The Dog Gone Truth

by Kimberley on February 22, 2010 · 9 comments

It’s the time of day when the sun is shining through my living room windows, illuminating everything and revealing things that only direct sunlight can. One would assume that the sunlight would be uplifting but, for me, it elicits the opposite response. It makes me feel defeated and frustrated as I realize that all my heroic attempts at housework have been in vain.

No mater how hard I try, my home is always dusty and furry and the late evening sun streaming through my windows constantly reminds me of this.

People do not believe me when I tell them that I vacuum my entire house everyday and dust the house twice per week; they think that I must be exaggerating but, I am not. It’s not that I am anal retentive, I am far from it. My constant vacuuming and dusting is barely able to keep up with the dirt and dust in this house.

Inadvertently, we created a terrible combination in our home: We have wood floors, forced air heat, two cats (one whom is long haired), a golden retriever who sheds like mad and two little boys. Words cannot begin to describe the amount of fur, dirt, grime and mess all of the above creates.

Not to long ago I was at a play group and some of the other Mothers were talking about getting a dog for their kids and they asked me what my opinion on the matter was. They knew that we had a Golden Retriever and they were thinking about getting one as well as they are great dogs for small children.

I felt kind of bad because I was not all that positive about being a dog owner with kids. Don’t get me wrong, I love our 8-year-old Golden; he is a sweet and gentle soul who would never hurt a fly. He is excellent with the kids and isn’t overly demanding in the attention department as he spends most of his day sleeping on his bed in our living room. But the truth of the matter is, I am already very busy with two kids and a home to run and sometimes, having the dog and the two cats and all the extra responsibilities that go along with them can be very overwhelming.

I knew my answer was not what those women wanted to hear. It is likely that they already had a vision of their perfect Golden Retriever Puppy and didn’t want to hear the negatives of dog ownership. Golden Retrievers are amazing dogs but they shed copious amounts of fur on a daily basis. They also require consistent grooming and can have health issues which can become very costly.

The dog gone truth is… if you want to get a dog for your family, think long and hard about it. They are wonderful companions and great for kids but, they are also a lot of work and a huge commitment. I wish I could sugar coat it and make it sound better but that is just not my reality.

Do other dog owners have thoughts about this?

{ 1 trackback }

Jinx Modish Mama
July 26, 2011 at 10:31 pm

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian February 23, 2010 at 10:51 pm

I wish that I could argue Kimberly’s point, but unfortunately, she is right. I was with a woman for six years and in the beginning she wanted a dog and I didn’t. I knew how much work they were, but she promised to do it. We broke up and moved apart and she found a place, but couldn’t keep the dog, so I took him. He is five now and I couldn’t see my life without him, but he is constant work. If he is not leaving hair in every crevice in the suite then he needs to go to the bathroom and more often than not at the most inconvenient times. He sometimes gets itchy and decides to chew his hair off in some spots. I know it’s not fleas, because I just spent $80.00 on Advantage. Then the vet bills add up, anything from clipping nails to kennel cough shots. I wrote this to confirm for others that it is a lot of work and can be expensive. I also wrote this to let Kimberly know that she is not the only one who feels this way. I too LOVE my dog, but there’s more to it folks, we dont just have nice dogs, we have part time and sometimes, full time jobs. 🙂

OnceHarmony February 23, 2010 at 10:55 pm

I thought I was the only one who felt like this. You hit the nail on the head.

If I had known then what I know now I don’t know if we would have gotten a dog. They are a lot of work and expense and while I absolutely love our dog and am glad she is here with us now when she is old and dies my husband and I talk about never getting another one. I have visions of our daughter talking us into another one though someday.

Kimberley February 23, 2010 at 11:49 pm

I am glad you guys don’t think I am a terrible dog owner. I do love my dog very much; I am proud of him and love to show him off at the park (he is a big ham and people just love him). However, there are times I just feel overwhelmed.

I think sometimes people glamorize what adding a dog to their family will be like. If you are going to do it, just be sure you go in with your eyes open. Are Golden’s a perfect family dog? Yes they are. But they are also a good deal of work.

OnceHarmony February 24, 2010 at 11:15 am

They are a full-time member of the family for sure. Just like having another kid (but one you can leave alone for a few hours blocked in the kitchen, lol).

Kimberley February 24, 2010 at 11:18 am

I agree they are like a lower maintenance child. They deserve a high level of respect and love and that is why I feel guilty sometimes for feeling resentful.

Marion February 25, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Get shears for the windows – it blocks the direct sunlight.

Kimberley February 25, 2010 at 8:11 pm

LOL… that made me laugh so hard. Total denial may be a great option ;). Thanks for that Marion.

Shannon March 3, 2010 at 9:02 pm

You really hit the nail on the head. We have a 7-year old Portugese Water Dog and two small children, ages 3 and 5. I’m a stay at home mom, but have a husband who works long hours, so I do everything there is to do with childcare, getting up in the night, housework, taking care of the dog. Did I mention the dog is a total nut? He has more energy than all of us put together and has never really adjusted to the kids. We love him dearly, but I would give the same advice to any family with young children. Think long and hard and then think some more.

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