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.