Why Having a Blog Is Like Pet-Sitting

June 22, 2009 by Jen

Having a blog is like pet-sitting.

Maybe you’ve been there – remember that cute little animal face peeking out at you from behind your friend’s leg. You’ve always wanted a _______ (hedgehog, hairless cat, fainting goat). It’s all the rage, everyone is talking about how fun they are, and here’s your chance to get in the loop.

Besides, you can always leave at the end of the week.
Famous last words.
Two days in, it’s great. The hedgeless goat is adorable, you put pictures up on Facebook and renamed your childhood stuffed animal after this creature. You spend hours cleaning the water bowl and brushing its hair. You bring it special treats from home and check on it every couple of hours.
Three days in, your schedule is getting busy, and the novelty is wearing off. The creature bit you last night because you brought your friend over, and they took a strong dislike to each other. You just need a bit of a break from pet responsibilities.
Five days in, you only went by once yesterday. This morning, the pet is moping around the house looking at you with big sad eyes because its water bowl is empty and it’s lonely from lack of visitors. It was only recently tamed by your absent friend, and it’s suffering bereavement. Guilt trip ensues.
Six days in, you’re exhausted. Trying to make up for your neglect, you spent hours with the animal last night, coaxing new games and treats out of your already-weary mind, and hating the pet more every minute.
Seven days in, your friend calls. “Can you keep GeorgiaCuteFace for a few more days? My flight was cancelled.” You should say no. You should absolve yourself of all pet responsibilities forever. But it feels like abandonment. What about the pictures on Facebook? What about your intense desire to have a hedgeless goat? What if you never have another chance at pet-owning stardom?
You keep it around. Resentment grows, and care fluctuates from intensive over-cultivation to extreme neglect. Before long, you have to get counseling for the guilt complex GeorgiaCuteFace has brought about.
Fifteen days in, your friend FINALLY returns. But instead of handing over the litterbox with a cry of “Freeeeeeedooooom!” and “Never again,” you volunteer to be on standby in case your friend ever needs you again and to stop by and visit from time to time, privately resolving to start running and never turn back. You might keep the Facebook pictures, though, just for the memories, and in case you ever go through hedgeless goat withdrawal.
That’s why having a blog is like pet-sitting.
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