Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Part of why my word count is low

We do parent-child dates every so often. We try to do them monthly, but we're not always that on top of things.

Usually the kids are pretty cheap dates. They are content with a bike ride or visiting the pet store or getting an ice cream cone or maybe bowling using our free bowling coupons.

This past Thursday, Thing 1 and I went on a date. She chose to have us visit one of her favorite date places--the pet store that not only allows, but encourages, us to play with the puppies.

I like visiting the pet store for many reasons, chief among them is that the kids can play with puppies and get it out of their systems since I am not a dog person.

I mean, we've toyed with the idea of getting one. The kids would love it. We might even enjoy it, I don't know. And I remember Jimmy saying kids should have a dog growing up and that tugged at me a little bit. But neither Mark nor I has grown up with dogs and so we haven't been super keen on the idea.

I like smaller dogs better than bigger dogs, but still. A dog person, I am not.

Here are some of the reasons I don't consider myself a dog person:

1. You always have to pick up poop. Children eventually learn to potty train and wipe themselves. Dogs? Nope.

2. They smell. Dog smell.

3. It's a lot of work.

4. It's a lot of expense.

5. What do you do when you travel?

6. Having to go outside when it's cold and/or rainy.

7. Some dogs bite.

8. Some dogs scare me.

9. Allergies.

10. Barking.

So, every time we go to the pet store, I try to see if I might like the idea. Usually, I do not. I generally walk out saying to myself, "Yeah, they're cute, but nope, not for me."

Our date was no exception. We played with a little, black Yorkie Poo and it was cute. But man was it hyper and nippy. We watched him run around the play room, try to eat our clothes, and try to eat my backpack. After that, I was ready to go home.

"Do we have time for one more?" Thing 1 asked.

I looked at my watch. We didn't really. "One more," I said.

So, we played with one more. A Shi-Chon. Half Shitzu and Half Bichon. Translated: Hair, not fur. Hypo-allergenic. Non-shedding.

Of course that was nice, but not enough to convince me to do anything as crazy as consider getting one. Refer to my list of 10 reasons. I don't need much convincing. I'm pretty set.

So, we got this cute, little puppy and played with it for a while. She was very sweet. A few different workers walked by, independently of each other, looked in, saw the puppy, saw us snuggling her, and said, "Oh, that one. She's so sweet."

And I sat there and watched as Thing 1 fell in love with the puppy. So, I quickly got us up and out of that playroom and we high tailed it out of the store. The puppy whimpered as we left. UGH.

We got home and told Mark and Thing 2 about the puppy. Specifically, I told Mark how this puppy seemed to really have a personality and, I don't know, something about her that seems to fit in our family. I told him he had to see it for himself.

I couldn't shake it. I kept thinking about the puppy. I hoped Mark would see it and tell me I was seeing things and that it was cute and all, but it was really just another dog.

So, we all went as a family to play with her again. Thing 1 was excited to visit with her again. I was kind of excited to play with her since it was a fun playing time that didn't involve actually getting a dog. Like in our house.

Thing 2 was cautious. He's had a bad experience with a dog in the past, so part of going to the pet store is to slowly help him overcome his fears. We've gone in there several times and while he has slowly warmed up over time, he always starts out very cautious and not always interested in having the dogs touch him in any way.

Our visit with this little dog was met with lots of smiles and snuggles. This puppy is VERY snuggly and sweet. Her personality seems to fit with our family somehow. And even Thing 2 was comfortable getting on the floor and playing with the pup. I watched Mark's face to see what he thought. I secretly hoped he would tell me, "Yeah, cute dog, but I'm not seeing the connection you're talking about."

I looked at him and asked, "Are you seeing it?" (Thinking to myself, "Please say no, please say no . . . ").

He smiles and says, "Yes."


So we go home and we're all talking about the cute little puppy that has weaseled its way into our hearts and how she seems to fit, but UGH, a dog??

