A Show of Hands Please

A hunched over figure, taking slow, methodical steps made it’s way through the yard as I peered out the window. It appeared to be a crippled old lady, bent over by the years of old age.

In actuality it was my 8 year old daughter a few months ago making her way home from school with the weight of her backpack crumpling her over and slowing her process.

When she entered the house I helped her remove the monstrous backpack and looked inside to find a book the size of Cincinnati. It was entitled “The Encyclopedia of Dogs”.  I asked her where it came from and she replied that she checked it out from the school library that day. Despite being alarmed by the weight and size of this tome, I wasn’t surprised at all by the title and it’s content. For the past year my daughter had been checking out books from the library every week about dogs.


Books are always coming home about Yorkshire Terriers, Huskies, English Sheep Dogs, how to care for dogs and how to train dogs. This new book was the mother load though as far as information. It contained hundreds of different breeds as well as common problems that exist within each dog. It explained how to get rid of fleas and mites in ears.

When my daughter wants something she goes above and beyond to gain knowledge on the subject and THIS GIRL WANTS A DOG!

I know, I know, you’re reading this and thinking, “Well, get that girl a dog.”

Iris pic3

It does seem like the simple solution to prevent my daughter from breaking her back carrying huge books around but there is so much hesitation behind my willingness to welcome a furry canine into our family. The biggest factor is that I have 3 children who still need so much care and attention. I just don’t think I can take on the responsibility of one more thing at this time. I’ve told my daughter this on numerous occasions and just when I think she understands and is willing to wait a while longer she brings me this hard core sell the other day:

Daughter: I really think having a dog around will make your life easier.

Me: How so?

Daughter: If we have a dog and one of us kids gets hurt you will no longer have to kiss our wounds. The dog can just lick them.

Me: I guess that would be a time saver considering how often you kids fall down and get hurt.

Daughter: If the boys and I are not willing to go get you something when you ask; the dog can do it. Dogs are great at fetching things. Just don’t ask it to get you a can of soda; it’s teeth might puncture the can.

Me: Great point. You and your brothers have been a bit lazy lately.

Daughter: The last thing is; I know that if we have a dog around there will be no more fighting between us kids. We won’t have anything to fight about because there will be a dog here to play with.

Before I can say anything, my 6 year old son comes bounding into the room and asks, “What are you talking about? Did someone say we are getting a dog?’

My daughter pipes in with, “I don’t know, I am trying to convince Mom that getting a dog is a good idea. I told her that if we get a dog that we won’t fight anymore.”

I will let you be the judge if my family should get a dog after you hear the next conversation:

Son: Yes, there would not be anymore fighting. I can walk the dog and she can feed it.

Daughter: No, I’m older so I should walk the dog and you feed it.




A show of hands please for all those in favor of my family getting a dog!

Iris pic

70 responses

  1. *raises hand*. 🙂

    My mom told me when we got our dog to make sure I understood that the “family” pet would really be mine…and so I should make sure I was ready for one and that I really liked the one.

    So I vote with Iris: get a dog…but only when you feel ready.

  2. So funny! My sister convinced my parents to let us have a cat when she said, “I have an aching in my heart that only a pet would fill.” I think we were in middle school at the time! I hear ya- our cat doesn’t get enough attention, and a dog is out of the question! Stay strong!

    • I saw your pictures of him yesterday on Facebook and was going to comment and then got distracted! He is a brute but looks like such a nice dog. I think if we were to get one I would want an older dog that is already trained!

  3. Oh, if a dog could only save a mother from her woes!
    My daughter and Iris are too alike. They’re both campaigning for dogs. Now that I have a third baby on the way, there’s NO way I’m changing dirty diapers and picking up dog poop.
    We made a temporary compromise. She can get a dog on her 10th birthday–a double digit year. An age she can be exclusively responsible for her pet.
    Hope I don’t cave before you, Melissa! 😉

    • I really like that idea of the 10th birthday! So smart! I am still in the throes of potty training Cesar so I can’t imagine potty training a dog simultaneously! Yes, I think I am going to present the 10th birthday idea to Iris! Thank you!

