‘Can we get a dog?’

Recently, my younger son has been asking for a dog. Repeatedly. Everywhere we go, he points out dogs to me.

‘Isn’t it cute? Look how fluffy it is! Imagine if we had a dog like that. Can we get a dog?’

The request is always accompanied by hugs and very big, pleading eyes. My boy is not the most affectionate of kids and will reject hugs from anyone apart from me, so to hug me in public must be a serious matter.

Dog, Pet, Puppy, Can we get a dog?

Ironically, he used to be scared of dogs, until only a year or two ago. But a lot of his friends have got dogs, so he’s learned to like them and now he wants one of his own.

To be honest, I’ve never liked dogs. I don’t like them jumping up or licking (I’m a germaphobe) and I’ve always been reluctant to stroke them. I don’t like the thought of picking up poo and I most definitely don’t like the thought of them being sick (I have a phobia of vomiting).

But recently I’ve really noticed the strong bond between a dog and an owner. I like the idea of a dog to walk. I’ve started stroking dogs and it feels very nice.

I think there is a dog in my future. But not just yet. I imagine myself with a dog when the kids have left home. Working from home can be a lonely business and I usually get to the point in the afternoon where I’m counting down the minutes until the kids get back. Without the kids, it will be a long and lonely day. A dog would keep me company.

But my daughter hates dogs and is very frightened of them. She says if I get a dog, she will never visit me (I know this isn’t actually true, so I’m not going to let that stop me).

While we were on holiday, there were dogs everywhere. And a lot of them were very cute.

‘Can we get a dog?’

The begging for a dog got out of hand, as did the ‘you can’t get a dog, I’ll leave home!’. And then a dog came along and jumped up at all of us, apart from my daughter, who was cowering behind me and crying.

I’d like to think that a dog would make my son really happy, but I know the reality would be the same as the guinea pigs – and I would end up either doing the majority of the work or nagging the kids to take it for a walk or feed it. I also know that our own dog would be a different matter for my daughter and that she would get over her fear, if not of all dogs, certainly of our own dog.

But we’re not going to get a dog just now.

‘Can we have a cat, then?’

Author: Sarah Mummy

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22 Comments

  1. This sounds a lot like the conversations we have at our place. Daughter is desperate for a kitten or a puppy, son is allergic to cats and scared of dogs!

    I’m not a dog person and they sound like hard work. I’d be more open to the idea of getting a cat but the coyotes in our neighbourhood mean outdoor cats here have short lives …

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    • Glad it’s not just us that has these conversations. Oh dear, that wouldn’t be a nice way to lose a pet. I know cats are much easier than dogs (they’re probably actually easier than guinea pigs!), but I like the idea of a dog more.

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  2. Oh Sarah, this could be me right now in your house. I want a dog so much and I think I’ve fallen in love with labradoodles. They are sooooooo cute and fluffy and gentle looking. If you look on Pinterest I think you might head straight to a dog breeder

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    • I think I’d better avoid Pinterest in that case! Labradoodle is about the size of dog I’d like. I wouldn’t want a tiny one, but I wouldn’t want a huge one either.

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  3. Oh yes, we have had this conversation so many times!! My husband is all for it but I think with A still being so young and having lots of toys everywhere it would be tricky, plus it would be me looking after it. I’m not dead against the idea, like you I think maybe in a few years time. As for a cat, I love cats but my husband is terrified of them, so that would be a no (unless I wanted him to move out)

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    • Cats are a definite no for you, then! I can’t see us with a cat. It’s good that you can consider a dog now after A was so terrified. In a way it seems a bit unfair for me to wait until after the kids have left home to get one when it’s actually my son who wants one.

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  4. Ahh I’m often nattered for a dog but I’m standing firm because I know that like with any other pet we have ever had, the lion’s share of the work will fall to me. We had dogs when I was growing up but I’m still not really a big lover of them and certainly not enough of the lover to be the one who does all of the walking, feeding, picking up after etc. We have had all sorts of animals over the years and right now we have a tortoise and three cats which is enough for me. One of our cats though is a siamese and she’s probably more like a dog than a cat. She is so loving and affectionate. Great company for me during the day never leaving my side, she runs to greet you and even plays fetch with her toys. Maybe a siamese could be your compromise? Ha!

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    • A tortoise and three cats sounds like plenty! I’ve never heard of cats doing that before, it sounds very sweet. My preference for a dog is that they are generally more affectionate than a cat.

