I have a dog and three cats that I love dearly, but when my friends tell me they dread the "When can we get a dog?" question, I'm right there with them.
I Swiffer the house daily only to find clumps of fur behind the couch, in front of the kitchen sink, and in the bathtub!
And I spend more time asking my daughter to refill the dog's water bowl than the poor creature actually spends lapping it up.
Let's face it: We're already screwed, folks, but you don't have to be!
So let's talk about avoiding the issue like the plague:
1. Offer Alternatives. When my friend gave my daughter her first Fur Real cat, I was dubious. It's a mechanical toy -- it's not a cat. Au contraire mon frere. My real cats think this thing is the cat's pajamas -- I've caught them trying to actually groom the thing. And I just noticed they have "Snuggimals" out now -- teeny, tiny doggies that are much more cuddly than the bigger versions and offer the kids the chance to take them anywhere. You can't do that with a real dog, now can you?
2. Work the Age Thing. Let's face it, to an 8-year-old, 13 sounds like it's forever away. But it's also something to work toward.
3. Make Them Practice. Forcing them to fill a water bowl and a food bowl every day and sending them out to "walk" the stuffed animal in the rain gets old quickly. But they won't know that until they actually try.
4. Volunteer at a Shelter. It's good for the community, teaches your kids responsibility, and allows them that one-on-one with an animal they've been begging for.
Have you put off the dog talk?
Image via Hasbro