Over the past six months, my two kids, Gregory and Michael, have been painstakingly trying to “earn” a dog. How does one do this in our family? Well, after preliminary fish, and hamster pets, it is necessary to demonstrate long-term discipline that benefits the entire family unit. Remember that a dog will change the whole family dynamic so there have to be more compensations to us grown-ups besides the love and affection a furry friend can offer. After all, who’s going to pay the “adoption fee”, the vet bills, and the added food bills. Let’s not forget that we fully expect that the care of the dog between school hours to fall Mom and Dad. Essentially, we have adopted another “child” and all the added expense that entails. The boys have to give Mom and Dad something for all this added expense and effort. We didn’t just fall off the turnip truck!
So here was the deal. The kids had to learn to keep their room and their primary play area, the living room, in tip-top condition for a total of six consecutive months. Every time the room fell into disrepair they had to start all over again. So picking up socks, stray toys and the other kid detritus off the living room rug was no longer my job! To my surprise and to my husbands surprise our 8 and 12-year-old boys lived up to their committment. They also agreed to the added condition that these duties would continue along with dog care duties for ever and ever and ever and … Well, you get the picture.
My husband and I don’t make promises we can’t or won’t keep so right after school was out and summer trips were complete we got on-line at Petfinder.com and started surfing the web for likely pooches. We looked for a hypoallergenic low maintenance dog with a decent temperament.