  4. Melissa, I have been fighting off getting a dog for years! (I not so secretly want one , too) Fortunately for us we at least have two really friendly cuddly cats 🙂 I have my hands way too full with four kids now, and of course mom ends up taking care of the pets . If we were home more often maybe I would consider it. For now my tactic in putting it off is pointing out some of the things they would have to do. Like whenever we have a terrible rainstorm or snowstorm I say to the kid like ‘ oh your dog needs to go out right now’ they all look at me shocked and confused and I explains that if they have a dog it doesn’t matter if its snowing or dark out – they still have to bring it outside and then bring it in and wipe paws, etc.
    Well..at least It’s bought me a little time 😉

      • Aww.. I miss him, too. You are right, there was something special about that dog. He came into people’s lives, changed them, then moved on 🙂 What a life story he had! We have some good memories with him. I don’t know if you ever told me what ended up happening to him? How long did you have him?

  5. So, no dog ehh. I have decided I would like to be the grandparent to a dog rather than parent. I like dogs but I don’t want to be tied down to one and having to look after it all the time.
    Maybe, your daughter could volunteer at an animal shelter or be a dog walker to get her dog fix.

  6. Yep, sounds about right!!! Good luck! I finally relented when they were 8 and 10. I ended up being the one doing the middle of the night potty trips with the 8 week old puppy. IP does most of the walking. The kids now complain when the dog chooses my lap over theirs!

  7. If you want a semblance of sanity left in your soul … don’t do it … but my heart goes out to the children who so desire a dog !! Little do they know .. it will be your dog .. because you will be the one caring for it ! The first day or two children are excited and willing, but that quickly fades !! The dog will follow you, sit on your lap, sleep with you … it will be your 4th child !! I’ve been there … did that … multiple times and dogs are a lot of work and commitment and being tied down !! I love dogs … but give me a cat … they are so much easier .. independent, don’t require a whole lot of me, but enough to satisfy my nurturing needs … unless you have a pregnant or new Mother Weezy cat !! We are as close and bonded as any Mother – Daughter duo … so I was blessed with not only two loving daughters, but a loving feline daughter as well !! Life is Good !! Good luck with the decision …… maybe you could just foster dogs …. they come & go !!

  8. So feeling your pain now. My kids have taken to adopting my neighbor’s dog. I’m hoping their enthusiasm for a dog will wane once they have to pick up a few “presents” from the neighbor’s dog.

      • Don’t tell the kids….but I really agree with you. If the thought of it is too much than don’t do it!!!! Raising kids and Husbands is an awful lot of work. Good for you for not folding. I suck as a peer! Hahahahahaha!

  9. LOL, That’s hysterical! When T was little we went through some pets… He told me he wanted a baby brother, so we detoured to the pet store and got a hamster. After that pet passed away and he wanted a baby sister, we got two kittens. The kittens ended up finding a better home – and then when the discussion came up again, we got a dog. 🙂 And, actually, the little dog we got was a blessing – he really broke the mold of the standard little dog and we’ve enjoyed him! I don’t think that you should get one – YET. When they are older, it will be better!

    • I think you are exactly right Kate! I am definitely waiting a few years! I’m too busy breaking up fights right now! I loved your history of pets to satisfy your son’s need for a sibling. In that case, I would jump on the pet bandwagon…at least they can’t fight with each other!

  10. We vote YES and No… Dogs are amazing, they give you unconditional L O V E. If your having a bad day, they don’t care they just L O V E. If your having an good day, they L O V E. You just the same. They are amazing and so good for humans souls. With that being said, NO.. Because when you first bring home a puppy they cry all night, unless your going to let them sleep with you. Then there is the house training, Patience, Patience, Patience and last but not least, there is Check Ups, shots, nail clipping, grooming, Vet visits and lots of $$$ when they get sick, need surgery. It’s like you can live with one, and you can’t live with out one!!! Suggestions: if they really want a dog ask them to give up there allowance for one entire year, get a jar, hand them there allowance, there birthday money, tooth fairy money, and make them put it in a jar. If they.say, but mom I really want to but something, then say ” then you must not really want a dog” if they are completely successful, in one year you will have the money to buy the dog, or maybe pay for it’s shots, Regristration, leash and collar, and FOOD! Don’t forget the dog food bill. $$$. I also like the persons suggestions of wait till Iris turned 10, double digit age numbers are are Great Idea!!!! Either way Good luck,……..

