This is completely crazy for me to say, but I think I want to get a dog. I blame the recent Westminster Dog Show on my sudden infatuation with getting a dog. There’s no actual science behind this, but I suspect that I’m not alone and that after seeing prize-winning Pekingese and Chinese Shar-Peis, dog adoptions will rise.
For years we have vowed that we wouldn’t get a dog again, at least not for a very, very long time. Between the shedding, slobber, vet bills, kennel bills, and dog poop, Tate and I both agreed that we didn’t need a dog.
Yet last night I found myself googling “best family dogs” and “family dogs that don’t shed.” We still definitely don’t need a dog, but I’m starting to get that itch — sort of like I did when we decided to start our family — that we want to add another little soul to our mix. A dog would be cheaper than a baby, though, right?
My husband and I are dog people, but after having kids the romance of having a dog quickly faded. Our first dogs were two of the sweetest, dopiest basset hounds in the entire world. They were our first children and we treated them like royalty. Admittedly this is ridiculous, but I even sent out birth announcements after Sophie, our lemon and white Appalachian bigfoot basset hound, was born. (Shut up, I bet you did the same thing with at least one of your pre-children dogs, didn’t you?)
And then six years later we had two human babies.
And we lived in a house without a fenced-in back yard.
And I was a very, very tired new mommy.
Our dogs still got fed and were let outside. We kept current on their vaccinations and took them to fancy kennels when we had to travel out of town. But the love and affection they used to receive was now given to our two children. When we did have extra time, I didn’t have the energy to give them the attention they needed because I was so exhausted all the time.
When my husband was transferred to a new job out of state, we found our sweet dogs a new family. Quite literally, we found them a home on a proverbial farm, complete with a fenced in yard and a kind and loving family. While giving them up was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, it was also one of the best things I ever did, because I knew they weren’t getting what they deserved from us.
It’s now over three years later and I’m no longer a new, tired mother of two babies. My children are increasingly independent so I don’t feel as burdened by the needs of others. There was never a time during my childhood, or my husband’s, that we didn’t grow up with a family pet, and I want the same for my children.
We are in the pre-pre-pre preliminary stages of dog research. While I love basset hounds – seriously human babies aren’t a cute as basset puppies – I know what a mess these dogs can be with their excessive shedding and copious amounts of dog slobber that ends up on the walls. We want a dog that we can add to our family and love for a very long time.
Do you have any suggestions for a good family dog?
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