We Need a Pet

Currently, there are no pets in the Love Well household. This is a fact that distresses my five-year-old daughter beyond words. Because she really, really wants a pet, and everyone she knows has one already. In fact, Zack has three -- a dog, a cat and a fish. And it's not fair! And she loves animals!

(In our defense,
my husband and I also love animals. We have owned a total of six dogs and one very bossy cat who considered me the mistress in the home during our 14 years of marriage. We just don't have any living with us right now, and frankly, it's been bliss not to be dealing with accidents -- other than my son's -- and shedding hair -- other than my own -- while having two young children in the house.)

This sets the stage for a dangerous level of obsession for Natalie. When we enter the home of a person who owns a pet, particularly a dog, my daughter has been known to spend hours sitting next to the animal, talking to it, laughing at it, dressing it (if the owners are generous people), feeding it individual pieces of kibble, and generally drooling over the prospect of having a puppy of her very own.

Which brings us to the park, yesterday. It was a gorgeous day -- bright blue sky, warm-but-not-hot temperatures, a few puffy clouds. We headed for our favorite playground to celebrate Natalie's first day of summer vacation. We had been at the park for about 20 minutes when a sweet woman showed up with her three-year-old son and her two (TWO!) dogs. Both were puppies. One was a yellow lab. The other was a tiny Pomeranian mix, which Natalie promptly greeted and then scooped up. She proceeded to carry this tiny dog around the park (with permission from the owner who was really sweet; did I mention that yet?) for the next 75 minutes, only setting her down for a brief break when I insisted that the dog came to the park to exercise and it needed to run around for a few minutes. She reluctantly set down the puffball, only to follow on its heels as it bounded around the park. She picked it back up -- mid-bound -- about 124 seconds later.

But I knew we were really in trouble when I overhead her telling the little boy who owned the dog that he could hold the dog "for maybe a minute, then I get him again." And she told the sweet owner that she should maybe consider letting the dog go home with us because she didn't think the dog liked their family very much.

Thankfully, we were able to extract the dog without injury when it was time to leave the park without a pet in tow. But her lower lip almost got caught in the mini-van door. And on the way home she crossed her arms and turned her back to me and said, "The only way you're going to get me to uncross is to get me that dog to live at our home."

(To which I responded: "No problem! Stay crossed as long as you like! I'm going inside.")

She's over the injustice of it today, mostly. Although she has dropped a few dramatic, "But I just know that dog wanted to live with us more, Mom" sighs.

We really need to get a pet.

Just as soon as we sell our house and move. And, please Lord, could we wait until after we have the baby?


  1. We did not get a pet until our oldest was five. We got bunnies and they were so much fun. We got two females from a local farm and they were very affectionate (had been raised indoors with a family) and let the kids carry them around all day. They also were litter box trained so they could run around the house sometimes without the worry of them leaving presents around. We had them for four years until one night we left their cage door open and we think the cayotes got them. Very sad.

    We now have a three year old Lab which we love. But, the bunnies were easier.


  2. Pets and kids go great together. Of course we were the foolish ones and bought a puppy when I was 7 months pregnant with our first.