dander down during and after you vacuum?

  2. What I think is, are you telling us that Josh doesn't read your blog?