Relationships

Do You Have a Dog?

Do You Have a Dog?

Five-year-old Anton and nine-year-old Toby have started their childhood campaign to get a dog…

“Our family is like a soup,” said Toby last week, “and we don’t have all the ingredients.”

And Anton points out cute dogs on the street. Although when I asked him if he’d help out with walks, he answered, “I’ll definitely play with the dog, but you guys can take care of it.” (I appreciate the honesty, Anton.)

Alex has always loved dogs, but I have to admit, I didn’t grow up around them, and most of my life, I thought they were a little scary. If I walked by a dog on the street, I thought there was a not slim chance it might turn and casually bite off my hand.

But this year, my mind has changed. We work in a shared office in Brooklyn, and people often bring in their dogs. And one in particular — this lady, above — has stolen my heart. She firmly believes she’s welcome everywhere, and her hilarious self-confidence is so endearing! She’ll saunter over and just stand on our computers. Or stretch out and nap on literally anyone who is sitting on the sofa. I’m less scared now and I now see why people adore dogs so much.

So, I’m curious: Do you think we should do it? Do you have a dog? What’s his or her name? I’d love to hear about your experiences! We’ve been reading lately about how to adopt a rescue dog.

P.S. Caroline’s open letter to dogs, and this dog’s amazing eyes. Plus, a funny way to name a dog.

(Photo by Samantha Gehrmann via Stocksy. Cartoon by Charles Barsotti for the New Yorker.)

  1. Ciara says...

    Mother Doesn’t Want a Dog

    Judith Viorst – 1931-

    Mother doesn’t want a dog. Mother says they smell, And never sit when you say sit, Or even when you yell. And when you come home late at night And there is ice and snow, You have to go back out because The dumb dog has to go.

    Mother doesn’t want a dog. Mother says they shed, And always let the strangers in And bark at friends instead, And do disgraceful things on rugs, And track mud on the floor, And flop upon your bed at night And snore their doggy snore.

    Mother doesn’t want a dog. She’s making a mistake. Because, more than a dog, I think She will not want this snake.

  2. ellen says...

    One more thing re dogs:

    A new study reveals that dogs cause their owners to stay much more active than non-dog owners. Due to having to walk their canines, dog owners spend 300 minutes a week ambulatory, which is 200 more minutes of walking than their non-dogged counterparts. I’m sure this sounds like a wonderful health hack when you’re reading this on the subway or at lunch, but if you’re up at the crack of dawn walking the dang dog in the freezing cold it’s more just rubbing it in. The standard guideline calls for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, so technically the ideal number of dogs in a home is one half of a dog.

    Gretchen Reynolds, The New York Times

  3. Maureen says...

    I have a very special dog. He’s a rather large English Golden Retriever SERVICE DOG. He came to me from a wonderful organization called Veterans Moving Forward which trains and supplies service dogs only to disabled veterans like me. He’s been a life changer and a life saver for me. Living with multiple traumatic brain injuries was just too hard before my Prince came into my life. He’s my hero. As long as you get the right dog for your family’s lifestyle in terms of energy, space, sounds, exercise, and grooming, I don’t think you will regret it.

  4. Jenny says...

    I am several days late to this post but just HAD to write something because I have so many thoughts about my sweet pup. Years ago when we got him I remember meeting a new group of people at a class I was taking and telling them that of course I loved my dog but that he wasn’t my whole world. Fast forward to 2019 and I cannot imagine life without my sweet Rocky. I was recently in the hospital for a week dealing with losing my 23 week old twin boys and between all the grief and hope I wanted so badly just to be home curled up on the couch with my dog.

    When the time came to let my boys go and be discharged from the hospital, we immediately parked ourselves on the couch with netflix and my dog in between us. He knew something was up with mom and dad and hasn’t left my side since. Dogs show you the most unconditional love of all time. I truly think everyone would benefit from the sympathy and compassion that you get from a relationship with a pup <3

  5. allie says...

    We have a rescue dog named Walter who we got as a puppy (he’s a mix of a basset hound and a lab… funky little legs and a sweet disposition), who is now two. We also now have an 11-month-old boy who just adores him! They lay on the ground together, share meals (not that I particularly love that), our baby loves to watch him play fetch and lets out the biggest belly laughs when he runs past. I truly believe having a pet helps to teach empathy and responsibility. I’m so so happy he has a dog to grow up with!

    get those boys a dog! :o)

  6. Stacie says...

    We rescued an abandoned 8 month old dog (a mutt!) 4 years ago – a week before our wedding! I am totally to blame lol. We love her though, even though she suffers from anxiety (she takes Prozac and trazodone and still has a ton of energy). Honestly though we love her and when we adopted her with all of her issues, we couldn’t just give her back. It was our responsibility and we took it on. Now our daughter is almost 2.5 and we are excited for them to grow up together. It is a lot of work though – walking, vet visits, traveling. It’s a lot to think about! We also have a cat which is waaaay easier. Either way, adoption is the way to go!

  7. Libby says...

    I have to take this opportunity to shout out Dogs in Harmony, a rescue organization in Tennessee that was founded by a woman who moved from the Northeast down south to retire, and was horrified by all the abandoned and stray dogs. At any given time she has 50-100 dogs, and she essentially ships them up to the northeast for people who are dying to love a dog. As far as I can tell she’s a borderline saint — we just adopted our first puppy from her, and we were thrilled by how thorough she is in the adoption process and how much she truly cares about her dogs. Our puppy arrives in five days — wish us luck!

  8. Tara says...

    We adopted a puppy last summer through a program that matches dogs from high-kill shelters with prisoner inmates. The inmates work with them to train them on the basics before they are adopted. The adoption fee was a little steep, but having that jumpstart on training and commands was huge for our family (our boys are 7 and 5). We are so pleased with our mutt (her name is Rhea). Shortly after we got her, we read a book about dogs that said the average dog is as intelligent as the average human 2-year-old. So, perpetual toddler in the house has its moments for sure! Recently I scolded Rhea and followed with, “Is it so hard to be a dog?” My dad was there at the time and said, “Sure, if everyone is expecting you to be a human.” Sometimes I have to remind myself to have reasonable expectations of Rhea, because she is a dog!

  9. Rocio Vazquez says...

    Definitely Yes!

    The teachings of a dog go beyond responsibilities and learning to take care of it.
    You learn so much of the way the take on life, the way the carry themselves, and the way they can turn every situation around.

  10. Andrea says...

    Super late to the game, but – a dog will certainly change your life, in ways you can’t guess and likely for the better. My husband and I met at the dog park (leading to a surprise life with two, not one, large dog(s)) so you could say those guys gave us the life and kids we have now! We have only one dog now and she’s our kids’ best friend.

  11. Ashley says...

    I grew up on a rural NC farm as a child, and after college and some time abroad, I returned to now live with my grandmother, mother, sister and niece. As a child, we had no fewer than 4 dogs and 10 cats at any given time. At that time, they weren’t just pets, but working farm animals (the cats took care of small prey that harmed the garden while the dogs scared away bigger animals like deer, raccoons, coyote, and bears). Growing up with so many animals taught my siblings and I compassion, responsibility, commitment, innovation, how to care for another living creature, respect, unconditional love, and the heartbreak of death. I have went through more emotions through caring for animals than anything else in my life.