Thing 2 dreamily eats his dinner saying, "People could talk to me about Mario or Sonic, but all I can think about is . . . " and then with a VERY dreamy look and smile, "Kara, Kara." (That's what the store named her).

Thing 1 reiterated that she would forgo ALL Christmas presents, including presents from Santa, if we could just get a dog.

She also tried to use ecological save-the-earth arguments. "If we get the dog, it's good for the environment."

"How exactly?"

"Well, because then she'd be here with us and we wouldn't have to drive to the store to visit her which would cut back on pollution from the car into the environment!"

So, we get the kids to bed and continue to talk about it. We tried to talk ourselves out of it, but we weren't doing a very good job. We kept thinking about the dog. And we felt like she should be here with us.

Later that night, Thing 1 came running down the stairs in tears.

"What's wrong?!"

Through sobs, "I'm worried that someone else will buy her and she won't be there!!"

She knew we hadn't decided (they'd asked; we'd told them), but she was really upset. This wasn't helping. She looked a bit like we felt. We reassured her and helped her feel a bit better and sent her back up to bed.

Then we started to panic. What if someone else tried to buy her? We were pretty sure we wanted to get the dog. We had no idea how we'd do it, clueless as we are, and it didn't make any sense other than this puppy seemed to be choosing our family.

Every point on that list still applies, so it really was more an issue of the dog choosing us than of us suddenly loving dogs.

Long story short.

Meet Scout.

So, as if data recovery and some personal issues weren't enough, we got a puppy. The things parents do for their children.

I like her. She's a real cutie. And a lot of fun. We are all enjoying her very much. I have to say that the kids are LOVING having a dog and especially enjoy walking her and playing with her. But man oh man, I think Mark is smitten. Scout likes to cuddle on our laps for hours. She's a really snuggly dog and isn't yappy. She is about three pounds (if that) and won't get bigger than 10-12 pounds. She's a perfect size for us. We like dogs this size. (Bromleys, we blame Shylock for the beginnings of any interest on our part at all in dogs. And Jessica, Corky plays a part in the blame, too).

I will say, though, that I don't understand people who put their dogs ahead of their children. That is so totally not me. The dog is cute, but our kids/our family absolutely comes first.

And we looked at the Humane Society because we do understand the argument about saving strays. Thing is, we weren't looking for a dog, the shelter had mostly pit bulls (uh, not a chance), and like I said before, the issue here is that this dog chose us.

Another interesting aspect that we've discovered after the fact . . . dogs are really good for you. They make people more confident, happy, and social. It's been fantastic for Thing 2 and his fears about dogs. Thing 1 is our dog whisperer. They also help lower stress and blood pressure, and even cholesterol. Studies have shown that they are more effective than ACE Inhibitors! That's amazing. There was one really interesting study done on stock brokers in New York. Those with dogs had significantly lower blood pressure. The study was so conclusive and persuasive, that all the other stock brokers who didn't have dogs went out and got one.

So far, my blood pressure seems to be rising. This house breaking thing is for the birds. Or the dogs. Whatever.

We have 2 kids and we all sleep through the night and we've invited this furry creature into our home who cries and whimpers in the night from her crate. We understand this passes.

We are attempting litter box training since it can be done and can save us from having to go out in the aforementioned cold and rain.

I can't believe we have a dog. I'm still a bit shocked and stressed out about it. Until I remember the blood pressure thing. And then I remember I'm not supposed to be stressed out.

I said our kids are generally cheap dates. Visiting the pet shop? Most Expensive Date Ever.

And this is also just part of why my word count is only now approaching 20,000.


Scott said...

No way! I called Scott in the office to tell him. Congrats. We are not really pet people either but are not totally against getting a dog one day. Now cats, that is a totally different story. We will NEVER own a cat! I do not like them one bit. Congrats again...that is exciting for your fam!

the emily said...

OH MY GOSH!!! I cannot believe it! Dave said "I'm so jealous." He wants a dog. The kids want a dog. I do NOT want a dog. You're a good mom!! And man is Scout cute.

Jillo said...

