Just checking in… Does it feel like everywhere you look, everyone has a new puppy? In our neighborhood alone we have three friends who have been blessed with the cutest, fluffiest little puppies. I mean, so cute!!!
Lately, our kids ask pretty much every day if we cant get one. Or, Why can’t we get a puppy? Please, Mom? And every day, I proceed to remind them… We are already a family of 5 humans, 2 hamsters, 1 dog and 2 fish – along with the occasional random toads or frogs we find during the warmer months. Clearly, at least to us parents, this is why we are not getting another dog. We are all this mama can handle right now.
But this has gotten me thinking, there are so many pro and cons to having pets. I admit I have learned over the years that sometimes it’s nice to not over think it and just go with it. “You want a hamster?… Sure! Why not!?” Because ultimately, there will never be a perfect time. Life will always tell you to wait, but the joy and fun it will bring to your family tends to far outweigh the bad.
That said, I am not saying that a puppy is the answer for everyone. There are so many pets that can fill the void for your kids, and for you. Coconut and Gopher are our little hamsters and they sure are the cutest. My husband would say otherwise, but they are so loved by our kids. They enjoy caring for those little fluff balls. Sure, they smell terrible and are super loud at night, but the joy and smiles they bring is all worth it for me. Plus, my kids have learned how to care for something other than themselves and be responsible. Our two fish are Beta fish and they look pretty in their bowls and they only need to be changed like once a month – a much easier introduction into the world of pet ownership.
Ultimately though, we are a dog family. My husband and I rescued two dogs before we were married. They both stole our hearts for a long time. Our older kids got to know them well, with our dog Windsor passing away before our youngest daughter was born. Those dogs were both so loved by our kids, and they still talk about them all the time. The memories we share with them are precious.
After our rescues both passed away, I thought we would wait awhile before adopting another dog. You know… try living without the craziness of a dog in our home for a bit. I wanted to be prepared for the next one. I wanted it to be perfect timing. To be honest, I was prolonging it because I knew what this would be like for mama: more work. My husband and kids kept sending me information on breeders and pictures of puppies, and then I realized that it wasn’t all about me. They were all missing their furry friends who were also their companions.
Pets are therapeutic for kids and adults, and they truly know how to sense and comfort us when we are sad, stressed, worried or anxious. I’ve come to realize, as they sit with you and go through life with you, they help sooth your soul.
Two years ago, I caved and we brought home Hugo, our German Short Hair Pointer. My kids remember the day we said, “We are getting a puppy!” like it was yesterday. They remember trying to be patient until it was time to pick him up. The picking out of his new toys, and other things he would need. The journey down to get him, and all the hugs and love he was given as they welcomed him into our family. He has blessed us in many ways. He protects us, loves us and is a huge part of the Murphy crew. I can’t imagine life without him. He is a perfect fit… for us.
So the next time your kids are clamoring for a pet, remember it doesn’t have to be a puppy or a cat. You can start with smaller animals to make those kiddos and your family happy. If you go into it thinking of it as a positive experience, it will be fun.
Take care and happy pet shopping.
Peace and Love,