A Dog?

My children really, really want a dog.  And, when I say “really, really want a dog”, I’m not exaggerating.  At least one of them asks me DAILY if they can please have a dog.  Daily. This has been going on for well over a year now.

Jeff really, really wants a dog too.  Luckily he doesn’t ask me to re-consider every day.

I really, really don’t want a dog.  I don’t want the extra responsibility.  I just plain don’t want to take care of another living, breathing, pooping thing.  Now, the kids promise they’ll do everything, but, how can they when they can’t take care of themselves and will all be in school?

I guess what I really, really don’t want is a dog that I have to house break.

That’s why I’m thinking a more mature dog would be ideal…..I wouldn’t have to worry about the puppy stuff and it might be do-able.

I might be waffling.

I’m wondering if I need to be slapped.

Dog?  or No dog?

Granting my children their number one wish?  or Being a mean mom (and I suppose wife)?

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About Angie

Angie is a CRAFT dabbling, recipe making, WORD loving, sunshine hording, book DEVOURING, Mama to a lot! She's kind of in love with Instagram right now, so if you want her attention, go find here there. {smiling}


  1. Okay, it’s me, so you know I have to put in a pitch for a shelter dog. 🙂 Many shelter dogs don’t have anything “wrong” with them – in many cases the economy has forced their owners to surrender them. But they’re older, and usually house trained and may even know a few basic commands and things. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper to get a dog from a shelter as opposed to a breeder, and the dog will appreciate you and love you all that much more for saving them.

    You could also set up a chore chart of sorts for the kids (and your husband) to take care of the dog – feeding, making sure he has water, taking him out, etc. They could each get a sticker or something for each thing that they do for the dog, and maybe some kind of reward at the end of the week – they pick which movie everybody watches, extra computer time, whatever works at your house.

    • Thank you so much for this suggestion, Anne! Actually, both of them….the shelter dog and the chore chart.

  2. I just want to tell you to trust your instincts. No dog. I am sorry to all of the pet lovers out there. But 5 kids or 5kids plus, does not make having a dog easier, but harder. There are so many aspects to having a dog, besides even house breaking. Vacations become an extra nuisance. As if having 5 kids does not make the logistics difficult enough, now there is the dog to think about.

    I wish I could shout it from the roof tops: “Don’t do it!!!” I have regretted it ever since. Even kids romanticize the idea of a pet. Soon after, even the kids who actually like the dog, will forget to feed him, whine about walking him, whatever. Yes, it teaches character. But there are many other ways to do that without adding the extra responsibility and poop into your life.

    I am not a pet person, so obviously take it with a grain of salt. But I don’t like my kids poop, let alone an animal. There are just a lot of gross things that come along with a pet, particularly when you don’t have that warm, fuzzy feeling about them.

    If you still decide on getting a dog, can I interest you in a black chihuahua/rat terrier mix named Toby?

    • I’m going to pass on Toby, but know that I absolutely loved this comment. Still laughing over it.

  3. SLAP!!!!!!!!!! Really think about it. One more chore for you if the kids don’t follow through. You could make it manditory or the dog goes. We are deciding that very same thing but I think I will wait until my youngest is in kindergarten. I then, will take a class with the dog and train it. There is something about a puppy that makes the household come alive. I’m saying this and I have only owned 1 dog in my life. Goodluck!

  4. Getting a dog is the best thing we ever did for our kids (and me)! I never had a dog growing up and now I can’t imagine life without a tail wagging, 4-legged, furry animal greeting me every morning. In fact, we know have 2 dogs and I’m pushing for a 3rd.
    But you’re right, it’s a lot of responsibility and it can be expensive (vet bills, dog insurance etc).
    There are lots of mature dogs you can adopt who have not been abused etc (I’d be careful with young kids in the house about a dog that is unpredictable). Sometimes you can adopt a dog whose owner is elderly and they simply can’t look after the dog properly any more.
    I often write about my dogs on my blog site. Here’s a sample:
    Good luck with your decision but if I was you, I’d be checking out the dog adoption sites today!

  5. If you aren’t willing to take care of it, then no. Because it will end up being your job.

    We’ve ALWAYS had dogs, but they need a LOT of attention and love. The dogs we’ve had have been part of the family. Also be aware that it is expensive to care for a dog… If you’re okay with giving them not just the basics but the extra attention they demand from you so that they don’t get depressed, then by all means go for it, but if not then it’s not healthy for the dog.