So sweet! That is a face that could melt your heart.I am totally impressed. We have a dog and while it is a total love/hate thing on my end, my kids LOVE her and she is really good for them. Plus... she cleans up dirty kitchen floors very nicely and she keeps my feel warm on cold winter nights.
I am proud of you for being awesome!

Jimmy said...

Great, great post! Scout's cute. And your kids are lucky.

bythelbs said...

Very cute puppy. Don't tell DynaGirl. You're a better woman than me. I will never give in on the dog issue. Never.

Rebecca said...

Very cute!!

Mom said...

I can't believe you got a dog, but since you did, a Shi-Chon seems perfect for your family. I'd still be concerned about #'s 1-5, though. She is a cutie. How fun for you.

J Fo said...

Perfect! Best name EVER, too! Good have fun!

Jagged Rocks said...

I love having dogs. I am allergic, but not very badly, I just have to make sure our dogs get regular baths (they hate it). When I am around other dogs and I start breaking out I just have to wash my hands and arms and I am good to go. Plus dogs encourage exercise. She is so cute!! Have fun with her.

lisa said...

Oh man I think I know the pet strore your talking about! The one in the square in Palmyra? We used to go there to. They do have some cute puppies! I agree with you I am not a dog person either. I enjoyed reading this post. It made me laugh! Love the arguments the kids put up for the dog. They are so sweet.

Anonymous said...

Scout is very cute. I would not be able to resist her cute little face! I had a Bichon growing up (11 to 24). I was never a dog person but I loved that dog so much. I think dogs are great for kids and adults. They teach us responsibility and unconditional love. Plus dogs are so loyal and loving. You are awesome parents. Your kids must be so excited! I want a dog now.

katie said...

Dogs are great (I am a big dog person myself, we have a golden retriever). When we got our dog, we put a sterio covered in a blanket in his box/crate and left it on very low. It supposedly makes them think that something soft (the towel) and human (the talking on the radio) is by them. It seemed to help...he did much less wimpering. Once he got used to it, we took it away and he did great. Have fun!

Chelle said...

I NEVER thought it would happen! Of course, I never thought it would happen for me either. Now that I'm a dog owner (and still figuring it out, mind you), I believe that pets are meant to have a place in our lives and in our families. I still marvel that I am not a pet person myself, yet I love our dog and feel that he was meant to be a pet for our family. I hate the shedding and fear I will never adjust to that, but the good things make me willing to deal with the "undesirables" you mentioned in your post.

We do love to do crazy things for our kids, don't we? I always said that if I EVER had a dog, it would be an outdoor dog. Yet what did we end up getting - a HUGE indoor dog!! And it's been great. Now I love that we have a dog.

I think it's hilarious that you and I both became dog owners in the same year! Hooray for that. Scout is super cute and cuddly looking.

Boquinha said...

I had no idea Dave wanted a dog. That's cool. I also had no idea how much I would enjoy having a dog. I thought the cons would outweigh the pros. They don't. She is a joy!

Lisa, yes, that's the one. SUCH cute puppies! Thanks for commenting! :)

Kelly! I'm so glad to know that we can still love our dog but not be "dog people," because that's sort of how we feel. If that makes any sense. We love her--she is SO much fun! She is a lot of work, but loves to play and snuggle and makes us laugh and smile a lot and she really does teach responsibility. The kids do awesome with her!

Katie, thanks for the idea--we may do that, because she gets sad at night when we put her in her crate. She LOVES people and snuggling.

We really do do crazy things for our kids. We're not big into buying lots of "stuff," but really value experiences and time together and having a dog really is great that way!

I think it's hilarious, too. I remember reading your post and thinking, "OMIGOSH!" (Didn't I comment something like "better you than me" or some such?) and here we are, getting dogs within months of each other! CRAZY!! But yet, hooray!

We LOVE Scout!

The Rat Life said...

You have such a cute puppy. Your family is great for puppy care. I think you will have years of blessing....with no regrets. Congratulations!