    These days, now that we no longer farm for a living, our cats and dogs are treated as the family members they truly are (we currently have 12 cats and 4 dogs). It’s been a joy to watch my niece (15 months old) grow up alongside her fur siblings. As soon as she learned to walk, she started trying to assist in their care by taking cat cans from our pantry and placing them in the food bowls. My parents never took the time to teach me how to properly interact with animals as a child, so I was bit and clawed a lot as I learned. With my niece, we are doing our part to teach her how to interact with the animals (by showing her how to pet them and where) and to respect the warning signs they give her when she’s hurting them accidentally or they’ve simply had enough.

    All of our cats and dogs have been rescues. Living in the country, it’s an unfortunately common event for people to dump unwanted pets on or near our property, and we don’t turn any of them away. From my experience with dozens of cats and dogs, there is no such thing as a bad cat/dog, but each one is an individual and they won’t always be a good fit. We had a pit bull/boxer/rottie (Drogo) that had been used in dog-fighting dumped at our house who has turned out to be the sweetest and gentlest dog. Shortly after, we had 3 older puppies dumped who, while very affectionate, were still learning boundaries and had too much energy for us to manage (we found homes better suited for all 3). If you don’t want to go on multiple walks a day and don’t have the time to take a puppy out multiple times a night or clean up trails of urine from an overly excited puppy who’s happy to see you, then an older dog would be a better fit. Our last 3 dogs (Drogo included) have been older (ranging from 2-6 years old). We rescued a Lhasa mix (Benji – 2 years old) from a local kill shelter and adopted a “senior” Shih Tzu (Scooter – 6 years old) who had been surrendered multiple times for biting (he was mostly blind due to inadequate care from his previous owners and startled easily).

    The biggest factors when considering adding a pet to your family is the major time/financial commitment. From the daily care of your pet, to the longevity (we’ve had dogs live as old as 18 and cats that we raised as newborn kittens live to be 19), to the extra care as they age (diapers as they start to lose complete control over their bladder, steps to get on the bed/couch as they struggle with arthritis and ramps later as it advances). Ask yourself if you’re prepared to deal with major medical issues both financially and emotionally – we’ve had to deal with injuries ranging from snake bites and torn nails to seizures, renal failure, and splenic torsion (which resulted in an emergency splenectomy, several nights at the emergency vet, blood transfusion, and another major surgery a month later when the incision dehisced at home and all of the abdominal and pelvic organs fell out – I still have nightmares about that night). To say it can be costly is an understatement (we could’ve bought several brand new cars with the medical expenses we’ve paid for).

    I don’t mean to sound discouraging, but I do think if you have any doubts then you should take time to address those before committing to another life. I firmly believe there is no greater joy or experience than bringing a new pet into your family. If you do decide on getting a dog, adoption is the best route to go. Most shelters include the spay/neuter and initial vaccinations – including rabies – in the adoption fee, which is a great deal compared to what it would be out of pocket, so you’re saving money and saving a life. I recommend letting the children be involved in selecting the dog so you can see how the dog reacts to them as well. And most importantly, be patient. Cats and dogs go through an adjustment period when first coming home that varies by individual (you never know what traumas they’ve faced). I’ve had some make themselves at home the same day, and others take 6 months to let me pet them. Release any expectations you may have and let them set the pace of the adjustment – it will go much more smoothly.

  12. My husband and i got a dog before having a baby and therefore consider him out first love child. He loves hard (lots of licks), barks loud, and steals our daughter’s granola bar from her hand when she’s not looking. All dogs have their own personality. We picked him out of a litter because he seemed shy and quiet, but the next day when we got home he let out a very deep, loud bark. Like babies they are a full time commitment at first if you get a puppy, but with proper training they do become the heart of your family. Our daughter’s first word was doggie :).

  13. Jacquie says...

    I hope you get a dog. Our dog died in August. Her name was Ellie and she loved belly rubs so we called her Ellie Belly. Even thinking of her makes me smile. She was one of the loves of my life. She was always there for me, always wanted to play and she always made me feel better. She died at 5 and a half years old due to bone cancer. She had leg amputation surgery and chemo therapy, but the cancer spread and we had to say goodbye. I only mention this because having a pup can present you with many difficult decisions over their life time. Sometimes it can be had to decide what if any treatment to provide for your pup. Another thing worth mentioning is that the larger the dog the more expensive they are not only to feed, but medical expenses also, for example medication is based on the weight of your dog along with anesthesia. Ellie was a great dane and weighed 125 pounds so it was a little sobering to see the vet bill every time she had to go in even for a simple infection or her heart worm treatment. Right now we don’t have a dog and it definitely feels like we are missing a family member. We are doing a lot of work on the house and plan to travel so right now not having a dog is a smart option for us, but I’m definitely looking forward to the time when we get our next pup. Best wishes for you and your family in making this big decision.

  14. Valentina says...

    I grew up in the mountains near to São Paulo, Brazil. My father is a vet and we lived in a house with a huge garden and lots of dogs and other pets (some of them not so usual, like a small monkey). The dogs were always outside the house, but my sisters and I used to spend a lot of time running around with them. Nowadays I live with my husband and toddler in the city and we have a french-bulldog named Emma, ​​which is part of our little family. We love her so much and she’s always by our side. My husband and I bought her while we lived in Brussels and she traveled with us across Belgium and Germany. We also took her to Lisbon and when we came back to our hometown she came with us.

    My father always said that one of the beautiful things of kids having dogs is the understanding of the stages of life. Since the life cycle of a dog is shorter than ours, the kid will see the puppy turn into a grown up dog and someday will learn to deal with the death when the dog passes away. I know it sounds sad but I really think this experience can make children grow stronger and more comfortable with the fact that life is ephemeral.

    PS: Pardon my English ;-)

  15. Adrienne says...

    We have two cats that just turned 12. We’ve had them since they were adorable kittens (litter mates!). They bring immeasurable joy to our household. It is incredibly sweet to see my 25 yo, 6’3 broad shouldered and intimidating on the street son hold and cuddle the kitties. To be fair, they are quite like dogs. They love to be around people, are affectionate, and greet us at the door when we get home. I know when kids have their heart set on a dog, a cat is not what they’re looking for. But they can be an awesome alternative!

  16. Yelena says...

    We had our fur baby, Shaka, a ~100lb Rhodesian Ridgeback now 4.5 yrs, before we had our human baby, Clara ~17lbs now 9.5 months. It’s amazing to watch them interact and learn how to navigate the home and the new state of normal together. Shaka has learned that she isn’t so bad when she drops pieces of cheese and Clara has learned that she can’t taste Shaka’s tail even though it wags and looks tasty. My husband and I both grew up with dogs so it was natural for us but a dog is like having a 2 year old who never grows up. Although it’s really fulfilling, it’s also a lot of work. Overall, I would recommend doing A LOT of research on dog breeds that will work for your family, specifically. Can’t wait to see what you decide!

  17. Marie says...

    So Exciting! The right dog for your family will fill your heart with joy, but be sure you are ready if you are at all unsure (and research the breeds for your lifestyle activity level, and if it sheds, or if it tends to bark a lot, etc.) : ) I grew up on a dairy farm in Northern MN and we’ve always had dogs growing up. When I moved to the city and married in my late 20s my husband and I were given a sweet black lab mix. It’s completely different in the city vs. country farm. On the farm we didn’t have to walk our dog growing up (it would follow us into the fields and get a run in while we were always outside (it was the best kid companion growing up)). Now as adults we travel a TON and are lucky to have found a neighbor through the online app Rover to watch our dog, Maggie Mae, for weekend get aways. For longer trips we send Maggie up north to “grandma and grandpa’s” farm to be watched (she LOVES the freedom). But it’s a daily lifestyle commitment. During the week we walk our 60 lb lab mix 2 miles in the morning and 2 miles at night (all year long – even in the freezing Minneapolis winters). Please be sure you are ready for the activity and time commitment (even small dogs need to get outside and walk and be in nature daily). My advice is be ready to do walks multiple times daily, for at least the next 10-15 years and also have a plan researched in advance for who will watch your dog when you go away on vacation and what they cost. [About a month ago our dog tore her ACL (a common injury in older dogs). It will cost about $6K for surgery, plus $1K+ for water therapy and time, etc. to get her healed. I’ve also had to cancel my summer plans of going away to help her heal. It is not only a time commitment, but also a cost commitment (plus yearly checkups/shots, training, dog boarding costs, food, toys, etc.)]. All dogs deserve a family who can give them what they need for their entire lives. That being said, it’s worth it if you find a dog that matches your family. We like to think of dogs as 4-legged mirrors, they can tell you a lot about yourself and help you grow. I couldn’t imagine our life without our sweet Maggie Mae.

