Top Reasons (Not) to Get a Dog

As I was walking out of the pool complex this afternoon, I overheard a mom talking to her child about all the reasons not to get a dog. “First of all, they are messy. They pee and poop alot. They bark and make alot of noise. And we have to walk them every day….”  I smiled to myself as I walked away. This certainly brought back memories of when my own kids tried go convince me we should get a dog.
Should I have interrupted this mom’s lecture and told her how ridiculous those excuses sound to a  child? I should know. I probably used the same rationale way back when. First of all, does she seriously think a child is going to consider cleaning up messes his or her duty? Obviously, that is more on the shoulders of the parent. Even when you think your children are old enough to assume responsibility,  don’t believe for an instant that they will do it.
What about the barking and such? Why would a  child care? As long as there is a dog to snuggle with, why does it matter if it barks at others? Again, it is up to the parent to train the dog.
Lastly, there are the economics of dog ownership: medications, check ups, food, kennels- all these add up but, again,  are not of concern to the kids so I am glad the mom did not bring those up.
I can picture this mom a year or so from now, having been unable to  convince the  children that dogs are not good pets, and being worn down by constant pleas to get a dog- feeling guilted into agreeing because the kids know how to manipulate her emotions. At the same time, I am sure she will  come to appreciate how wonderful it is to have a dog who follows her around the house, is excited when  she walks in the door, relies on her for walks or treats and gives her unconditional love. Sometimes that is just what a busy mom needs to remind her that she is the center of the world to someone, maybe just not her kids.

While composing this post, I had fun exploring old family photos of our new pets. The excitement and joy that each one brought to the family, made all the other hassles of pet ownership worth it.

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How could I say no to this face? Look how happy it made her. No more mommy guilt.

 

Welcoming a new member to the family…  familydog0951

guinea3469  Of course, I didn’t agree to get a dog for years. I thought guinea pigs would be easier to deal with (see Guinea Pig Years) .

 

 

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After a few years, one dog was no longer enough and we agreed to adopt a second one. Again, notice the smiles and happy faces.

mom3017    This is where the unconditional love part comes in , and how I envision the mom at the pool in a few years.

As a final word of advice to her, I would warn her that once you let pets into your home, you never know how many more you will get. Fortunately, by this age, my kids are fully able and willing to assume the responsibilities.

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