A few years back, before my kids had even begun moving out, they came up with the bright idea that we should get another dog.
We’d had a German Shepherd since my oldest was about 5 years old for 13 years. He had leg and back problems, so we had to say goodbye to our beloved 4-legged brother/son.
Time had passed since the passing of our previous pet, and we all missed having a dog, so it seemed only logical.
At first, I was hesitant because after all, every mother knows that pets are like kids; the kids will swear up and down that they’ll take care of this poor fucking animal, but at the end of the day, the dog is going to be YOUR responsibility. It’s going to be yours to feed, walk, bathe, etc. And really…is that what you need at any point in your parenting journey?
I’m getting slightly off track.
So…I thought for a few weeks about getting another one. I love dogs. We’d pretty much always had a dog. My family always had a dog when I was a kid, so why not? It actually felt as though a family member was missing when we didn’t have a dog, so I began to cave.
But before completely giving in, I mentioned the possibility of getting another pet to a co-worker. To which she said (and I’ll never forget it); “Debbie, seriously?” She knew the ages of my kids at the time, and they were in their mid to late teens. She continued, “What’re you going to do with a dog? You know that it’s just going to be another two dozen jobs that’ll fall in your lap, right?” The ‘gloss’ was quickly starting to wear off of this idea that I’d agonized for weeks over.
“What’re you going to do when the kids move out, and you want to travel? Who’s going to watch the dog? What happens when you leave the ‘burbs, and move downtown into a place where there’s no room for a dog?”
She was right. And as if to drop the proverbial cherry on top of her previous statements, she added, “You’re supposed to be getting babies OUT of the house! Not bringing new ones in!”
And that was the clincher. Damn kids.
Since the kids moved out, I’ve moved from a huge house in the suburbs, to a cute condo downtown, something that would have been exponentially more difficult had I caved to their ‘new dog whims’.
Pets are fantastic. But think long and hard before getting any pet too close to a major life change like kids leaving the nest 🙂