  18. E says...

    I have a dog. I’d never had one before, and I like dogs (I’m in a profession that works with them!) so I thought I would like having one. BUT I have discovered that I definitely do not enjoy having a dog. She’s too clingy, too needy, too loud, too big. I still like working with other people’s dogs. So if you decide to get a dog, please keep in mind that you live with them and all of their quirks and annoying/frustrating behaviors, smells, noises, etc. It is a years-long commitment.

    Also, please don’t buy a dog. There are so many in shelters that need homes. I recommend adopting a dog through a rescue, especially if the dog is being fostered. The fosterer will be able to tell you much more about the dog’s personality, and you can find a dog that you know has been around children. Adopting a dog from a foster home will free up a space to get a dog out of the shelter and into that foster home, so you help a shelter dog too.

    And finally, please learn about dog behavior and teach your children, especially if none of you have been around dogs. They have certain behaviors that we think are cute but are actually showing fear or anxiety.

  19. Bec says...

    Our dog is Fitzy, short for Fitzwilliam Darcy. He’s a rescue Parsons Russell and pretty lovely. Because we got him as a rescue he was already 1.5yrs old and had just enough puppy in him (but didn’t need toilet training, and could be left at home when we went to work)! Definitely a perk of rescue dogs. :)

  20. Yes. Dogs are like forever 2 year olds–they will have their own issues and personalities–but they offer unconditional love as well. I have two rescues and one is a pain in the ass (was probably a bait dog so has severe dog aggression) but would not change a thing. Look at garance Dore and Lulu. I also have a rabbit who is the funniest most self assured idiot. Pets are the best. Sidenote: your dog will make you go for a walk rain or shine and that is good for the soul as well.

  21. roslyn says...

    I had a few concerns reading your post. If you are at all scared, or not fully prepared, do not get a pet, especially a dog. They are 10+ year commitments, not a light decision. Dogs do not speak our language, do not come trained, are not always clean or polite, and deserve homes that offer understanding and empathy (ESPECIALLY rescue dogs who may have had rough puppyhoods, making them fearful). Also, small children MUST be trained first, in the art of “being around a dog”. They must be taught how to approach a dog safely, not tease or taunt, where to pet it on its body, and how to behave so that the dog doesn’t perceive them as threatening, and also how to be compassionate. Small kids cannot be the ones to remember to fill a dog’s water dish or do walks several times a day– these are all tasks that will absolutely be up to the parents to supervise– regularly and without question. So so so many dogs are returned to shelters because families don’t always commit to learn how to properly understand dog behaviour (descended from wolves, not people) and implement a training program and routine. All that said, they are a wonderful addition to the family as long as all the responsibilities are understood!! Good luck.

    • Sherry says...

      Yes, most of that you said is true, yet dogs can be trained and humans can not be trained, heck telling a human to do something or to even listen is almost impossible anymore. There is work in taking care of a dog just as there is work in taking care of humans in all ages…….and as for commitment, the same goes with humans…..there is no time limit on love and being family I would think. Adopting a child at any age is the same as taking in dog at any age…..yes I compare dogs to humans for I think all living creatures are humans not just the 2 legged kind for those can be horrible creatures as we know. Dogs and all creatures are different, they talk different, look different, yet they feel joy, love and pain, they know when their human is mean and cruel and abandons them, they suffer just like a small does when hurt and abandoned…….I know the pain of a horrible childhood and it has taught me to love and cherish all creatures and all my dogs have been rescued and cherished by me, they have the very best that life has to offer even though I am not wealthy I make darn sure they are cared for and loved.

  22. Debra Hannah says...

    Oh Yes!!! Get a dog, but we willing to train it to be a good canine citizen. Young pups take a lot of time, love and attention, just like young children, but the results are SO worth it!!
    btw, I have never lived without a dog! We have 3 now (3 grown children too and 5 grandchildren!) and we love them all dearly. That being said, I appreciate what Barbara Bush, an avowed dog lover said, (and I paraphrase), “Love your people more than your dogs!” :-)

  23. claire says...

    although it is definitely a big commitment, i can’t imagine my life without my dog! i’ve actually started enjoying winter because my dog LOVES snow! also, because they typically require at least one walk a day, i manage to spend some time outside every single day of the year! :)

    p.s. whatever you decide, please, please, please adopt! a huge number of dogs and cats are killed each year (about 2 million)!

  24. Aura Parks-Wise says...

    North Shore Animal League is fantastic. We got our now 9 year-old mutt, Fritz, there at 4 months and had such a good experience.
    What can I say– I’m a dog person and will stop to talk with every dog on the sidewalk. I can’t recommend it enough!

  25. Bree says...

    Yes yes yes to rescue pups! We found our Frankie six years ago and coudn’t imagine life without her. Because we adopted her when she was about a year old we knew how big she would get (often a guess when dealing with rescue puppies) and what her personality is like (so lovely); plus, she was potty trained!

  26. Yes to dogs! My mother and I share some of our fondest trips down memory lane with my childhood dog Ellie, a beautifully sweet black lab. You think you can’t inspire any more love in your house….until you get a dog.

    xx

  27. Kyveli says...

    Υes to dogs, yes yes to adopting rescue dogs and yes yes yes to adopting older rescue dogs. Your lives will forever be changed for the better! <3

    • Jessyca says...

      My 13-year-old dog is the most unusually calm small dog most people have ever met. He’s the love of my life, and my Top Piece of Advice is to rescue an adult dog. You know how big they’ll be, because they’re grown up. BUT you also are able to get a better sense as to their real personalities. What you see IS what you get. I knew my dog’s temperament after spending a few hours with him when I first found him. I took him home, and though he’s come more and more into his own in the 11 years since, he’s still just a chill, cool, patient little guy. Oh! And he’s great with kids, which I could get a sense of on day 1.

    • Sherry McLaughlin says...

      Agree with you 1,000%, my Payton was and still is an older dog, got ill 2 years after having him, heart disease and had to go on meds, well we humans, (okay so many people call the 2 legged creature humans, yet I call all living creatures on earth *humans* for we walk, talk, have internal organs, we feel joy and pain and cry and jump with happiness, so that is me). Well like any doc for any illness meds are not cheap yet Payton is my baby, so what if he is old, I am getting older by the minute as aren’t we all, yet with the cost I have NO regrets at all, I have the greatest vet in the world and I say with in all honesty for he helps me keep Payton alive and well and that gives me untold joy and happiness for I just love this wild, strong, loyal, warrior that I have. Life would be so empty without him yet I am aware our time together is shorter then longer…and in thinking that tears come yet not giving up today……whatever your choice of dog or not, life is precious and dogs make it more so enjoyable at least for me!

