To Get A Second Dog, or Not to Get a Second Dog (A Real Family Drama, in Two Acts)
To me it isn’t even a question.
My children have been trying to convince me to let them get another dog. Something which is not going to happen. Nope. Never. Not getting a second dog. No thank you.
I grew up without pets of any kind. I wasn’t upset by this. I didn’t feel deprived. I could have lived the rest of my days without ever entertaining the thought of getting a pet. My children felt their lack of pets was cruel and unusual punishment, bordering on abuse. They told me over and over how deprived they were. They promised that they would take care of a dog if we got one.
When the kids had grown older, I relented. So a year ago we got Rosie from the shelter. I fell in love with her. She is a great dog. I finally understood all those people who think of their pets as children. I was content with one perfect dog. In fact, I wrote a post not long ago about why everyone should consider getting a dog. And for the record, my children exceeded my expectations in the way they care for her.
Now my children think we need a second dog. They look at the photos of cute dogs on rescue websites. They tear up when that sad commercial with the Sarah McLachlan song comes on the TV and beg me to rescue another dog. My God, those puppies are so sad and abused, what kind of monster is my mother not to want to go get another one. They don’t verbalize this, of course, but I’m sure that is what they are thinking. Hell, I am thinking that. Despite that, I really don’t want another dog. I like having an “only dog.”
Over the course of the past few months we have had numerous conversations like these, conversations which prove that my children are listening to me, even if they sometimes pretend otherwise.
Me: “I think the dog we already have is perfect. We will never find another dog as great as she is!”
Kids: “Don’t you think all of us are great?”
Me: “What if Rosie hates the new dog?”
Kids: “She won’t hate a dog sibling. We don’t hate each other.”
Kids: “Rosie seems lonely. She wants a playmate.”
Me: “I don’t think she cares.”
Kids: “We would be lonely if we didn’t have each other to play with.”
Me: “You mean bicker and argue with?”
Kids: “We would be so sad without each other.”
Me: “Not if you never knew each other existed!”
Kids: “No, we would know!”
Me: “Two dogs mean twice as much work.”
Kids: “But we take care of Rosie. Don’t we?”
Me: “Yes, but this would be even more work than you do now.”
Kids: “We will do it!”
Me: “I just don’t know if I can love another dog.”
Kids: “But you say you love all of us… Have you been lying? Is there an end to how much love you have?”
Me: “I worry that maybe you guys won’t like the new dog as much and ignore it.”
Kids: “No, we would so like the new dog just as much. We like each other! It would be like if you had another baby, we would like it.”
Other kid: “Hey, that’s a good idea. You should have a BABY!”
Yet Another Kid: “Yeah! A baby! We’d like a baby!”
Another kid: “Well, not instead of a dog.”
Me: “Have you all lost your minds? I am not having another baby!”
Kids: “Why? That would be awesome!”
All of this culminated into the final conversation on the matter a little over a week ago.
Kids: “Can’t we just go look at this puppy? Look how cute he is. We will just look.”
Me: “I don’t know why you want to torture yourselves by just looking at a puppy we aren’t going to get.”
Kids: “Please, Mom. Pllleeeeeeeeeaaase?”
Me: “Okay. But don’t be disappointed.”
Let me introduce you to Max.