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.

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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.”

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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.

Son: THAT’S NOT FAIR! I AM TOO OLD ENOUGH! JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE OLDER DOESN’T MEAN YOU GET TO DO EVERYTHING!

Daughter: OH YEAH MR. POOPY BUTT? YOU WOULD JUST LET GO OF THE LEASH AND THE DOG WOULD RUN AWAY AND THEN WE WOULD NEVER GET ANOTHER DOG AND IT WOULD BE ALL OF YOUR FAULT!

Son: I WOULD NOT! YOU ARE SO MEAN! YOU ARE THE MEANEST SISTER IN THE WHOLE WORLD! IF MOM AND DAD LET US GET A DOG I WOULD HIDE IT FROM YOU SO YOU COULD NEVER SEE IT! IT WOULD BE ALL MINE!

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

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Let’s Not Have a Fabulous Day at the Zoo

I love a good zoo outing. It’s an awesome time with three children. No one ever says their legs are getting tired an hour into the visit when we’re clear across the other side of the zoo. No one ever says they’re too hot or too cold. No one ever asks for popcorn or hot roasted peanuts when the tempting aromas start filling the air. No one has almost got lost because we thought they were right behind us when in fact they decided to stay glued to the glass partition of the lion cage. No one has ever argued about the path to take when we come to the fork that can either lead to the primate section or the petting zoo area. No one has ever said they had to go to the bathroom when we just asked them 10 minutes earlier and they didn’t need to go and now there is no bathroom in sight.

Yes, as much as I love a good zoo outing, once a year is quite sufficient.

Whenever I get an itch to see some animals in confined areas in between our yearly zoo trip …off to the pet store the kids and I go.

This always proves to be an ideal field trip for a number of reasons:

  • No one ever gets tired from walking
  • The temperature is always perfect
  • There is no tantalizing odors filling the store
  • It’s a confined space so the chances of losing someone is minimal
  • Bathrooms are easily accessible at the back of the store

There is still the potential for arguments on which animals to see first.

The kids and I went to Petco last week and had a blast.

Bency, the 5 year old, is in love with Seek and Find books so trying to find those lizards and frogs is a virtual Seek and Find book for him.

I gave the older kids the challenge of counting the guppies. After 15 minutes they finally agreed on 163. Cesar, the almost 2 year old can only count to 10, so we stuck to the tropical fish tank for him where there is only a handful of fish to count.

Some of the animals had names and a card outlining their personality traits (shy, friendly, outgoing, curious, needs a lot of attention, calm) and we decided which of our family members they were most like.

The animals that were nameless were given fantastic names by us.

We read some of the books that were there and learned about different species of birds.

We watched a dog getting groomed.

We rounded off our trip by playing with the dog squeaky toys and voting on the best dog outfit. The Superman outfit was Bency’s favorite. The ballerina tutu was Iris’s choice.

An hour and a half after we had first arrived we were on our way out the exit door. We said good-bye to the clerks, the dog who had just arrived with his owner, and the joy of having not spent a dime, learning a few things and having an amazing time!

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