  28. steph n says...

    Dogs are the perfect animal. Every single time a friend posts on FB that their dog passed they ALWAYS mention how perfect that dog is. That in itself says GET A DOG!
    #adoptdontshop

    • steph n says...

      Oh, and my dog is Trixie. And she is perfect.

  29. DO IT!! We had a dog growing up and it was such a big part of my childhood!!

  30. Jillian says...

    Definitely get a dog. So much fun. So much companionship. So much love. My best advice is to just be patient. Bringing home a new dog or a puppy is exciting and special. But after all the excitement, there is still a new family member in the home. It takes a while to figure out training (people need to be trained on how to train their dog haha), figure out new routines, figure out their good habits and bad habits. But with patience comes the BEST dog. And kids and dogs are the cherry on top of the cake.

    We got a puppy, Moses, and less than a year later had a baby. Trying to train a puppy with a newborn is not the easiest. But with lots of patience, training (on both our parts), treats, and good ol’ fun, he is becoming the BEST dog. Definitely get a dog.

  31. Tess says...

    I didn’t grow up with dogs and had no idea what I was getting into when we brought home our Cockapoo, Oliver, five years ago- and he has brought SO MUCH JOY into my life I can’t even believe it. I would highly recommend a cockapoo, they are a great apartment size and don’t shed, and are very affectionate and eager to please. I couldn’t be happier I made that choice!

  32. Jill Gautreau says...

    Her name is Lola. And she is an adored rescue we got eight years ago. We recently had a baby and everyone said she wouldn’t take priority afterwards or we wouldn’t love her as much. Nothing could be further from the truth. We love her even more and it’s been such a joy to see her welcome our daughter, albeit a bit more reluctantly than us, but with love all the same. And she’s super stoked to have someone join her on the floor with all the playthings.

  33. Heather says...

    we have an old dog, Mikey, who adopted us 11 years ago and most days I feel he’s very indifferent to life with us. Last spring we adopted a pointing Griffon, Millie, and she’s the most empathetic dog I’ve ever met. She also brings an indescribable amount of joy to our four children and eats all of our socks too :)

  34. K says...

    Life is tough. Get a dog.

  35. hanna says...

    When I re-read my diaries and journals from when I was your son’s ages, the main thing I wrote about was my dog and how much I loved her!

  36. Vesna says...

    I love dogs and I never wanted anything as much as I wanted to have a dog. I finally got one when I was 11 years old. My dad picked a foxterrier and I took care of him just like I promised (got up early before school to walk him and all). It wasn’t a perfect breed for a beginner and especially not for a child, but he was a good family dog and will forever stay in my heart.
    I have a havanese now and she is perfect.

  37. Christine says...

    We rescued a dog 5 years ago and while sometimes I get so angry at him for barking during my one year olds nap time, he is the freaking best. I didn’t grow up with a dog and am so excited for my daughter to have a special bond with him. I love him so much.

  38. Jessica Chu says...

    JO! I totally think you should get a dog it will be so much more rewarding than it is taxing and I absolutely LOVE that you are considering adoption. I regularly foster (25 and counting) through great local rescues like See Spot Rescued, Waggytails, Muddy Paws, etc. and really think you can find your perfect pup (no dog is perfect, but there is a perfect dog for you). There are a lot of loving dogs who have been in foster for a while where you could speak to the foster parent(s) and even learn more about them!

    I sit here writing this with my baby Kali next to me, sweet as ever and the love and light of my life (besides my husband – though there is only a millimeter of difference).

  39. Megan says...

    I’ve had cats my entire life and my husband wanted a dog. When we finally had a yard we adopted a one year old pup named Ernie (breed: entirely unknown). He is the BEST thing that ever happened. Dogs have a love for you that can not be replicated. Period. I think you should go for it! Follow @thedogist for inspiration!

  40. Lisa says...

    I wish I could have a dog! About 20 years ago an allergist at Harvard Medical School told me that I should never be in the same room as a dog. Dogs are wonderful, but keep in mind that if you have a dog, some people will never be able to come to your house safely. My best friend finds that dogs aggravate her asthma, even though she is not allergic to dogs, so I would worry about people with respiratory issues, as well as those with dog allergies.

    Some breeders claim that their dogs are hypoallergenic, but this is a lie that they make money off of, since allergies are caused by dog saliva and dog DNA, not dog hair/fur.

  41. Allie says...

    I have 2 dogs – one we’ve had since he was a puppy and other we rescued when she was 4. Dogs are simply the best. They can be extra work sometimes – I have a little one who recently started walking so she needs a lot of attention – but when they snuggle up to you at the end of the day or do their big doggy grins, it’s all worth it. And in the end, when you think of how much they love you and how loyal they are to you, we really don’t deserve dogs, do we?

  42. Kim says...

    A dog will provide support to your boys in a way that will fill your heart. They’ll (and you!) will come home from a hard day and snuggle up for comfort. The pup will add so much to your lives.

  43. Rebecca says...

    We have a 2-year-old Australian Shepherd named Cedar (@cedarinthecity), and he is my heart. We live in Manhattan, and it is far more complicated (and more expensive!) than I imagined, but we are making it work, and I can’t imagine life without him. It’s invaluable to know that you will be greeted with unbridled enthusiasm at the end of the day, no matter your mood or how your day went. We waited a while before letting him on our bed (because sidewalks), but those sweet moments at the beginning and end of the day are my favorite.

  44. Magyn Merrick says...

    I often say that I love my husband, but my dog, Grizzly, is the love of my life. He has gotten me through many difficult times, aka, my twenties. He has been, and is, the one true constant in my life. Through bad break ups, losing family, graduations, celebrations, and everything in between, Grizzly was the little dude wiggling his butt with excitement when I walked through the door. Grizzly is a man that is beyond loyal, always excited to see me, and wants to cuddle like it’s his job. In his advanced years, he’s gotten a little grumpy, but it makes my heart swell with love and joy at all of his old-man quirks. Ours is a true love story. Plus he has a smoooshy face that I can’t resist.

  45. Amanda says...

    This comments are everything! And so convincing, both for and against dogs. Something I’ll add, as I’ve seen several mentions of cost: when my 6 year old and husband finally sold me on a dog (we have a 2year old viszla), the one thing we all agreed on was that we wouldn’t change our lifestyle of traveling frequently because of her. For us that meant really heavy duty training from the get go for the whole family, and having her meet all kinds of people in the beginning so she wouldn’t be weird around strangers, because we would likely be boarding her. (Our trainer recommended we try to introduce her to 100 different people a week, which at first was like whoa! But then was the best assignment…people in all kinds of uniforms, people of all colors, sizes, kids, babies, elderly, a drunk, wheelchairs, walkers…it got us out and about and engaged in the community and in turn she isn’t threatened by any one type of human). Back to traveling: we found a daycare/boarding place she loves and we love. It adds a good chunk of change to each vacation, but we know she is being well cared for, and planned on this from the get go. We have also taken more road trips, just so we can bring her. This limits options of hotels and Airbnb’s, but the ones that are open to it are total dog lovers and go the extra mile, it’s pretty cute. We have friends who are the opposite of us, their dogs are totally low maintenance and barely cost a thing. And we probably spend a stupid amount of money on her while we travel, but we can do it and it works for us, and for her. Just another thing to think about. There are so many different ways to go about having this very big change work for everyone.

