In our early dating dance my now husbandand I quickly established the commonality that we did not consider ourselvesdog people. Maybe cat people, but definitely not dog people. Neither of us hadowned a dog in adult life and neither of us wanted to own one in the future. Check! Some other commonalities were establishedand we married. Even when we moved out of the city and got a garden we stayedtrue to our conviction and got a cat, not a dog. Yet I write this with a puppysleeping in my lap.
I grew up with Dachshunds in mychildhood home, normally two at any given time. They were highly territorial and because ofthat prone to barking, nipping at visitors and running off after wildlife. Iwas responsible for walking them after school, an activity I did not particularlycare for and I always considered them my parents' dogs, not mine. In additionto our own dogs, I also walked a beautiful golden retriever Loui. Loui had adeep love for water and no matter how hard I tried, he frequently managed toget away from me and jump into the forest lake. Once in the lake I hadto spend hours coaxing him out with digestive biscuits, his second love. So whenI moved away from home I was simply "dogged" out. Yet I write this with a puppysleeping in my lap.
We had our son and when over theyears he asked for a dog, we rationally explained why he could not have one;the serious responsibility and commitment, the impact to our cat and our packedschedules, as well as the fact that we are not dog people. He was never relentlessin his inquiries and always took our answers at face value. We could easilyhave stayed a cat, a frog and a fish family. Yet I write this with a puppysleeping in my lap.
So as you likely figured out bynow my son got a dog against some pretty poor odds. In fact, my husband is still baffled by my change of heart. It was not because my husband started to theread; "Where the red fern grows," which is a fabulous story about a boy and hisdogs, and my son got all emotional. And it was not because I felt competitive when rereading; "Just let me lie down",which captures how the great editor of Real Simple magazine manages her career,three boys and... yes... a dog.
My son got a dog because I neverwant to look back and have regrets about my parenting choices, at least not onthe big ticket items. I want my son to have a companion for the rest of hisyears at home, a companion who will bestow love upon him every time they aretogether and I want my son to learn what it means to care for his very own dependentanimal, especially because you can't always put yourself first. And thenfinally I wanted to be able to address my son's valid point; Why should hesleep alone when we the adults do not? And that is exactly why I write this with a puppy sleeping in my lap.
"A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in yourlife, things won't be too bad."