Monday, December 3, 2012

MAN'S BEST FRIEND, MOM'S WORST NIGHTMARE

I have already confessed that I am not thrilled with Halloween, so I might as well admit something else that you may judge me for: I never plan on getting a dog. I think this admission surprised my husband, since I also happen to love dogs. I am especially fond of my parents’ adorable toy poodle, Winnie the Poodle, who I have had a special bond with ever since she decided to become my fervent protector during my first pregnancy, and has been loyal to me ever since.

Here is the pros/cons list that led me to this conclusion:

 PROS FOR DOG OWNERSHIP
      ·         Having a consistently faithful and loving companion.

·         Someone to cuddle with on the couch when you’re watching Hart of Dixie and no one (i.e. your husband) else will go near you.

·         Pets teach children valuable lessons of responsibility and commitment.

·         Less need to drag out the dustbuster after your toddler finishes dinner; just let the dog have at the leftovers (there have been a few meals where I’ve considered whether moving would be easier than tackling the mess on the floor).

·         You are forced to get exercise every day even if you don’t want to leave the house.

·         Walking the dog allows you to meet neighbors and gives you an excuse to explore your neighborhood.

 
CONS FOR DOG OWNERSHIP

·         You have to wake up really early in the morning to care for them and pick up their poop.

 I didn’t always feel this way. About four years ago I asked a couple of close friends if they would accompany me to a local shelter to pick out a puppy for my husband’s upcoming birthday. We set a date to meet the following Saturday. That Friday I took a pregnancy test. Thirty seconds later I called my doctor to tell her that I was pregnant. She congratulated me and instructed me to set up an appointment.
“Okay. In the meantime, I just have a couple of quick questions. Is it bad that I ate lobster last week when I was in Maine? Have I been on my prenatal vitamins long enough? Is it normal to already feel queasy? Should I take a couple more tests just to make sure? What foods should I avoid? Is it crazy that I already have to pee a lot? I read on the internet that I should avoid hair dryers, is this true?!”

“You are not allowed to go on the internet until your next appointment,” my doctor informed me.
Suddenly, I remembered one more issue that needed to be addressed.

“I was planning on getting a dog for my husband’s birthday next week. Can I still go ahead and do that?” My doctor advised me to wait until after the pregnancy to make a purchase of this magnitude. After all, this was my first pregnancy and I had never owned a dog before. Who was I to argue?
And here we are, four years later, with two boys but still no dog. I have now had the privilege of being pooped on and peed on, I have braved potty training, I have endured the massive planning that goes into taking a vacation without your kids, and I have been repeatedly woken up at all hours of the night. The only thing that gets me through these obstacles is that it’s only temporary. My children will eventually both be potty trained (right?!), and perhaps in the near future will be able to entertain each other on a Saturday morning long enough to let their weary parents sleep in past 7am. Welcoming a dog to the family feels like it would be adding another child who remains a toddler forever.

Maybe one day I will change my mind. I doubt it, but it’s possible. Just don’t tell my children that. And definitely don’t tell my husband.


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