  46. Mary says...

    We have 4 dogs and have had multiple foster dogs. We just got a greyhound puppy who broke his leg and retired from track early as a foster. This is our first foster since my son who just turned 2 was born. He loves animals and he will check food bowls to make sure they are full. And knows to be gentle with them. Please look into adopting or potentially fostering with intent (basically you can foster a dog with the intent to adopt them if they fit with your family with a lot of organizations) Greyhounds are amazing dogs, Because of the ban of greyhound racing in Florida a huge amount of these dogs don’t have places to go and are coming into foster groups as well as being sent to China unfortunately not to great circumstances. Greyhounds are surprisingly great apartment dogs and city dwellers, They also sleep all the time and a lot of them don’t really bark. They are sprinters so they run around or walk around for a few mins then want to relax all day.

  47. Sherry says...

    Oh a rescue dog is the very best……..so many need homes that are filled with love and are safe places to play and be. I have had 4 rescue dogs in my life, and they have the very best life possible, loved and cherished and they all get home cooked food, no junk food from other countries, health is very important for your dog, a great vet, boy I can not move out of this city to another all because of my vet, he walks on water I believe, he saved Princess Sweet Pea and she lived to be 17 years because of him, a groomer that is me, my dogs never liked anyone washing them but me as I used tons of bubbles that they try to eat,,,,lol. A doggie buggie for those very long walks on hot humid days and also because I can take them to the grocery store, the clothing store, the fabric store, every where in their buggie, tons of toys to chew and toss around, clothes, well that is a given they all need wardrobes like us ladies and boots for winter ice also. And down pillows to sleep on if not on mom’s bed, and crystal dishes to eat out of for mom spoils them and kisses and hugs. Life would be so empty without my dog, now I have Payton, got him at 6 yrs after Princess left to go over the rainbow bridge……he is a warrior, came from a really bad place and now is totally mine….so in all rescue dogs know when they are going to a good home and will never betray your love and trust……I know that for a fact!

  48. Brittany says...

    A little late to this, but my 2 cents.

    I really like dogs, but am a little scared of some too. That’s ok, because I loved and was completely devoted to our past two dogs. Just how some people aren’t into kids in general, but love their own. Things to consider:

    – Research breeds and pick one that suits your lifestyle (we wanted low-energy, short hair, medium size, friendly with people).
    – Decide what issues you can live with and which you can’t (we were ok with rescues who wanted to be only dogs, but we needed them to be very people-friendly).
    – Since you have kids, seriously consider getting an adult dog (you probably don’t need another little one who needs lots of attention).
    – Working through a rescue group can be wonderful. Both of our dogs lived with foster families first, so we knew all of their quirks, likes and dislikes before we got them. That way, we didn’t fall in love with a difficult match.

    Good luck!

  49. Martha Patterson says...

    My kids lobbied for several years for a dog…leaving notes on our pillows, drawing pictures on the dew on our cars in the morning. We were very firm…having a dog meant taking care of it, and we needed to be certain that they would step up to it. I knew my daughter was serious about it when she volunteered to pick up all the dog poop in my sister’s yard…and she had two labs!…We got Lily the following summer, and she was such a joy! Such a cuddly being of unconditional love! We lost her to cancer about a month ago, so our hearts are still healing…but as the saying goes, the pain you feel when you grieve means who you are grieving brought you great joy!

    • Sherry McLaughlin says...

      That is for darn sure………so sorry for your loss of Lily. I know the feeling!

  50. Jackie says...

    As Gretchen Rubin says (and said when trying to decide this same issue), “choose the bigger life.”

    (I’m sure in 800+ comments someone has already said this.)

  51. Laura says...

    I grew up in a house full of dogs and have always and forever been a dog person. My husband and I adopted our first dog together a little over two years ago and fell madly in love with him. A year ago I would have said it wasn’t possible to love a pet more, but then we had our first baby. I have never witnessed something as adorable, hilarious, heartwarming, and magical as the bond between my 9 month old son and our pup Barrett. Our son literally screams with delight when he sees him in the morning and Barrett drops his toys next to him all day long, hoping he’ll play fetch (someday, buddy. Someday). The bond between humans and dogs is beyond incredible and we don’t deserve them.
    PS- just to second what some others have said, it is a TON of work, it makes traveling much more difficult, and you will go out much less. But on the flip-side, you’ll get outside more often, discover dog-friendly restaurants, make new dog-loving friends, and be unconditionally loved in a way only a dog can love.

    • Sherry says...

      Could not have said it better, my dog loves me totally and unconditionally and he makes me laugh silly during the day…..Thank you for a great honest comment.

  52. Liz says...

    1000x yes! There is a caveat though – I say go for it IF your family is willing to invest the time and effort to train the dog. Lots of people forget that dogs will only learn what you teach them (and again, only if you’re consistent). I’ve had my pup, Oliver, for 2.5 years and couldn’t imagine life without him, but there were definitely times during the first few months where I wondered why I thought getting a puppy was a good idea (the teething, potty training, abundance of energy, etc are exhausting but at least they’re cute, haha). And my pup was actually pretty easy to train so that’s saying something! Having said all that, yes, definitely get a dog. They’re the best companions and only want to love you and please you and after a long day, there’s nothing like coming home to a wagging pup with a toy in his mouth, ready to play, and begging for belly rubs :)

  53. Sylvie says...

    I haven’t read through hundreds of comments to see if anyone has mentioned odor. If you’re sensitive to smells or easily grossed out by poop, pee, and vomit, I would skip it. I get really grossed out by other kid’s poop, pee, and vomit, and it’s true that I don’t mind my own kid’s poop, pee, and vomit, but how you’ll feel about a dog– I don’t know! Although this pertains to cats more than it does to dogs: they smell, they really do, you can’t smell them but other people can.

  54. Kendra says...

    We have two! Mia and Ella are both rescues, and they bring overwhelming joy to our lives. We laugh at their antics, miss them when we are at work, and look forward to them sitting on our laps on the couch (which is tough since they are both big greyhound mixes!) We find ourselves doing renovations to our house and making big purchases and wondering “will the dogs like this?” We overhauled our whole back yard just for them. We love them so much, and we know that while we can chose our best friends, we ARE their best friends. Gosh, we just love them endlessly!

  55. Alex says...

    All the work and worry! And all the love. Toby is right, you need a pet to complete you. That said, have you considered a cat? Different vibe, just as much love.

  56. Sasha says...

    We got our Winnie Dogg for our Lola (who was 2 at the time) and our whole family dynamic changed. We slowed down, we became more affectionate, and we started enjoying simple things like walking the dog or taking her to the beach. Our new baby is fascinated by Winnie and I feel so grateful that I caved and agreed to getting a dog. House training and discipline proved to be an adventure but the tender moments, especially with the children, make it worth it. We’ve definitely reaped the benefits of the hard work we put in and if it was easy, everyone would do it!

  57. Sarah says...

    PERSISTENCE AND REPETITION IS KEY. Dogs are simply the best, but I see lot of people who have dogs who don’t listen to them because they don’t repeat their actions for rewards and punishments and MEAN IT. You can’t expect your dog to listen and respect you if they can’t hear you or believe that you mean it. I don’t have kids (yet), but would assume the tactics are similar?? My husband and I have a good balance – his booming voice lets her know when she’s in trouble, along with the same punishment for the same actions they tend to do over and over. I tend to be on the softer side, but I’ve learned to raise my voice so my dog will listen to me too. This also makes the reward of love when they do the right thing sooo much better.
    We adopted our dog together 7 years ago as a puppy from the Irvine Pet Shelter and she is the BEST DOG EVER. Her name is Buffy (@BuffytheHeartSlayer) and we know she’s a Terrier mix of some sort, but she doesn’t shed (basically hypoallergenic) and is incredibly submissive and sweet and loving. I feel we got lucky, but I also think my husband and I had a great balance in “raising” her. She stares into your eyes like she’s staring into your soul, she knows when we are upset or sad and comes running, and being greeted by her at the door everyday after work is the best reward ever.
    With all that said, I can’t imagine having a child knowing how much I love my dog?! Haha. But get one!! – and love, respect and train them well, and they will do the same for you. Best of luck!

