Friday, January 28, 2011

How much is that Doggy in the window?

Lately, Murphy has been missing our cat, Annie.  She died two years ago next month.  I'm surprised he remembers her, much less misses her.

In the past couple of weeks he's been talking about her a lot at random times.  And last night he woke up crying about her.  He said (through sobs) that he didn't even get to say good-bye.

Okay, mental note here folks - so this is what the experts mean when they say to be honest with kids.  We should have handled Annie's death differently.  We should have told him that she was going to die.  But, we were trying to protect him.  We thought we were making the best decision at the time.  I guess this proves that honesty might actually hurt less in the long run.

Then he said (through harder guilt-ridden sobs) that he couldn't remember what she looked like.  Oh, my.  Just go break my heart, will ya?  Then he told us that he cried about her during class a few days ago.  Geez.  What is going on????

We comforted him.  Told him it was okay.  And we told him that in the morning we'd show him some pictures of Annie and that he would feel better.  Then, the next thing I know, I said, "Murphy, would you like to get a dog one day?"

Oops.

The LAST thing we need is a pet.  But, I was raised with pets.  I had guinea pigs, gerbils, fish, a rabbit, and we always had a dog.  Hugo was our first family dog (that I remember).  He was a Shih Tzu and he was a great dog.  Our house was never without a dog.

And as soon as I moved out of my parent's house, I went and got Annie (1992).  My first cat.  A year later, I got Wendy.

Murphy with Wendy shortly before she passed (Oct. 2006).

Sadly, Wendy died while Harlie was still in the hospital after her birth.  Wow, that was a really shitty couple of months!

Anyway, my point is that I never thought my home would be without a pet.  And it was never my intention to raise children without a pet.

But, here we are with our hands more than full. And no pet.  And no plans to ever get one.  And with a six-year old who would love to have one.  And, personally, I think he would be quite responsible with one, too.

So, now I have thoughts of a puppy.  Which is crazy for so many reasons.  And here they are:

1.  Harlie is irrationally afraid of dogs.  Even puppies!  Like this one...


This is a friend's puppy.  He didn't bark and he was never put on the floor.  He didn't squirm or fidget in any way.  I don't know that you could find a less-threatening creature.  Now I ask you - what's so frightening about him?  Why is she like this?  She will get excited when she sees a dog - and point and then sign "dog" like she wants to see it, but then totally FREAKS OUT if it comes near her.  Grr!

But then a part of me says that we can't let her stay this afraid forever.  And I'm sure that it would just take a little time for her to get used to a cute, little puppy running around.  I'm sure she would see everyone else loving him or her and then she would want to, too, right?

2.  We have no money in our "budget" (ha!) for a dog.  There's food, toys, shots, pills and vet bills.  Ugh.

But, can you put a price on your children's happiness?  I mean really.  I have such great memories of having a loving dog while growing up.  Okay, so not all memories are great.  There was this one time when I was older and we had a German Sheperd.  I was walking her on a leash, and she saw a squirrel.  She took off and I didn't let go.  She drug me through an entire front yard before she stopped.  I was MAD!  I came home, dirty and beaten and screamed that I would NEVER walk that dog again.  Which clearly didn't last.  Like I said, good memories.  But, I digress...

3.  We just got new carpet.  Nice, new, clean carpet.  Granted, only in one room.  Hardwoods in the rest of the downstairs, which makes for easy clean up... but again, I digress.

4.  We don't have a fenced in back yard and Tom is adamantly against getting one.  So, walking would be mandatory.  But we do like to exercise.  And Murphy LOVES walking our neighbor's dog, Custer.

5.  The shedding.  Oh, the shedding.  This, I do NOT miss.  But, there are lots of breeds that only lightly shed.

6.  The time.  Oh, who has the time for a puppy?  Not us, that's for sure.  Our schedule is packed already.  But, we're always close to home.  We haven't been on a vacation in two years.

Despite all the practical reasons why we definitely should NOT get a dog, there is this little boy...


that would LOVE to have one.  Oh, and this one...


would love one, too.

And isn't life about the living, learning and loving?

But Tom still says no.  So, we'll just keep thinking about it.  Anyone care to share your pet or any thoughts on the subject?  And some recommendations, perhaps.  Just in case.  I mean, you never know...

Thanks!
Christy

13 comments:

Jennifer and Elizabeth said...

