My parents have two gorgeous Curly Coated Retrievers who I call my own, but my little upstairs flat is no place to keep a pet comfortable and safe. I have a balcony a little bigger than my work desk space, and a small yard accessible by all neighbours. And I don't really have the time to devote to a dog. I have enough time, and could walk the dog most days, but what about the days when I have uni at night, or am sick and can't walk the dog, or am in hospital, so not home at all?
So as much as I would like a dog (a retriever of some sort, even though it may well weigh close to my weight and I probably won't be able to control it on a lead) I can't have one until I get myself a house that I (or the bank) own, with a back yard, and I'll probably need to get a partner because then we will have enough time between us to spend with the dog. And both of those things aren't going to happen anytime soon.
I want a dog so much, and whenever I see a dog in the street that looks friendly and big enough for me to see what it's doing at all times (I am a bit afraid of little yappy things), I pat it and ooh and ahh over it.
The closest thing I have to a pet is a tiny lizard that lived under my front door,in the crack between the carpet and the bit of concrete under the door. The lizard never ventured much further than a centimetre or two from this crack. It changed its colour to match the carpet - sometimes it was grey, and sometimes it was brown. It often greeted me, in its impersonal, lizardy way when I got home from work. And the lizard and I share something in common - we both have scaly skin and like to be warmed up by the sun mid afternoon.
Today I think I killed the lizard.
I arrived home with a Vietnamese pork roll and the Sunday papers (disappointed to see Matt Preston has jumped ship from The Age to the Herald Scum), pleased to be out of the heat and spend half an hour reading and eating before I embark on THE BIG HOUSE CLEAN BEFORE THE CLEANER COMES TOMORROW.
As I shut the front door, I noticed a little thing kind of squirming on the carpet near the door. I thought it was a feather, but when I looked closer, I saw that IT WAS THE LIZARD'S TAIL. And the tiny little lizard's body was about 10 centimetres away. I CUT OFF THE LIZARD'S TAIL by opening the door!
I felt a bit sick, and a bit sad. I had not named this lizard, but I felt sad that I may have killed the lizard. I've killed flies and spiders, and once disposed of a dead mouse in my previous flat, but the lizard touched me.
Its top half of its body was upside down, and looked a bit panicked. Poor little thing.
I got my brush and dustpan, and swept up its tail and top half, and took it downstairs and put it in the garden. I apologised to it - 'I am so sorry, you poor little thing' over and over. My neighbours may have thought I was a bit strange, talking to a dustpan.
I haven't googled whether lizards' tails grow back. I really hope it will be ok.
I am sorry, little lizard.