I have a successful friend and mentor who has raised her daughter and managed an impressive career. One day we were having lunch and personal regrets came up in conversation. With her daughter now away at college, she told me her daughter had always wanted a dog but she never pulled the trigger. It hit me like a ton of bricks.
As a child I never had, or wanted, a dog. My daughter on the other hand has wanted one for what seems like forever. I would set challenges for her to prove her commitment that I knew were nearly impossible to fulfill. If she walked my neighbor’s dog for 30 days, I would buy her a dog. She walked that dog for only 28 days, so I did not get her the dog.
My son had a very unhealthy fear of dogs. When he went to other people’s houses, he could ask me to call in advance and make sure the dog was in another room. Even he, with his fear, still asked for a dog every year. This summer he wrote a bucket list. “Get a dog” topped that list. I looked at this dog as a another thing on my to do list : walk the dog, groom the dog, clean up after the dog. This was just one more thing I did not have time to do. I hate to say it, but I totally missed the bigger picture.
My children are old enough to share responsibility of a pet and it was important to me that my kids have something that they need to take care of and love. Once I realized this, there was no stopping me. When this mama gets a bee in her bonnet, look out world! It took a few months but finally we found a dog that met all of our requirements.
Enter our six pound Chiweenie, who we named Ivy, after a street in Westgate Hills. When I was walking the dog, I would meet people on the street who would just start yelling at me, “Are you crazy, you got a dog?” I joked that if I walked up to someone with a newborn and said, “Are you crazy, you had another kid?” I think I would get slapped. For some reason, people bombarded me with all the negative stories of dog ownership. I am two months in and it is still the newlywed stage but I am so happy I did it.
When I see, my daughter cleaning the dog’s teeth and she is worried that the dog didn’t eat enough, I realize how much she has matured and how nurturing she can be. I never saw that side of her till now. When I see, my son carrying the dog everywhere with such joy on his face when he was once terrified of every dog he met, it melts my heart. My husband was ADAMANT we were not getting a pet. Now he is literally kissing the dog every time he comes in and out of the house. The whole house is smitten with her. She was already house broken, very friendly and good with little kids so in all fairness all the hard work was done. We found a good match for our family no doubt.
I know it’s the last thing some moms may want to hear but just do it. Go ahead and get the dog. Allow more love in your home, it’s a good thing. It’s good for everyone even you! If you ever want a good laugh, remind me to tell the story of how I found her over a beer.
Buzz Worthy Lesson: Even a hive needs 4 legged friends