  11. Get the dog. They’re gonna fight no matter what…they might as well fight about a dog. (Which, by the way, when you pet him, will release endorphins and that will keep you from doing something that will put you on the news.

    • Maryellen, you make a compelling argument with the whole endorphins bit! I can see why you are pro puppy with that cute dog you have….though I think I remember you posting pictures of you cleaning up after it! I am currently potty training my youngest son and just can’t imagine potty training a dog right now too!

      • She is doing really well except for an incident here and there….one of which I have a post about half done.
        I know I haven’t posted in forever. Overtime at work…garden starting to produce a LOT….a business trip one weekend…family Christmas the next weekend. ..I feel like I’m meeting myself coming and going. 😉
        The only reason I see your posts is because once in a while I check the email on my phone lol!

  12. Oh what a tough one! We are currently a dogless family after our last old, geriatric dog passed in February. We all miss having a dog around and really want to get one (or two) but I don’t think the time is right just yet. Perhaps the same is true for you. Maybe start out with seeing if you could get your daughter a job of walking a neighbors dog for a while and see how that works out.

    p.s. – I really just wanted to raise my hand and yell out GET THE DOG! mostly because I am selfish and want so see the great posts that would come from this, but I would rather you keep your sanity. Stay strong my friend!

    • haha!! Thanks Nancy! I remember you posting about your dog and that was so sad. I know how they become such a important role in the family. Basically it’s like asking myself if we want to add a fourth child to our family. You are right in the fact the blog fodder would have to be endless if we added one however I’m sure I couldn’t complete a full sentence at that point!

  13. Don’t get a dog now. Just take them to someone’s house that has a dog and make them do all the picking up of the bathroom business for a week. It will help decide if they want ALL the responsibilities or just the fun part.

    • I kind of already know the outcome to this….I can barely get the kids to bring wet towels from the bathroom down to the laundry room. Okay, maybe that’s not the same thing but I have a feeling picking up dog poop wouldn’t be that much more fun for them!

  14. I have a trick for you! As someone who works in animal care, both domestic and non, I have seen my fair share of techniques for children to get what they want. I have also encountered many brilliant parents. One never fail method is to get a very large jar (like sumo sized) and a bunch of small dog treats or marbles. Then have the kids work on chores that would prep them for having a dog (helping with dinner, cleaning the house etc.) Each well done chore earns them a treat in the massive jar. If they fight or have a fit they lose treats. One of the best chores I have heard of is having them clean up after friends and neighbors dogs (this can be the biggest turn off for kids wanting a dog). This method is great because it gives them a goal and will get them to calm their dog mantra for a bit. When done right this method can buy you a solid year at least. The only down side is you do have to follow through. If they fill it up then there has to be a puppy in the works. When you do finally end up with a dog they can give the treats to the new pet.
    If you need any breed recommendations let me know:)

    • That is a great idea/ideas! Thanks for the tips! What kind of breeds do you recommend? I have always liked bigger dogs better but we do not have a big yard for it to run so that might not be best. I would like a dog that is laid back and easily trainable. I had a black lab mix 10 years ago that I absolutely adored and I was always teaching him new tricks even though he was quite old.

      • Old labs and lab mixes are great! It’s the puppies that can be a handful. I love hound mixes as well. I would have to caution against herding breeds, not because they aren’t great dogs, but the are very high energy and require a lot of attention. I love the English Setter breed for a family first time dog. I have worked with several of these guys and everyone of them has been loyal, smart and gentle as can be. Hands down my favorite breed right now.

      • I will keep the English Setter in mind when I am ready! Hopefully we can find one at our Humane Society and bypass the puppy stage all together! I don’t have anything against puppies but it would make my life a little easier to have it already potty trained!

  15. Oh, you brave woman you! Asking us to make such a huge decision… I realize I’m a little late here but I say go for it! Although you’ve probably made your mind up already. Have you? What is it???

    • It’s still a “no” in my book! I just can’t bear the thought of trying to train a dog properly when I have 3 kids who still need so much training themselves. Maybe when they all can pour themselves their own bowl of cereal I will be more apt!!

  16. Pingback: Rescue Me! | Shoes On The Wrong Feet

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