Ok, this one is a VERY serious subject. I know we've treated Easter, faith and politics and weighty subjects before. But this topic has life-altering implications. Should I buy a pooch for my family or not? And if so, is this the best time?
I know what you're thinking--what does this have to do with spiritual pilgrimage? "Everything," is my immediate response. Buying a dog requires maturity. Self-discipline. Insider knowledge on the right kinds of foods to buy and not to buy. For instance, I can't remember; can dogs eat chocolate? Isn't that poison to them? Or potatoes; I think there was some story that dogs can't eat potatoes. See, I break into a sweat thinking about all those details. I just don't know if I'm ready for this kind of responsibility.
Because the last time I had direct experience with a dog was when I was a kid. And to be honest with you, I was not so much into the responsibility part of owning a dog. Don't get me wrong, I loved good old Lappy. That was our part-collie, part-border collie, UPS truck-chasing machine of a dog growing up. I could scratch behind his ears with the best of them, but when it came to feeding him, brushing him, giving him heart worm pills (you gotta be kidding me!) I just broke out in a cold sweat and found a reason to disappear...go read a book, watch paint dry, whatever I could do to duck it. And now, as I look into my heart, I see the same immature (lazy?) attitude lurking.
So would immaturity and laziness keep me from giving my kids the time of their life? Not consciously, of course. I would name many other reasons, making mature adult sounds as I cite the lack of a fence, dog allergies, busy family schedules, evidences of my children's immaturity (hello pot, this is kettle. You're black) but I'm willing to bet it's my own immaturity that's to blame. I find it stunning that a reasonably mature adult can still have fortresses of adolescence smiling with puerile indifference deep in our hearts. I mean, I have three kids for heaven's sake, what can be so hard about this?
I guess that I need to face this childhood impulse to slackness head on. Suck it up and learn the grown up responsibilities of being a dog owner. I could use some suggestions on what breed to buy, however. And the longer you take, the longer break I have from maturity. So make your comments DETAILED and involved. The kids have convinced my wife...so I think I may be mounting Custer's Last Stand. But I did think it was brilliant that I showed them all "Me and Marley" the other day. As they were all crying, I said "That's what happens when you get a dog; he tears up things and then he goes and dies on you." I'm holding my ground for now...
What should I do? Let me know your opinion.