  6. We have a shelter mutt who was young when we got her (about half a year or so), but housebroken. She’s a wonderful dog and I would never take back the seemingly crazy decision to add her to our chaos (3 biological kids, 1 foster kid, 2 cats and a dog). For the $75 adoption fee, she was fixed and vaccinated already- that’s a huge amount less than you’ll pay if you have to take a puppy to the vet for those things, not to mention whatever the puppy already cost).

    Reasons I think the dog is worth the extra work:
    I never. Ever. Have to clean up the floor under the baby after meals. Ever.
    If anyone ever tries to break into our house and cause harm to any of us, I have no doubt our dog would eat them.
    The kids have a grand time playing with her.
    She makes a kick-ass running partner for me.

    I say:

  7. I was the only “no dog” one in our family too but we ended up getting a year and half old miniature schnauzer from a rescue organization. They were already potty trained. It’ s been a lot easier than I thought. Schnauzer’s don’t shed or smell like dog so I like those features. Poo walks are pretty easy because we have a park just up at the corner and this is a small dog so I don’t need a shovel or something. Our dog goes on hikes and pretty much everywhere as long as it isn’t too hot.

  8. Coming from a total complete NON Pet person.

    I have never, not once, regretted our decision to choose a shelter dog 5 years ago. She is a wonderful addition to our family, sweet, loving, caring and protective. Yeah, there is more work involved but seeing the love the kids have for her is just incomparable.

  9. If you need to be slapped so do I! 🙂

  10. I just realized that came out wrong. I am with you, no waffling!
    just lucky they haven’t resorted to daily pleading. good luck!

  11. Dog yes, puppy no. Our 10mo puppy is STILL being trained and as much as the family promised to pitch in, guess who’s cleaning up after and training the puppy? Yup, me.
    That said…a dog is a great addition to the family. Fun, noisy, exciting, loving, 4-legged friend 🙂

  12. Are you a dog person? I didn’t grow up with dogs, got one while we were engaged, and now I wish we didn’t have her. Isn’t that mean?

  13. You asked for opinions so I will give mine. I hate dogs! I had the opportunity to care of my mother in law’s dog for 2 months last summer. Her dog was trained excellently, never had an accident, never barked and I still counted the minutes till she was gone! It was soo hard. Lindsey is Jacob did all the work at first but then school started and the twins couldn’t leave her alone. She was almost killed, lost or hurt every five seconds. Soon I had to take her to pee with me to keep her safe. Eventually I couldn’t take another minute so my sister took it in (after two full months). Not to mention the constant worry about being home to let her out, take her potty, walk her, bathe her. Seriously not for me. My husband used to want a dog too, that cured him. She was a good dog too! My advice would be if you are considering it wait till your twins are much older, if you have to do it at all.

  14. Save a life, get a shelter dog! All the hassle will be well worth it, I promise. 🙂

    Use petfinder.com and you’ll find a fantastic match!

  15. Dogs are loyal and the right one can feel like another family member. For us moms, the responsibilities seem to fall on us. Vet visits, reminding our kiddos to fed our dog, house training, etc. If you decide to go with a dog, I would research what dog best meets your families lifestyle and schedule.
    We love our 3 yr old Golden Retriever. Luckily, she’s low maintenance, and low key and loved by us all! Good luck.

  16. I keep saying, “When I have no more diapers to change, THEN we’ll get a dog.” I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll come up w/ another reason why we can’t get one then….

    Mean mom? Absolutely. I accept that title.

  17. I am sorry but it IS the American way. 😉 Get a dog that YOU want… female, that doesn’t shed, etc. I think you will love the dog more than you thought you would. ♥

  18. We got our Golden before we had kids. Now he is 9 years old and hates the kids. Well not really, he just ignores them. I think it is good for kids to have pets but they are a lot of work. Why don’t you put your name on the Seeing Eye Dog list? You get a GREAT dog who is older and already trained. My sister-in-law got one through there. The only reason he failed the program was b/c he veered to the left, which for you who can see, is really not a problem. Good luck!

