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Why I'm a . . .

A Special Pet Section

. . . Plastic-Plant Person

May 03, 1999|DARYL H. MILLER

Even the plants in my place are fake.

I'm never home, you see, so real ones would die of neglect.

For the same reason, all of the animals I own are toys. Plush dogs sprawl on a couch; teddy bears picnic on a shelf; magnetic plastic fish swim in a fake aquarium.

And we all live in harmony.

It wouldn't be that way if I owned real pets. Sure, I'd shower them with love when at home, but while I was away, a bored Bowser would treat the furnishings as giant chew toys, and a frustrated Fluffy would finish the destruction by clawing everything to shreds. They would resent me, and I'd be angry with them. We would be a depressingly dysfunctional little family.

I've come to realize through the years that it takes responsibility to own a pet, and it takes responsibility to realize that you shouldn't own one. I'm aware of my limits, and I know that I can't be trusted with another living thing.

That's why Kurt, the guy who occupies the front bedroom, is a dummy--a stuffed, life-size figure meant to scare off burglars.

Because I don't have a dog to do that for me.

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