To Dog or Not to Dog

For a months now- or maybe it's been a year- I've been yearning for a dog.

It's unusual for me to want a dog in this way. I've always enjoyed dogs; before we had James, Brock and I watched dogs through DogVacay and barely went a week without a dog in our home. Yet I was always fine seeing the dogs go home. And this feeling, of longing for a dog, is new.

It started when I read Pit Bull by Bronwen Dickey. Besides helping me understand the history of stigmatized dogs, it made me want to feel that companionship and love that dogs offer.

I figured out what I was looking for. I did not want a puppy. Under no circumstances do I want to potty train a puppy or deal with nipping or high energy. I want an older dog, one that is calm and sweet indoors. I want it on the smaller side yet I want a dog with enough stamina to go on long walks with me.

Obviously, the dog would have to be good with kids, and I would prefer it not to be a barker or chewer. And most importantly of all, I have my heart set on getting a rescue.

Nearly daily I scan one or more different dog sites: Craigslist, PetFinder, all the OC animal shelters, as well as various rescues in my areas. There have been multiple times when we have come close to getting a dog. There was a coonhound we found via Craigslist, a beautiful mutt from a local rescue that I couldn't stop thinking about and renamed about two minutes after seeing her picture, and a gorgeous cattle dog mix from the humane society that I thought about constantly.

There have been even more I've considered, but the reason we haven't gone through with it is because I can't quite commit. Some days I feel like I'm drowning trying to take care of everything. Two kids kicks my butt a lot of times, and I already feel stretched to find enough time for myself and for Brock.

So I imagine throwing a dog into the mix and I worry it would put everything over the edge. Brock works long hours, so I would be the primary person in charge of the dog. Since we live in an apartment, that would mean taking it out (with two kids) to relieve itself multiple times a day. I'm already dealing with potty training accidents from a two-year-old, and I hate the thought of having to clean a dog's accidents as well.

When I think about it objectively, I don't think it makes sense to have a dog. This isn't the right time for us. But I can't get rid of this ache I have for one and that makes it so hard.


  1. I hear you 100%! We just adopted our second dog and it was a huge decision. I had this huge longing in my heart for another one. Jerry works nights so when I get home from work, it's just me, Caleb, and the dogs. It is a lot of work and responsibility and I sometimes question why I chose to take that on. Buuuut, they are so loving and grateful for a home and affection that it (almost always) is worth it!


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