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The Dog Debate

Posted by Patience on February 2, 2009 at 7:00 AM in GiveawayPatience
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"I had the best dream last night, I came outside to the backyard and there was a dog!" he said. You might guess this was one of my children, but no, it was my husband. The dog talk has been building the last few weeks but it came to a head after the dream. Everyone (well, everyone except me) was convinced it must be a sign.

Before I knew it, Jorge and the kids had talked me into going to look at a dog. My criteria- I would like a dog that watches television. Or maybe a dog like this one?
One facebook update later, the debate started. Get this breed, don't get this breed, or my favorite, "Are you crazy, you just had a baby?". The true blue pet lovers were all about it while all the mothers on my friends list said to wait awhile. It turns out we needed to fill out an application and the dog we were interested in wasn't there so we came home empty handed. So the dog debate continues.

This brings me to our Super Valentine's Giveaway for today. Does a medium sized, very mellow, kind of low maintenance, good with kids kind of dog exist? Do you think we should get a dog or not? Tell me your opinion in the comments to enter into our random drawing for your very own Wordgirl t-shirt.
Isn't it cute?

And remember that every day you comment, you are giving yourself another shot at the brand new HP Wireless Printer and the Graco SweetPeace grand prizes we will give away on Valentine's Day!!

Our winners of the awesome Sid the Science Kid Expert Sets from yesterday are...drum roll please... Jen and Bec!!!! Congrats!


Carrie writes...

I think that the majority of the work inevitably falls on the mom, so that's something to think about. But other than that, I'd say go for it!

ellen writes...

borrow a dog from a friend for two weeks - one week is not enough - and then decide outline who has what responsibilities and stick with them - if they are met - no dog.

Nicola writes...

Border terriers are good natured, very cute, and mellow with kids. My husband had one growing up when he won the dog debate. Otherwise, hmmm, maybe do a bunch of walking of pound dogs to get to know them a bit? I would almost always recommend a rescue dog.

YMGH writes...

Pets are wonderful for kids and families unless mom has to add their care to her very long list of responsibilities.

ann writes...

As far as the different breeds go, I'm not sure which ones fit the criteria you mentioned! But with young kids, I think an active, energetic dog can be a good fit- it's nice to have the kids take the dog for walks, run, play catch with it, etc. I think it can help to keep the kids active and also helps with teaching some degree of responsibility.

I had a mellow dog when I was age 0-10 years old, and I found this type of dog was NOT a great fit for the family at all (I also have 2 siblings around my age).

I'm partial to American Eskimos.. I've never owned one, but the ones I've encountered (friends, family) have been really sweet and fun loving with great personalities! However, their coat does take some maintenance.

But mostly I would recommend pound/shelter/rescue dog for sure... just spend some time with the the dogs to see which one suits your family the best. Everyone I know who picked up a shelter dog ended up with really great pets!

Jean writes...

My recommendation is to get an adult mutt who is no younger than about 2 years. At that age you won't have any surprises -- you'll know how big the dog is, what its personality is, whether it is calm or hyper, and if it likes to watch TV. Mutts are wonderful, and there are so many at shelters just waiting for loving homes.

Kristen writes...

I agree with the comment about borrowing a dog for a couple of weeks. Sounds like good advice. Our dog is from the shelter. We purposely picked a dog that was 2 or over so that the personality was established and we knew what we were getting. We also looked for a mellow dog. Our dog was the only dog not barking and freaking out in her cage. She just sat there with her tail wagging. Our dog happens to be a pit bull mix (we think mixed with pointer). She is a super love and great with kids (ours and all others) but not all pit bulls are. In any case, good luck. They are a lot of work and a lot of fun!

Tracy writes...

I caved on my husband's desire for a dog 3 years ago. We have a basset hound, and she's lovely with the children, crate-trained, doesn't bark or whine much, mellow & lazy, but oh, I'm stressed by the hair & the drool. And the poop, and the garbage theft. I love dogs, but I've discovered that I especially love other people's dogs. That said, it's manageable. A valuable lesson in letting go of control for me!

Danyelle writes...

My husband roped my into the new dog thing this summer. thing is, we already had two. And my husband is never home. Never. If you do get a dog, my advice is to divide up the responsiblities between the family memebers. Walks, feedings, potty breaks- everyone should be included in the care taking. Even though I can't stand cleaning up poop and waking up in the middle of the night for potty breaks, I just love my sweet Ginger following me around the house and laying down at my feet. Or how protective she is of our son. Our dogs are members of our family. Poop and all.

Jen writes...

We don't have any pets and I'm allergic so I don't think I'm one to give out advice. The only thing I can think of is to make sure that everyone is on board. I like the suggestion of having a trial run and borrowing. Good luck!

Nikki writes...

Pets are a sore subject in our house due to allergies. So I say, if no allergies go for it! My grandparents had a golden lab they rescued and he was the bestest! Of course, if we could we would borrow Martha. Love that dog!!! Enjoy!!!

kelly writes...

being a lover of all things low-maintenance, dogs have never been on my list of must-haves. so when my stepdaughter called us in tears one day because my husband's ex had announced she was going to take the bassett hound to the pound, i wasn't exactly jumping at the chance to take the dog in. but we did anyway.

as if alimony payments weren't enough of a smelly reminder of my husband's ex, we now had a howling, pooping, peeing, begging, whining, smelly reminder. yay. but at least he could spend most of his time in the yard. until we moved to a townhouse with no yard. after about a month of living in close quarters, i asked my husband about the life expectancy of bassett hounds.

two years, two kids, and one new house with a yard later, our dog is one of our toddler's best friends. the dog certainly earns his keep now. his form of payment? frequent toddler belly-laughs.

to answer your question: yes, a mellow, meduim-sized, good with kids, low maintenance dog does exist. his name is humphrey and you are welcome to borrow him any time.

should you get a dog? perhaps. when you find the dog you think you want to take home, just ask yourself: will my children's (and in your case, husband's) laughter and joy over this animal be enough payment for all the things this beast will do over the next fifteen to twenty years to drive me insane? your answer will probably be "yes."

