Thursday, January 28, 2010


Dog. The word elicits many responses in this house.

Dog = point of contention.
Dog = the hearts desire of three girls in this house.
Dog = vet bills.
Dog = an ever ensuing battle between Daddy and the girls.
Dog = a missing part of the family.
Dog = begging five (almost six!) year olds.
Dog = frustrated exasperated pestered Daddy.

When Matt and I got married, I desperately wanted a dog. At that time we were remodeling a house, and Matt also insisted that it was not good timing to get a dog in the winter.

We sold our house in February, and got this house. Matt then insisted that you can't have a dog without a fence. We don't have a fence. Our old house had a fence. 10 years later we still don't have a fence. We need one, but we always have other things to spend our money on. Fences are expensive.

I still pushed, prodded and begged for a dog. Then we decided to have kids. We decided that it would be better to let a kid get used to a dog than have a dog have to try to get used to a new baby.

My babies are almost 6 and 2 now. My big girl wants a dog so bad, it elicits tears and a battle about every other week around here.

Matt told Brooke a few weeks ago she could get a dog and he would just move out. She was ready to take him up on it...which didn't sit well with him! She was convinced that we would be going to the petstore the next morning, and the fact that Matt meant that he would be leaving was totally lost in the thrill of getting a dog.

Every time we go to CiCi's pizza (which we did tonight for Seltzer fundraiser night), we go next door to Petland. The girls and I want to see the animals, and we always have them bring a puppy out to see us. We soak it up. We cuddle them, love them, longingly wish we could take them home, try to make Matt play with them.

And inevitably we go home with Brooke in tears, begging for a dog. One time Matt told her she could get a dog when she was 16. She latched onto that tiny glimmer of hope and come hell or high water that kid is going to have a dog when she turns 16. Tonight though she decided that 10 years was way too long to wait. Mommy agrees but kept her mouth shut.

Tonight at the pet store we loved on one of these little guys, a Wheaten Terrier:

Cute cute little dogs! He was so sweet and cuddly.

Now so as to not be a completely not-understanding wife, I know vet bills can get expensive sometimes. I know that most of our family income comes from Matt working hard. I know we don't have a huge amount of cushion in our budget for vet emergencies. I know that to Matt, "dogs are people too" and it is devastatingly sad when the family dog dies. I get that. I know he is still sad about losing the family dog back when we were first married.

Matt seems to think that having a dog means no road trips, no vacations, etc. I tell him regularly that there are people everyday who have pets who take vacations. The word is "boarding" or "dog-sitter." You get me a dog, I guarantee I'll figure out what to do with it when we have to go somewhere.

But I know too that Matt was raised with dogs. He knows what it is to have a pet to love and play with. He knows in his heart that his girls, all three of us, deserve to have a pet. And I'm with Brooke on this one. We should not have to wait till she's 16. And I can't figure out why he thinks his answer is the final answer on this. Why can't my answer be the one that wins?

Until he finally caves to our wishes, I will continue to bite my tongue, to quietly cheer Brooke on in her campaign to get a dog, and hope he will finally realize that a dog would be a great thing to have. And after tonight's post-Petland drama, he said he'd never go back there with Brooke again.... so until then I will continue to take my girls there. To get our pet fix. To get our puppy time. And someday, hopefully, we will have a puppy of our own to love!


wdozier said...

You guys are welcome to come over anytime for some "dog time." :)

Jodi said...

I understand so completely. Ryan is just like Matt. He does not EVER want to have a dog. . .for so many reasons. I completely withdrew my argument when he let me get a cat, which I always thought was just as unlikely as a dog. Growing up, I had the best dog in the world and I always wanted a cat. Now, I figure Olivia will have a cat and always want a dog. That's a fight that Olivia and Ryan will have to work out. But, getting a dog has definitely been our biggest fight ever. Good luck, Brooke! I'm rooting for ya!

Marcy said...

Being a dog lover I know how hard this is. I was lucky enough to get a dog young so anytime I was in a relationship they knew she came along as part of the picture! I also know how hard it is to wait until the "right time" to get a new furry friend. After both Merv and me losing our dogs last year I wanted to rush out and get a new puppy together, but like you guys we have some house issues to work out first. Until then, we stuck with some of the most uppity cats I've ever known :)

Let's hear it for the girls! Good luck you three!

Great Aunt Debbie V. said...

Matt: Dogs (and especially puppies) can be a real pain. You have to potty train them, give them attention, provide medical care, and you have to make arrangements when you're going to be gone overnight or for a weekend. They're a lot of work. Sometimes they make messes. They're also so much fun, and offer unconditional love and add real joy to your life. They're like children, in a way. Can you imagine your life now, if you had decided not to have children? Let the girls get a Shih Tzu. They are the best family dog ever, and they do not shed. They will have a friend who will love them forever. And you'll be a hero.