Dan calls me and says, “I want a puppy.”
This is unprecedented. It’s usually Flora telling me she wants a puppy, at the dinner table, as a means of distracting me from the reality that she is not, in fact, sitting the correct way in her seat.
One part of my mind immediately jumps to the worst-case scenario: that he already has a puppy in his possession and is just trying to figure out how I am going to feel about it. (See, it’s not just cars on fire and worse: My husband mentions a puppy, and I’m already thinking, “We can’t get a puppy. We’re going out of town this weekend.” Yay, my brain.)
My response is, “I know. I want a puppy, too. But I don’t think we’re ready.”
“I want a puppy,” he says again.
“Well, who’s going to feed and train the puppy? Who’s going to get up with a puppy at 2 in the morning?”
“I’m not going to be the one doing that all the time.”
Wrong answer. Thank you for playing.
Look, I do want a dog — a puppy I’m a little less sure of. But I do want a pet. I grew up with dogs, and I always intended to have one. I’ve volunteered at Animal Friends (and I hope to be able to do it again someday). I’ve researched good family dogs (in the case that we don’t go with a rescue dog).
But we need a few things to happen before we get a dog, let alone a puppy:
1. The girls have to be older. They have to be able to take responsibility for a pet: feeding it, grooming it, and, most importantly, cleaning up after it. Walking it is going to be something of a family activity, especially if we get a labrador-type of dog. Which is what we are leaning toward. I am thinking Flora has to be 7 or 8 before we bring a dog onboard.
2. We have to be able to afford a dog. I know that pet food may fit in our budget right now, but vet bills definitely do not.
3. We have to have the time to give a dog, especially (again) a lab or a border collie. Given Dan’s current work schedule and the girls’ ages, a dog would be almost wholly my responsibility. And I’m just not ready for that right now.
4. I am willing to consider other pets, although not a) cats. I’m allergic. Plus, see “cleaning up after it”. I don’t do litter boxes.
b) Fish? Okay, although repeated viewings of Finding Nemo may make this inadvisable.
c) A hamster? Meh. I had hamsters as a girl, and first, they aren’t the sturdiest of pets; second, they don’t have a long life-span; and third, again with the cleaning. Ever clean out a hamster cage? Not as bad as a litter box. But Flora’s attention span isn’t enough to get her through helping me make mac’n’cheese. So “helping” me clean a hamster’s cage is a dicey proposition at best.
d) What are other pet options — low maintenance pet options, if any?
Given all of this, I probably should not be looking at sites like this. Because I want one too, right now. The cuteness trumps all.
4 thoughts on “Someday, We’ll Be Dog People”
I’m surprised at how much I enjoy Harvey the rabbit. Although, I’m not sure a rabbit is a good fit for a house with small children.
Someone else had mentioned rabbits once. I may have to look into them and decide.
Thanks for the comment!
I definitely think you should wait until you feel they’re at the right age, no matter what. I was five when my family got our first dog, my sister was a year old, my brother a newborn. My poor mom.
A friend of mine couldn’t have dogs and cats growing up and had guinea pigs instead. Her family loved them, but that might be too close to hamsters.
Guinea pigs are another pet I haven’t researched.
I know we had dogs when I was a newborn, and then when my brother was a year old, we got a puppy. I was 3. That dog, Inky, grew up with us. I don’t know how my mom did it — but she was the dog advocate in my house.
thanks for the comment!