  19. How about I ship you my new dog? Win-win for both of us.

  20. I was JUST like you a few months ago. Poop?! Fur? And housebreaking?! No. No thank you. But I was worn down and I walked into that shelter and bought not 1 dog but 2 and you know what… I am in love. They were older about 9 months old, sisters, and totally potty trained. They’re very little work (I had to teach them to walk that’s it) and such a huge reward. My kids love them and they keep me company when no one else is home. They’re the best. I am so glad I was wrong about this ONE thing. 😉

  21. Dogs are an enormous amount of work & responsibility when cared for properly…Not to mention a major added financial expense. My husband begged for a dog & I told him I didnt want one until we owned our own home with a yard, but I gave in & when I met the dog we chose (from an adoption agency) my heart melted. Thankfully or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I was laid off from work, so I was able to do lots of the training & all that, but in the beginning I was overwhelmed & lots of times we have had to make sacrifices to make sure she is cared for properly (vet, shots, heartworm, flea & tick, not to mention any emergencies….)
    I am with the dog ALL day & I must say I am truly & deeply, madly in love with her, she is my fur baby & I have no idea what I would do without her in my life. Now I am expecting my first human baby this winter & I have no idea how my pampered dog Lucy will handle not having my undivided attention.
    All in all if I had stuck to my guns I would have never experienced the countless joys my dog has brought into my life, but along with those mega highs, comes work & sometimes frustration. Now that Lucy is trained she is not a problem at all & mostly a joy….I say they are worth it, but I also dont have a household of kids. I am also a pet person. I have 3 friends who would NEVER invite a dog into their home & thats okay for them.
    Maybe you can foster a dog for a bit & see if having a dog is a good fit.

  22. Think about how great it will be to watch the kids loving on the dog…


  23. Stick to your guns, NO dog!

  24. 5 kids = NO DOG!

    Are you nuts!??

    : )

  25. I couldn’t imagine our life w/o ours 🙂 I imagine we will alway have one, however is something were to happen to these 2 I would wait a few months (or longer) before getting another. AND it wouldn’t shed lol 🙂

  26. Our two (especially He-Twin) had been in the daily ask mode for (and I am NOT exaggerating) about 5 years. We’d needed a fence, we needed a bit of assured “help” from them, etc. Like you, neither me or the man was into the housebreak idea.

    July 5th Larry joined our family—from the SPCA, he’s guessed to be about 5 years old…housebroken, victim of neglect that actually caused him physical injury (which a month of lovin’ has healed more rapidly than anyone dared hope), he’s the most LOVING dog ever.

    HIGHLY recommend the “used” dog! 😉

  27. Don’t do it!!!!

  28. Don’t assume a more mature dog that you have been told is housebroken is. And don’t assume the kids or your husband are going to help with the dog even though they are the ones begging.

    While I’ve always been pro-shelter adoptions….be very wary of where you adopt from. I had a horrible experience that I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through.

  29. I don’t blame you for not wanting to house train a dog. One solution is to not have an inside dog (which is what I’m all about). Another is to get a mature dog (but one with enough puppy left in him to be buds with your kids). I think that’s a great solution.

  30. I toss my vote for the dog, it makes the kids so happy and brings hours of entertainment. My sister got an adult dog and it worked out really well for her.

  31. I love dogs, and have a dog, and loved having that dog pre-baby… and I still love her now… but man, it is a lot more difficult!

    The biggest problems we run into are:
    a) Our dog loves attention, and is totally cool when Jackson wants to play… heck, she’ll let him JUMP on her… no biggie. But when Jackson cries (and I mean every single daily meltdown) she freaks out. Shaking and panting and going stir-crazy because she doesn’t know how/what to do. She likes quiet or laughter… laziness or play… there is no room for hyperness or tantrums… which is a problem.
    b) We take road trips. LOTS of road trips. For the last 5 years our dog has taken these trips with us… she is past the age of smoothly adjusting to being boarded, and finding dogsitters can be tricky, and traveling with her and a kiddo is even trickier.

    In conclusion:
    If you have a noisy household, an older dog may be a problem.
    If you travel, any dog may be an issue.
    If you want 6 kids, get a dog 😉

  32. LOL, I am touch and go on this subject! I love my dog, she is awesome but a lot of work. The time when it gets most difficult is when we want to leave to go on vacation. I have to find someone to watch her or pay an arm and a leg to board her. I think if you guys don’t leave home a lot getting an older dog would be a great thing. Just remember it will probably be you who will be the number one care taker. A dog is like a child that can’t take care of itself, and it will always be like that LOL. One plus is I always feel safe at home when my hubby is gone, and my boys don’t have any fear of dogs now. Good luck on your decision, I hope it works out for all of you!

  33. Oh, man! Some of my little ones want a dog too….hmmmmm.

  34. All I can say is that we have two dogs and one kid. The dogs are a LOT of work and added stress. I love them, but some days/weeks/months I long for one less thing that is always needing something from me.

    But their cuteness and lovable faces make up for it. Almost.

  35. Susie's Homemade says

    I don’t blame you. The responsibility always falls to the Mommy. I say stand your ground and don’t get a dog.