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  5. Hubby’s business partner & family returned from holiday with a puppy yesterday after staying on a farm……

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    • Oh dear! I bet it’s cute though.

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  6. N would love his own dog. I’ve said when he’s 10 we can think about it (the same age as some of his cousins had one). Thankfully dogs round here live in a kennel, but need to follow the guys around on the farm when the others are at school or work. But they’re amazing to have around.

    I used to be scared of dogs as a child, mainly little dogs after a jack russell nipped me, but now I love them (bigger ones anyway). Sometimes it just takes a calm dog to get a child used to them although it’s unusual older children not liking dogs.

    If you don’t like the sick or poo, cats aren’t always better – although at least you don’t have to pick up the poo after walking them. Dog poo collection is why I’d never have one off the farm. At least with ours, we just get a spade and chuck the poo in the field or in the hedge. Grim though

    Good luck with the putting it off

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    • That’s something for N to look forward to. Dogs seem like the perfect companions for the farm, but not so good for us! Although I’m at home nearly all the time and go out walking or running a lot, so a dog would have a pretty good life with us. I’m really not tempted by a cat, although I’m sure they’re a lot easier to look after than a dog.

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  7. Sarah,

    There’s quite a lot of emotion in relationships between dogs and people — that’s true in the case of your family, and you haven’t even got a dog yet! My family has had three dogs, and living with them involved plenty of emotion. Molly was a dog we had many years ago. In my father’s words:
    “When my wife used to say goodbye to me at the garden gate, with the dog on a lead, Molly used to screech and cry as though I was leaving for ever. When I was about to return home, Molly used to leave the sitting-room, lie down in the kitchen near the passageway that led to the back door, and whine.”

    Do guinea pigs and dogs have a reputation for getting on well?

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    • Molly certainly sounds like a faithful friend! I can’t imagine dogs and guinea pigs getting on all that well together. I don’t think they would be out in the garden at the same time!

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  8. It sounds like your daughter is the person who would benefit most from having a dog, it’s probably the best way to get over her fear. I agree with you that you’d end up looking after it, it’s always the way. For me though, that’s the best thing about having the dog. I am obliged to get out of the house, either running or walking, on my own and in piece and quiet at least twice a day. I suspect I would have completely lost the plot without that over the past few years.
    Nat.x

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    • I always get out of the house without a dog anyway. It’s just something I have to do for myself at least twice a day because I’m not very good at being stuck inside! I thought my daughter might get over her fear as she got a bit older, like her brother has, but it hasn’t happened yet! x

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  9. I do wonder Sarah, if your boy might surprise you. He likes the outdoor and exercise doesn’t he? My eldest is brilliant with our dogs, always has been. She’s the only one who will walk them when I ask because she was the one who was so desperate for one. My middle one was also scared of dogs and getting our own completely transformed her relationship with dogs. You know you want to! xx

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    • That’s really lovely to hear about your daughters. My son does love exercise, but it always has to be in an organised form – a football match, athletics competition, rugby training session etc. The rest of the time he’s just on his various devices! He will always go for a walk with me if I ask him, but I don’t know if he would take the initiative and go on his own. Who knows?! x

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  10. Hi Sarah, my niece is going through a “can we get a dog” faze. The funny thing is that she’s doesn’t seem overly keen on them in general. The other day she actually asked me to talk my sister round, to which I pointed out the responsibility that goes with owning a dog (she didn’t speak to me for the rest of the day). My sister has never been an animal person anyway and has never hidden the fact… Now for years, we were never a cat family until one adopted us (she stays outside and patrols the wood piles). Now I couldn’t imagine not having her around. She is far more intelligent than thought and doesn’t wear her heart on her sleeve like a dog. She also has all our dogs weighed off, whereas the dogs still look surprised when she swipes them for getting to close… And you can’t beat an early morning walk with the dogs to get the happy hormones flowing.

    xx

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    • Thanks very much. It’s definitely not a decision to be taking lightly. I think you definitely did the right thing with your niece. Your cat sounds fab. They are very cute, but I can’t see myself with one. x

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  11. Do you know what, I could see a dog fitting in with your family Sarah. We are not really dog lovers, but my mum dog sits so the kids get the chance to pop round and see their favourite ones. All the joy of a dog without looking after it x

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    • That sounds like a good idea! I think a dog could fit into our family, with me being at home all the time, plus being active and loving the outdoors! x

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