  58. Iris says...

    Yes, yes, 1000 times yes. My sister and I grew up ALWAYS with at least two dogs in the house (granted we lived in suburban southern CA with a back yard). Thinking back I don’t believe there has ever been a time in my life when my family didn’t have at least one dog in the house – they feel like their own generations. Our parents were sticklers about taking an active role in the dog’s care and I’ll tell you what – there is NO better way to learn responsibility than being forced to do a once over for dog poop in the yard before having friends over and scheduling walks alongside school work. We’ve had all kinds, and looking back it feels like we were trained to learn how to deal with all different human personalities since every dog has their own personality too! 100% in favor of dogs for kids.

  59. Elizabeth Baur says...

    Take the decision as seriously as deciding to bring home a toddler because that is what it will feel like you are caring for most days. Our dog loves us with more depth than most humans we know, but requires almost as much care. She and our toddler are both masters of chaos and cute.

  60. Susanne says...

    Feel free to borrow my dog from Prospect Heights for a weekend! She’s a totally sweet 4 year old rescue from Virginia. Loves kids, doesn’t bark, totally house broken. Just wants to cuddle, eat all your food, and chase squirrels. All the squirrels.

  61. Susanna M says...

    I have a little Bichon Shih Tzu crosses with other breeds. (Poodle, Yorkie, Maltese, she’s a fancy mutt.) I got her when I was 15 after my family had to give up our yellow lab who was too much work for the city. I named her Violet because my favourite colour was purple and I LOVED African Violets. I’m 30 now and Violet has been my steadfast companion for 15 years. I’ve had so many major life events during her lifetime; getting my licence, graduating from high school and university, getting married, and now I’m expecting my first child. Violet is ornery, antisocial with anyone who’s not part of my immediate family, and has lost most of her hearing. But she is so cuddly, follows me everywhere, and is so happy to see me in the morning and after work. Our relationship is so special and I can’t imagine my life without her. Dogs bring so much joy to our lives!

  62. I adopted my dog (Stella) a year and a half ago and has been both the most stressful and the most life-giving experience. it definitely changes your lifestyle in that you can’t leave him/her alone at home for too long, lest they have potty accidents, and my dog has a little bit of separation anxiety that was very stressful to deal with at first. but I love her and she’s great with all people and dogs. I definitely lucked out.

  63. katy says...

    I know that I’m one of almost 900 comments but I thought I’d share my position- do your research on breeds and temperaments and then look on petfinder .com for a rescue. You have the ability to choose age, breed, gender, etc while still helping end homelessness for animals. Here are some rebuttals for the common complaints
    1. Taking care of the dog- Just like anything else in parenting, your consistency is key. If you’re already good at having your children help around the house, adding feeding the dog and cleaning up dog toys is not hard. I’ve had several friends start their children’s chore around helping their ‘best friend’ (what a sweet thought!)
    2. Travel- Find a friend that loves your dog and work out an agreement. This is honestly so easy, especially when you factor in the high likelihood of you meeting more awesome new people BECAUSE of your dog. Dogs are like good-people magnets.
    3. Money- It’s a couple hundred dollars a year. Kids are exponentially more expensive.
    4. Cleanliness- Smaller dog= smaller everything else. Adopt a 3-6 month old foster and they’ll most likely already be potty trained :)

    I guess my last thought is that choosing to get a dog is similar to having a child. There are a million reasons why you wouldn’t want the hassle but the expanded amount of love in your life might just be worth it!

    • Chantsy says...

      If I wrote a list this would be it! Perfectly said and great tips.

  64. bethany says...

    My husband and I got a dog two years ago, a golden retriever named Samson. We got him right after the 2016 election for therapy reasons (haha) and honestly, he’s been so good for me in a way I hadn’t even anticipated. Having a sweet, fluffy creature to take care of and snuggle with after a long day; being obligated to go on walks outside; having a funny distraction from the mundane day-to-day — it’s all been very grounding. His presence is very calming 99% of the time; the other 1% is when he gets spooked by something like a cereal box on the kitchen counter and scares the s**t out of me with his bark, lol.

    Also, we don’t have kids yet and getting a puppy has been a good confidence builder for us. We’re going to try to give Samson a hooman sibling later this year. :)

  65. Sarah says...

    my kids also (10 and 11) would love to have a dog. And sometimes I think it could be fun to have a furry friend to love. The the thing that always stops me is the added cost if the dog needs extra vet care. For us, while our kids are with us they are our financial priority and I can’t at this point justify that cost (food, vet, care ) of an animal as well. I’d hate to be in a position where cost in caring for the dog became a strain.
    There is also, who cares for the dog while we travel?

    That said, my husband and I have been seriously joking that if the other person were to die we’d each replace the other with a dog. I think I’d replace my husband with 2 dogs, one being a greyhound and the other a french bulldog. I’ve started really thinking of these two dogs and falling in love with my imaginary canine family!!

  66. Ann says...

    If your kids want a dog you should get one. Don’t wait until they are in college to get one. It teaches all about love & responsibility.

  67. Emily M says...

    Don’t get a dog. Years of taking them out first thing in morning, last thing at night, cold, freezing, snow, rain. It’s a grind. Borrow someone else’s for a week or 2. See how the newness wears off of your kids after about 3 days. Then they start complaining when the dog bothers them. And everyone kicks the water dish over. And you get real tired of cleaning up the dog doo.

    • Cait says...

      You could make the same argument for kids. Changing diapers, wiping sticky hands and faces, tantrums…that could get real old. Then they become teenagers and sass you and worry you to no end. Then they ding your car. Then they can cost tens of thousands of dollars to educate.But I think there are more than a few people here that think it’s worth it.

      I’ve been through my dog getting sick all over the apartment, I’ve stepped in her water bowl in the dark, had to take her out when I was sick and exhausted, make special arrangements for her when I travel because she’s too anxious to be boarded…and I wouldn’t trade her for all the riches and spoils in the world. She’s my best friend, spirit animal, and soul saver.

    • sarah says...

      Wow I think we’re in the WAY WAY minority here.
      we adopted a dog about 2 years ago and I regretted it immediately even though she’s great and adorable – we have 3 young kids under 5 and there just isn’t enough bandwidth to manage it all + expenses and I end up feeling guilty that she’s never getting the attention or love she deserves. In LA everyone is pro-dog, it’s obsessive! I’m just not a dog person (even after growing up and loving them). I am a firm believe you can still teach children the wonder and love of animals without having one in your home. And yes, the water dish will literally drive you to the edge of sanity.

  68. I might have been a dog in my last life I love them that much. And while the adventures of a new pet is so wonderful, there is so much we just don’t know. The non-verbal communication is key as there is so much said in the small gestures, sighs, moments.

    I highly recommend these two books by Ted Kerasote: Merle’s Door and Pukka’s Promise. You get adventure, beautiful lessons, and background into the lives of canines — and what it truly means to care for them and befriend them. You’ll laugh and cry. The perfect dog manual for anyone and everyone.

    If you open yourself to it, it can be one of the most fulfilling friendships you’ll ever have. They keep us present, they keep us honest.

    Enjoy the journey, it’s just the beginning!

