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Does a family need a dog?

 
Without a pet, a family isn’t quite complete, says Carrie’s husband. She’s not so sure...
By Carrie Linder

Pic: Shutterstock

Article originally in Parent24
I have a husband, a baby, a job and a house. Isn’t that enough? No, apparently not. Apparently, I now need a dog. It’s important for our son’s development, so the husband says. A dog will teach our son responsibility (he’s only 1) and commitment (he’s only 1?) and instil in him a sense of duty (I said, he’s only 1!)

I don’t have a problem with dogs, I rather like them. Especially the house-trained-short-haired-predominantly-outside-dwelling types. What I do have a problem with is the work that comes with dogs. At the risk of sounding like my mother, who is going to walk the dog? And feed it? And water it? And any guesses who will be the one dealing with doggie doo?

And then there’s the issue of going away with a dog. Packing a camp cot, a high chair, a pram, a baby and the kitchen sink into the car is tricky enough, do I really want to squeeze a dog, its bowl, basket and chew toys in as well? No, I do not. 

But if my husband is to be believed, a dog a family does make and I certainly don’t want our family to be lacking. And I most certainly don’t want to do our child (and future children) any disservices on the responsibility front. I really do want them to grow up committed and with a sense of duty.

I can just see who’s going to take the rap if they drop out of school to pursue careers as pet detectives or magician’s assistants. ‘If only we’d gotten them a dog…’ my husband will say regretfully.

It’s happening. I’m weakening on the four-legged friend front. It’s become more of a ‘when’ than an ‘if’. It all comes down to timing really; is this our time to get a dog? I do not feel it. It is not here.

Rather, the ‘when’ I’m pushing for is ‘when’ the kids are old enough to walk, feed and water the dog. But we all know who is going to be the one dealing with the doggie doo, don’t we.

Does a pet complete a family? Is a cat as good as a dog for kids?

 
Read more on: dog  |  toddler  |  animals  |  responsibility
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