Our dog died a year ago & Elizabeth still brings her up & cries about her as well. I feel horrible about it, especially now that we live with Bill, because he doesn't want any pets at all. So I know how you feel. I have always had at least one dag & at times, up to 3. Our social worker said it's completly normal for E to bring Flurry up & cry about her at random times. That the actual normal grieving process for kids. Hope you get it figured out!!

Ann said...

No advise, but I love this entry! Good luck convincing Tom :)

Anonymous said...

You can have Max!! LOL!! Just kidding :) What about a dog that stays little? Like a shi-tzu or a dog that doesn't shed? Come on Tom, add another Holton to the house! XOXO
~Liz

Christy said...

Maybe I should tell him it's a dog or a baby. haha!

Kristen said...

Oh Christy, I have to tell you, I think you're NUTS for even considering getting a dog! ;) And I am a dog lover! I'm with Tom on this one....SORRY!!

Jennifer said...

I just have one word.....Tank. You are crazy. If you really need a pet I would go for the cat.

Christy said...

I cannot do the litter box thing again. 17 years was long enough. No more litter box. Especially with the Coopster around.

Sue Mitchell said...

Get a cockapoo (1/2 cocker spaniel, 1/2 poodle.) I am on my second one (had the first when the kids were around and they LOVED him!) They don't shed! The first one weighed 25 pounds fully grown and the current one weighs 18 pounds fully grown. And they DON't shed (did I say that already?) Come on Tom, your kids want one. I agree with Christy. I think it will help Harlie get used to dogs. So many families have dogs these days. The older she gets, the harder it will be to get over her fear (maybe.)

Susan said...

Oh Christy, but scooping the litter box is so much easier than picking up poop out of your yard. Or the consequence if you don't find one and the kids step in it. Though I know what you mean. I've considered it for Adrian who wants a dog more than anything. But I am also allergic so for now that's my excuse. There is something about a boy and his dog that pulls at my heart and makes me consider going against my better judgement. Also, FYI Ainsley too is TERRIFIED of dogs. That is not something I'd assume will go away right away.

Grandma said...

You are asking the wrong person here...Grandma has 2 dogs and 2 cats and would not trade them in for anything...I just love animals! Remember I wanted to get Murphy a bunny a few years ago? The puppy in the picture looks like Poppy when she was a puppy! Pets are expensive...In the last month Poppy had a checkk up, Kopper needed his shots, Pebbles had to get speyed and Pookey needed her teeth cleaned...very expensive month..but that was our choice to have 4 animals (maybe just my choice..Pap Pap wasn't happy about the last 2 additions! My point is truly unless you do have the money for the vet bills..hold off for awhile. Take Murphy to Petco and let him play with the puppies and just tell him to wait until Cooper gets a little older. If you decide you can afford one..go for a little one...Maltese's don't shed and are tiny and everyone I have ever met were good tempured. Do some research. Tom was always raised with pets around...he may not be a cat lover but he loves dogs..I just think he doesn't want the work involved. Good Luck on this one Christy...I will say this..when you are having a bad day...a puppy can sure bring a smile to your face and they give you unconditional love.

Anonymous said...

A puppy might be great for Murphy, Harlie, and Cooper. It could be their buddy, give them some responsibility, and provide lots of fun....... but what if Harley just doesn't take to it or feel comfortable with it. You would hate for her to be traumatized every day. What if you realize that getting a dog was a big mistake? Then you would have to find a new home for the dog, which could scar Murphy even more. That could be worst than losing the cat. Some pretty fish might be better :)

Sara Cohen said...

We have a dog (shi Tzu) who not only doesn't shed, but is pad trained so no walking needed (my husband is blind and can't see to walk her when I'm at work). She's great but was hard to get pad trained as alot of small dogs can be stubborn! We also just got a bunny who is fabulous and is litter trained and is in a cage 50% of the time, runs the house the other 50%. He doesn't smell, doesn't shed, doesn't make any noise, and very rarely will have to go to the vet. My 5 year old takes total care of the rabbit and he's great at it and he takes it very seriously. They are best friends and it's so awesome to see! Try for the rabbit! They can live to be 8-10 years old...not as long of a committment as a dog may be!

Lindsay said...

Maybe we could consider a pet share type arrangement!? Todd is a dog person as well - and hasn't had one of his own since he moved in with me oh so many years ago. I have an irrational fear as do both of the girls (well, mine is kind of rational as I have a big fat scar on my arm from being bitten by a chocolate lab). Or maybe we could be doggy god parents and visit your puppy frequently and then I could put off getting one of our own even longer? :) PS - think the pug is ADORABLE!