    Daniela

    • Heather says...

      I agree 100% with this: “If you open yourself to it, it can be one of the most fulfilling friendships you’ll ever have.” I did not have a dog growing up but got our first dog about 19 years ago. I am totally in awe of the human-dog relationship and am so grateful that it is part of my life (after our first dog died, we got our current lab when our kids were 7 and 3)….sometimes i look at our dog and still cant believe that I have this very close and amazing relationship with a non-human animal. That said, it is only fair to the dog if you are 100% committed as an entire family… (well, mostly the adults since your kids are still young…) to care for it and give it sufficient exercise and training.

  69. Jessie says...

    Do not do it! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE dogs and would love to have one. But when it comes down to it we are not going to get one. Here are some things to think about. 1) You guys travel a ton. So then you need to get a dog sitter. 2) Some animals get upset when you leave on vacation and will pee and puke over in your house. 3). Remember know matter how hot, cold snowy or rainy it is outside, you will need to take the dog for a walk and pick up it’s poop. 3) It will be ALL ON you. 4) If your dog eats something the vet bill is very high 5) You live in an apartment. If your dog barks all the time your neighbors will be mad. All of our friends with kids who have dogs say they love them but are a lot of work. Plus most of the animals go to the bottom of importance when you have kids. My sister in law did get a german shepard but her youngest was 10 when she got her dog. They also never fly or travel as a family because of the dog. For our daughters we have them go to our friends house when they want to have some dog time and are fine with that. Just trying to be realistic.

    • Sherry says...

      Humans are a lot of work also, so much more then dogs I think! Sorry you must of had a bad experience with dogs……no dog or human is perfect!

  70. Yes to rescue!! They have so much love to give. You can get a rescue puppy, or skip the puppy-training phase and get a rescued adult. They’re the best.

    • Sherry McLaughlin says...

      Agree 1,000% for all my dogs have been rescued and the last one here an senior who needed love and to be safe…..he got that and more!

  71. i don’t have a dog myself but borrow a friend’s from time to time and love it. right now my schedule is a little too erratic to have a full time dog, but i am hoping to adopt one later this year. i didn’t grow up with pets, but even the small amounts of time i get with my friend’s dog is some of my favorite time. i also live in memphis and have a yard, so i imagine that’s a little easier than having one in new york, but i still say go for it. and get a dog that will be bigger, like a shepherd or retriever — your boys will have a blast with them xx

  72. Mimi says...

    Yes! We had a golden retriever growing up (adult, rescued) and I always wanted a puppy. 25 years later, my husband and I got one last summer. He is such a prince and definitely rules the roost in our household :) BUT it was WAY harder than I thought it would be – who knew that golden puppies are some of the hardest to raise -boundless energy and very mouthy as they are bred to retrieve ducks. Still working on leash behavior…
    I would recommend rescuing an adult to start off with. It wasn’t so much potty training as the energy needs of a teenager that has been difficult. And as one city dweller (downtown Chicago) to another, if you do get a big puppy, get a female as males must wait to be neutered nowadays and it has been SO difficult now that we can’t go to dog parks and other males attack him. Just FYI :) Good luck with the decision!

  73. Melissa says...

    My husband and I both grew up with dogs and knew we wanted one for our family as soon as the time was right. We adopted our pup last August and, while I love her so much, I wish I had done more research on the breed, because she’s too high energy for our lifestyle (which is saying a lot, since we’re both runners and outdoorsy). We’ve also spent hundreds of dollars at the vet and with specialised foods trying to resolve months of her GI and allergy problems. I say this not to deter would-be dog owners, because like I said, I love her so much, it’s just that I cannot understate the importance of doing a lot research before picking the right pup for you and your family.

  74. Batbara says...

    My life would not be the same without all the beloved dogs past and present. They make us better people. Would not trade a second ! In fact, I’m on the way home from Austin (first time visit with lots of awesome recommendations I picked up here!) it’s been a great four days But I’m ready to go back home to see my family and dog!!

  75. Laureg says...

    Dogs, definitely! I have two and adopting them was the best decision I ever made. Their sweetness, unique personality and ability to love unconditionally is amazing. You’ll be better people for it.

  76. Jamie, Superior, WI says...

    I did not grow up with a dog, but we got one as a family with older kiddos (11 and 13). Sissy is an adopted mix and is 60 pounds. She is sweet and hilarious. She brings as much happiness and silliness to my life as she does… work, expense, worry, dirt. I do think it’s great and worth it, but as a later-in-life dog person, I found the level of maintenance higher than I realized. Pros: long walks every day, tricks, cuteness, cuddles, kids having responsibility. Cons: illness and surgeries ($$), goodbye perfect floors and furniture (if you have them, I did), add 1 more person to your everyday list of “are they good?” chores and needs.

  77. Jill says...

    I feel so firmly on this topic it is almost emotional! My husband and I both grew up with dogs and got our own early on in our relationship. Our rescue dog Hal was the key to our unit for 6 years. We firmly believe he made us a family. He tragically got sick and passed away 1.5 years ago and it was the toughest thing we have ever been through, including the death of very very close family. We found out soon after we were pregnant and in a rush adopted another dog (Fred) to ensure that our children are always raised and responsible with this amazing species. We love dogs so much and I don’t think Toby is wrong, the love a pup will bring to your family is immeasurable.

  78. Heather says...

    as one mommy with anxiety to another, the answer is yes. Yes. Get a dog. There is no doubt it’s a huge responsibility. And it’s a million times harder to have nice things. But. A dog is a wellspring of peace and positive energy in your home. My dog chills me out so much. So so so many times I’ve been about to lose my mind and then I glance at molly and she’s blissed out on her back in the sunshine or looking at me with her big brown eyes, silky head resting on her paws, life just being good… My #1 recommendation is to get a bigger dog. They’re less likely to be hyper, they do a lot more lounging and a lot less barking. They’re more likely to lay down under your feet at a beer garden. We live in an urban area and having a big dog in a smaller space is really ok. They just sleep at home.

    • Caitlin says...

      Yes! I feel like people are scared off by having big dogs in small spaces BUT it really is true that most just want to lounge/sleep when they’re at home. It’s either all on (let’s go on a walk! Or a run! Or play fetch at the park!) or all off (snoozing for 8+ hours during the day). Smaller dogs seem to need more constant interaction, whereas many bigger dogs want quality vs quantity.

    • Cat says...

      Don’t discount the small dog, though. I’m team small dog 100% forever. I grew up with big shepherds that I adored and were like the siblings I never had, but I “inherited” a Yorkie puppy while I was in college and he changed me forever. We found a Maltese “brother” for him, and they were our first babies. The best dogs. Sweet, quirky, loving. Our Maltese was the most relaxed dog and lived 17.5 years without health issues until the week he passed. We now have a Pomeranian who is 1.5 and a nine year old Shih Tzu. Both are snoozing right next to me as I type this. Small dogs are also easy to board, eat way less, poop WAY less, hah and many breeds don’t shed. They are also just as friendly and sweet as any big dog. I love big dogs too, just other people’s big dogs. Small dogs have gotten a bad rap. It’s all in how you socialize them. Our small dogs (exception being our rescue/foster) are never hyper or aggressive because we socialized them from puppies to be around all types of people and all types of noises. We also have four children. Dogs are the best no matter what you decide. :)

  79. Andrea says...

    I’m going to be one of the few voices of dissent. To be fair- I love OTHER peoples dogs. I will pet them and hug them- but I have enough going on without adding taking care of one full time! Also, I have a friend who got her kids a puppy and she is exhausted! a quote from her facebook profile “I love my kids so much and live for their happiness. But Whhhhhyyyyy did no one stop me from getting them a dog??????” So, I am going to tell you, Joanna: don’t get a dog!

