In a far away country, a very long time ago, I promissed our boys “to get a dog when you are older, when mom isn’t working any more, when we have a big backyard, when we have lots of nature around us and, when we move to Canada.”  All these things happened and I am running out of excuses. But still, no dog yet. But our friend Jaci bought one recently.   Here is her  written attempt to lure me into the –extra-ordinary- world of (crazy) dog people:

My husband and I swore we would not get a dog with three young kids already in tow. Yet here we are, with our zoo (ages 3,6 and 8) and a 5 month old girl puppy-dog whom we adore. We are still keeping it real in our household. She doesn’t sleep in our bed and I don’t let her lick me on the lips, but I must admit that she is a worthy addition to our family. I like to think the reasons were simple, but the truth is, we discussed it, researched it and tried to talk ourselves out of it all summer. What really inspired me was meeting a dog in the neighbourhood that I really liked; it was this particular breed that drew us in.

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I like most dogs, but I wouldn’t want to own many of them. Drooly, shedding, stinky, yappy ones do not really appeal to me. That is why we got ourselves a designer dog. She is none of those things, so she fits in perfectly! We found a great Goldendoodle breeder on Vancouver Island, dropped some ridiculous, but so worth it – money and never looked back!

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The week the kids went back to school I went with my 3 year old daughter to pick her up at the airport and we started our journey as a family of 6. It was a special day for all of us. My husband ended up feeling as though the void he always felt over the missing (undetermined) fourth baby was finally filled. He crawled in her crate and fall in love right away. As for myself, I have vowed to never be a crazy dog lady. Instead, I resisted the urge to swaddle her in a blankie and focused on crate training. I fell quickly into the usual mom routine – eat-sleep-poop- repeat. It felt like I had another baby, but only for a week or so.

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Aside from the expected puppy antics, Sparrow (named after Jack Sparrow, not the bird) is a good dog. We think. She rarely gets into mischief aside from attacking the recycling bin in the pantry, stealing ham out of the kid’s sandwiches, or knocking over the odd menstruated garbage bin. House training was kind of a breeze, considering this is what scared me the most.

Now that we are five months in, life with a dog couldn’t be better.We are all outside more and much more active as a family. We don’t expect our kids to do all that much for the dog, but we hope they learn this over time as they become older and more capable. The work part is up to us and we have to love it. For parents, it is natural to want to satisfy our children’s burning desires to have a dog and to then expect them to carry a large part of the responsibility.

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My kids are pretty smitten with their dog but that doesn’t mean they are ready to hit the backyard with a pooper scooper in tow. Sometimes my son walks her for 4 minutes, but they both come back with a smile, so that is enough in itself. The poop piles in the back yard are multiplying rapidly, and I am not going to lie, it is a chore that none of us have really owned as of yet. I think it is a man job, yes?

Are we good dog owners? Nah. We recently made a New Year’s resolution for 2013 that we will finally get that cream ‘on her parts’ as this is an area that can become irritated in furry dogs (the vet gave it to us 3 months ago). One of these days I will muster up the courage to do it. It has become a bit of a maritial dispute around here. Nobody really wants to touch it!

Jaci Botterman

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