My wonderful neighbor (who’s a bit shy about using her real name, so we’ll just call her W.N.) has always loved dogs. So when the opportunity to adopt Madeline, a sweet, fully trained, 18 month-old yellow lab presented itself, W.N. said “Yes!” But she’s starting to get a bit stressed…
I think we are finally getting a dog, but it has all happened a bit faster than I expected. We have always envisaged being a dog-owning family and, back when we had dogs in the past, I could never have imagined not owning a dog. But the last time we had a dog in our life was 7 years and 2 kids ago! I am worried about having an extra living thing to take care of and clean up after. I don’t want my house to turn into a fur covered, doggy-smelling mess. I’d like it to be stylish and tidy. I don’t want to cramp our style when it comes to vacations either, yet I do want a dog.
We have enough experience with dogs to be realistic about what it entails to raise a canine-good citizen. When we had a dog in the past, it was the only thing I had to feed, train, bath, groom, exercise etc. Also, I guess I didn’t mind the fur or the smells because I loved the dog. Kind of like how you accept the crayon on walls and spilled juice that goes with having kids. Before kids, the dog was our kid! Now, after having kids, but no dogs, in my life for a while I just can’t envisage how it will turn out with Madeline- is it going to be a wonderful family bonding experience or is it going wreck the house and the last of my sanity?
What advice do you have for my wonderful, but stressed neighbor? If you’ve been in a similar situation or know people in a similar situation — busy life with kids — how did things turn out when a dog was added to the mix? Let my neighbor benefit from your words of wisdom.
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