For quite some time now DD has been obsessed with all things dog related. I can’t quite pinpoint what triggered her obsession but I do know she has been relentless in her pursuit of pestering me to get a dog as a family pet. Growing up I had dogs, and as much work as it can be, I always felt the rewards far outweighed the before-school-walk-in-the-Irish-winter-rain, the poop scooping and the shedding (did I mention my pet was a German Shepherd who required up to 10 miles of walking a day, enough food to feed a rhino, and a shovel to scoop the poop?!).
Almost 4 years ago when DD began nagging I found it relatively easy to respond to her volley of ‘when can we get a dog?’ questions. I am actually riddled with ‘Mummy guilt’ at some of the early excuses I offered, but in my defence, I didn’t want to dash my daughter’s hopes of one day having a dog. When DD first asked for a dog, my response was a blase ‘sure, we can get one when you are 27’! To a 7 year old oblivious to the concept of time, her response was an excited ‘OK’ and a merry skip on her way believing she would be getting a dog in 27 weeks…..Needless to say, for a clever little girl, it didn’t take DD long to figure out 20+ years was a very loooonnnngg time to wait for a puppy! Thinking quickly on my feet my next excuse was enviroment – ‘Dogs need space. Our garden is not large enough. The desert is a very tough place for fur babies. Perhaps when we move to Canada (a one time pipe dream of mine and DH’s) we would have the space and the seasons.’
As she grew older it became easier for her to understand the true reasons for not having a dog in the desert, and as much as she still wanted a dog, she understood our busy schedules didn’t leave much time for a pet, and how that would not be fair to a poor pooch. Even so, that didn’t deter her attempts to break me down and win me over. When she discovered K9 Friends online…..she began bombarding me with photos of the cutest, most lovable looking dogs who have been kindly rescued by this wonderful organisation. Before long it got to a point where we would sit together and scroll through K9 Friend’s site choosing which dog we would adopt if we were in a position to do so, and always concluding we wanted to adopt them all.
Before the summer when I finished up work, I realised we were in a position to adopt a doggie….afterall, I now have time to walk, feed, scoop poop……and announced to the bambinos that I thought we should think about getting a dog.
The munchkins were beyond excited. They have already named the latest addition…..well each has got suggestions….picked out a leash, bed and chew toys….they have practically drawn up the walking schedule! They are full of promises regarding caring for their little buddy.
Most people who have/have had dogs have warned against it, particularly on the basis of our busy schedules and expat obligations of returning home for weeks at a time each summer. When I asked a friend the name of her recently adopted dog, her reply was ‘complete-pain-in-the-a$$-will-bleed-you-dry-you’ll-never-have-a-clean-house-again-or-a-lie-in’. A very succint description of life with a young dog……but she was also quick to add how adorable he is and how much the kids (and even she!) love him. That is a feeling I want the kids to experience.
In the meantime, DH is sitting on the sidelines quietly praying I suspect, that I will change my mind or just get an indepdendent, low maintenance pet like a cat! He has washed his hands of the family pet, so I had better make sure our soon-to-be-latest addition doesn’t end up chewing on the furniture or relieving itself on the rugs!