An Exploration of Parenting by the Vowel

The Dogs are Barking April 22, 2013

I: Independence (or lack of…) and U: The Unknown

Dreaming of Dogs: All About Brand Loyalty

Dreaming of Dogs: All About Brand Loyalty

My nine year-old daughter, Ava, has  been dreaming about dogs for a good year now. Off and on. From Yorkies to Pomeranians. Dinner-time quizzes and questionnaires, weekend bursts of chore-activity to show stellar responsibility and more.


After a recent trip to the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley, she is slowly swaying me toward strongly considering getting a dog. Her interest level is so keen right at this moment. Her younger brother, seven year-old Calvin, is not quite as keen. He’s a bit lukewarm, in fact. Ideally, he’d have the same level of interest as her. Or I would, for that matter.


Pitbull Mix

Pitbull Mix

My husband grew up with dogs. I did not. I am definitely a tougher sell.  I think I’m being hit up now because the family thinks the sleepless nights of the toddler years are long forgotten. I’ve had a good solid four years of predictable nightly sleep patterns. Am I ready to be sleepless again?  …maybe let’s forgo puppy stage and get a fully grown dog then? It’s an option, but not one that Ava is too excited about.


Pleeeeease take me home!

Pleeeeease take me home!

For the sake of pursuing this dog-scenario, let’s say we all agree to get a puppy. How to find the right one for our family is the question. The humane society doled out sheets of info in helpful categories based on dog traits and characteristics: Toys, Spaniels, Retrievers, Property Guards, Pointers*, Sled Dogs, Herding Dogs, Scent Hounds, and Sight Hounds.


Then we hit up the library straight after our visit to check out “Everything Dogs,” “Dogs for Dummies, and my personal fave, “Weimaraners*.” Ava is also able to reference recently library books from school: “Yorkshire Terriers Are the Best!” (mid-March) and “Pomeranians Are the Best!” (mid-April) and multiple online sources.


I would say we’re an active family. Active in two senses: 1. we’re on the go (weekends at the grandparents; sports/eve activities, etc) 2. we’re physically active (running, biking, etc). So we need a dog that is fine being on their own for long stretches of time, but when we’re around, they’re eager to be very active and run fast! Leaning toward Pointer here with top as Weimaraner. But would our city lot allow for enough fenced-in outdoor space (which is a requirement for this breed)?


Just try and say no to me!

Just try and say no to me!

We do not need barking. This would rule out Ava’s front-runners in the Toy category including her beloved Yorkie. What about allergies? In this case, Labradoodles are the preferred choice for low-dander coats. However, they fall in the Retriever category which warns “Don’t expect unsupervised freedom in the house until after two years of age.” I’m beginning to believe it’s like finding a mate  — you definitely have your must-haves and the rest of the stuff, you need to overlook!


To dog-lovers out there: What’s your advice on breed, appropriate age for kids to have a dog, puppy vs dog, over-thinking, costs, training, etc? Need to be enlightened so we don’t end up barking up the wrong tree.


— all photos via Instagram and Instapics at instagram.com/jengilhoi


5 Responses to “The Dogs are Barking”

  1. It is a lot of work — sometimes more than kids, I swear — but we have never been without less than 2 dogs and 2 cats for the past 20 years now! Can’t imagine life without them. We have always “adopted” from the humane society, and have had samoyed/husky mix, corgi/spaniel mix, black labs/black lab mixes, over the years. Labs are wonderful family pets, but you do need to learn to put away your valued shoes and books and such — I have stopped keeping track of the number of items chewed over the years! If Mom and Dad are not truly on board with the work, commitment and lack of flexibility sometimes that having a dog entails, then as much as I can’t imagine a house without a dog, I would say wait because Mom or Dad will be the primary caretakers, regardless of the enthusiasm and promised caretaking commitment the child has beforehand. I am a fan of adopting the older dogs, too — puppies are an incredibly amount of work, and the last time we did that was before kids! Since kids, as we have had to say goodbye due to age or illness (always the worst part about pet ownership) and welcomed other furry companions into our home, we have adopted dogs around a year of age, and still gone to obedience class with them to help with proper manners. My sister has resisted bringing a dog into her house despite her son’s repeated pleas — she just knows she is not up for the mess, commitment, and additional responsibility a dog would entail, and I respect her honesty in that decision — a dog can’t be put on the shelf if you change your mind or once the novelty wears off.

  2. Jenny F Says:

    If I had it to do over again, I would get a rescue dog, preferably a mixed breed (but NOT with beagle in it). So many wonderful dogs are out there needing loving homes. Save yourself the puppy stage. For as adorable as it is, it is also a LOT of work. Appeal to Ava’s side of wanting to rescue an animal that really needs a forever home!

    We love our Boston terrier, but I would also get any kind of lab or golden retriever (if you’re okay with a larger dog). Boxers are also fabulous with kids. We took into consideration high or low energy, high or low grooming needs and size. Bostons are the perfect companion animal, they just want to be near you.

  3. Lois Rute Says:

    I will tell you that the dog will not be welcomed at BOJI WINDS!!! I don’t like ANY kind of dog — I know that Ravelle wants one too. I remember when Rose wanted a dog when we were in Claremont, CA and I seemed to take care of it!!!
    I am thinking that “Nana” is allergic to dogs when we were growing up and we don’t want her to get sick.
    It is not my place to tell you what to do except “borrow a neighbors dog” when you want to pet one!!!
    Aunt Lois

    • edamomie Says:

      Hey Lois: Yep, we know all that. and yep, we’re literally borrowing our ex neighbor’s dog for one week this Fri – following Saturday. We’ll see how that goes : ) Sure will be worthy of a follow-up post.

  4. Hi,

    We would like to send you a complimentary copy of Planet Of The Dogs for your daughter, Ava.

    You can read sample chapters on http://www.planetofthedogs.net
    You will find more information on our monthly blog http://barkingplanet.typepad.com.

    Please send a mailing address to planetofthedogs@gmail.com

    We like your blog.
    Best wishes,
    Robert McCarty
    Barking Planet Productions

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