Kelly writes...

We have three young kids and a chocolate lab that thinks he's a kitty and a yellow lab that we refer to as "crouching dragon". Complete chaos. I totally recommend it.

Amber writes...

I am so not down with a dog and two little kids. I have a cat who dislikes me, it's much easier on me.

But every time my newest addition starts solid I consider the merits of having a dog to eat all the food that ends up on the floor.

Derek writes...

I have a dog you can borrow. Feed him anything you want, but go too rich and it will be a mess.

Valerie writes...

We had a brittany spaniel growing up who was wonderful. She probably got to be about 20 pounds and was playful without being insane.

As far as actually getting the dog goes, that's a tough call. We have two big dumb dogs, along with our 11-week old baby. It's a lot of work for us, but you've got quite a big brood who could help out.

Eleanor writes...

Along the lines of "borrowing" someone's dog, you could always look into fostering for a little while. That would give your family the chance to see what it's like to really take care of a dog, plus you might even be able to adopt one that is a good fit. An added plus - it would be a perfect fit for your kindness work (in this case kindness to animals). (one more thing - a dog is no more "low maintenance" than a baby - sometimes they wake up even more times during the night depending on their age, sickness, etc.; however, I can attest that dogs might be the absolute best when it comes to unconditional love. I wouldn't trade my two dogs for the world, and they've been waking me up in the middle of the night for the last three nights). Good luck with the decision. It's an important one.

Bec writes...

We have a Cavlier King Charles spaniel who is wonderful with children and a great family dog. I cannot say enough about the breed! We also have a yellow lab/hound mix who is incredibly intelligent and devoted to the children. Although we got our Cav before teh children came along, and were lucky things worked out, if you already have children then I would recommend getting a puppy so that the dog is raised WITH the children and therefore never knows any differently. You can RAISE the dog to be tolerant of children.

Jenny writes...

I keep thinking about getting a dog...and then I realize that I never had one growing up and my husband never had one growing up...what do we know about dogs? We'll stick with the very adored stuffed variety that we have all over the house. At least they can't make any big messes without the boys' help!

Wife and Mommy writes...

We love our dog a lot...but with three kids and a husband, I'm ready to be animal free in our home for awhile. Not enough to give our dog away or anything.

devan writes...

Don't get a basset hound. They stink. Seriously. But they can be really cute, too. ;)

kristen writes...

It is alot to add a dog to the mix.... think - other baby that can be crated! I think with the age of your kids, you might want to think about puppies that can learn the family rules and assimilate to the group as a whole. But then you are looking at a year of chaos!! With that said, I think every family needs a dog! Good luck.

Sky writes...

Yes. Absolutely! We have a mini schnauzer. Perfect size, doesn't shed...but we had to work with her not to bark.

One of my favorite things is seeing Pea's face light up with she see's Lucy. She'll go over and give her a hug. It's so sweet.

Then I have to tell Lucy not to lick Pea. Cuz, you know...she will. Ewwww!

Sam writes...

I also second the idea of a mutt, and not a puppy that you'll have to worry about potty training. I can't really say for sure that you should or should not, because it sounds like there's a lot of dog fever at your house! We love dogs and our son wakes up talking about them, but we aren't going to have one until we have a backyard! I am not interested in walking a dog with a toddler in tow!

Kimberly writes...

I would go to your local animal shelter and tell them what you are looking for. There are so many dogs in need of'll feel great finding one that fits your family and saving a poor sweet soul at the same time. Good luck!

I only have experience with large dogs (Labs) and our neighbor's small dog (Bichon) but dogs of any size are wonderful! My in-laws always adopted their family dogs from Lab rescue. Although they got some dogs with serious issues, many of them were so sweet! Good luck with your decision!

nancy writes...

Some things to consider:

Do you like to pick up dog poop? (Indoors or out)?

Do you like hair on everything you own, including those things that will go into your baby's mouth.

Do you like looking for a dog sitter and or paying for kenneling anytime you want to leave town?

Do you like to get up in the middle of the night to let the dog out because she ate that "thing" in the yard and now has to barf? (Alternatively, do you like to clean up dog vomit?)

Are you, as the mother, ready to do 85% of the work of having a dog. No matter what they tell you, it will be your job within a few weeks.

Do you want to spend the extra money on dog food and vet bills, or the college fund?

Disclaimer: we have a dog, and a toddler, and my pregnancy hormones are RAGING. I really am a nice person, I swear.

And I even kind of like our dog ... but on the other hand ... if you want to come and get her ...

Jess writes...

The basset comments have me fondly remembering my terribly smelly but wonderful family pet. Stench or no, I think a basset would be the only dog who could eve win me over to pet ownership again! They're such soulful dogs.

I'm in late for the tee shirt, but I'm wondering if you can link us to one for sale? It's spectacular!

pbs kids games writes...

I always wanted to have a dog, for my kids, but unfortunately my wife doesn`t like pets ):, I`ve tried everything but have no chance, my kids loves pets, everytime when we visit my parents they have contact with dogs and don`t want to back home (:

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