    • Heather says...

      Oh no no. Do not get a puppy. Don’t do it. You need to adopt a dog b/w 1-3 years old with a nice big adult sized bladder that can hold it for 12 hours. A puppy is as much work as a newborn baby, except it has to go outside to pee. And it can chew the legs off your furniture.

  80. Marita says...

    Ask any adult about wanting a dog as a kid and getting said dog. I think you will see that it is worth it. Much added stress and cost, yes; it is not a logical decision. But you’re also getting companionship, laughter and exercise. When you get the dog, sign the boys up with your pet for doggy good manners class, so they can learn with the dog. Give them responsibilities to help with the dog. It’s all good!

  81. Kate says...

    Duh, of course, yes, do it :) Puppies are a handful so adopt an older dog if you want to skip that difficult phase. I wouldn’t trade our puppy phase for the world but we live in a house, in the midwest, with a fenced in yard and no kids. So it was easier. If we were still living in our 500 square foot apartment in DC? No way. Plus, older dogs have a harder time getting adopted from shelters than puppies do! They need loving homes too :) Best of luck and enjoy it!

  82. Kristen Gilligan says...

    we unexpectantly lost our golden retriever nigel right before his 10th birthday. losing him was devastating and i felt like a had to mourn him 4 times over…for myself, my husband, our daughters and all our family/friends who loved him as if he were theirs. and in the middle of all of this i kept saying “and the worst part about all this is i will do it all over again!l the love and memories are worth this pain we are all feeling..” we welcomed bedford (another golden) into our family 2 weeks ago. we still missing nigel deeply, but our hearts have grown just that much bigger with the new puppy.

  83. christine says...

    Yes! We waited until our youngest child was in kindergarten…we have 3 children. He is a boykin spaniel named Moose and he is a member of our family. It’s great to give the kids a little responsibility for their care and walking although I never minded taking him on a walk. He is 11 now and has a bulging disk in his neck so he’s unable to go on walks and I’m missing having a reason to go on a walk….it’s just not the same without him.

  84. Sara Hagen says...

    I’ve had many dogs. Right now I have Rumples, a Shar Pei mix that our family rescued. He’s a wonderful dog even though he hates rain (won’t go out in the rain unless my son takes him out). He’s so sweet and friendly. Definitely rescue a dog. You save a life and get unconditional love in return.

  85. Sarah says...

    I didn’t really consider myself an animal person until my daughter campaigned for a small white fluffy dog this year. Now I have Luna, an adorable tiny Bichon/ terrier/ shih tzu cross as my constant companion. She comes to work with me & follows me around the house. My daughter is pretty good with playing with her(not much else)- but she is definitely my dog. I probably look ridiculous carrying her around and taking her for walks- and I don’t care. She is such a happy soul and gives me so much joy and love. As a mother and wife it feels like it is often my job to fill up my family’s love tanks. Luna fills up mine.

  86. spark says...

    Yes. We all need more love in our lives and a dog will definitely bring that. I’m excited for you.

  87. Tracy says...

    We had a dog. His name was Leo. I grew up around dogs so I knew what to expect, the amount of work to put in, the amount of $, and how they’re very dependent on us and so on. I was very hesitant when my husband and son outvoted me on the decision and we adopted a dog.

    He was the best dog in the world. I fell in love with him and because I work from home, he was my constant companion. Yes, he had that dog smell, he drooled, he shed so much, he constantly needed attention, he always wanted to play (play and more play) and to be walked. He also got naughty (there were instances when he would just try to escape!). But they’d make you LOL, they’re snuggle champs, they’re great topic of conversation (oh believe me I can talk about Leo for hours in the past), they’d love you unconditionally, they’d forgive you instantly if you’re having a bad day and kind of shrugged them off, they’re always there for you and they’re always so happy to see you if you don’t get to take them somewhere. While, it can be additional work (especially if you’re training them), but, in my opinion, all those work was very well-worth it, because he’ll be a part of your family. You can’t imagine not having him around.

    Leo passed away a couple months ago because of cancer. We’re still grieving over his loss and missing him daily. That’s the testament of how much he was loved by our family. I suppose the worst thing about having a pet companion is when it’s time for them to go…

    Xoxo

  88. I just lost one of my 11-year-old pups 3 weeks ago. I’m still reeling, to be honest. We rescued Capone and his sister when they were puppies. They became our “military brats,” moving with us around the country and eventually to Italy. We had a baby. But they were still my firsts. He died very quickly (thankfully), but very unexpectedly. We didn’t even know he was sick — he was such a happy pup. I grew up with dogs, but this has been especially difficult. They get into your veins — your blood. Perhaps the only creatures on earth who’ll make you feel like you’re unconditionally loved, 100% of the time. If you’re not fully prepared for that (though how can you ever really be?), reconsider. I know one day I’ll recover. And then I’ll have to do it again with my other. And I may, for my daughter, even get another one day. But getting a dog is knowing you’re signing a contract for a broken heart. It comes with many joys. But the loss is palpable.

  89. Jennifer P says...

    You should 100% get a dog!! We adopted our dog four years ago. His name is Frankie. He’s scruffy, black, medium-sized mutt with a solid dose of terrier in him. He has old man eye brows and a beard. He was six months old when we adopted him. The perfect age, in my opinion. We love him so much and from the moment we brought him home I asked myself, “how did we ever live without a dog”? He takes care of us just as much, if not more than, we take care of him. Have you heard what Eckhart Tolle says about dogs? He calls them The Guardians of Being. I couldn’t agree with him more.

    • Annie says...

      This exactly! I got my first dog 6 years ago at age 52. How did I ever live without him?? Stanley is a terrier mix also. Big brown eyes, big ole eyebrows, sweet beard. He thinks I’m all that and a box of chocolate!!! Bad days melt away at the sight of him.

  90. Ali says...

    A little late to the party on this post…but YES! I got my first dog Scout (Lab/German Shepherd) only weeks after finding out I was pregnant. I was 28 years old and she was a mere 8 weeks old. There was a lot of dry-heaving while wiping up her puppy pee and gagging while peeling back the lid on her wet food. BUT! When we brought our daughter home from the hospital each hour of every day seemed to pass so slowly, but Scout was at my feet for every single one of them. When I was brave enough to take a shower, she would lay against the shower door, quietly keeping me company in a way that I didn’t know I needed.

    She’ll be three this summer, and she’s still just as amazing and loving. I would say the hardest part of having a dog for me is guilt. (Which probably says more about my personality than dogs). I feel guilty if she’s not getting walked enough, or if we are gone for the day. And finding a dog sitter or leaving her in a doggie camp during vacations can be an extra headache. But overall, the unconditional love that she shows us constantly outweighs the responsibility she requires. She is the carrots to our chicken noodle soup!

  91. You must.
    I got my dog, Alfonso, when I was 19. A crazy, spontaneous, very poorly thought out decision that has been the best of my life. He gets me out of the house and walking every day… and, multiple times a week, he leads me to secluded beaches, wondering car rides through the city, and laps around the aisles of Target when it’s raining. I’m 31 now, and think about how lucky I am to have wobbled into adulthood with Al. He taught me patience, slowing down, and putting others first in ways nothing else could have in my 20s. And, through the years, he has been the most beautiful subject for my drawings (I’m an illustrator). He, 100%, has made me a better person. Often times at night, as he sleeps on the bathmat while brush and slather before bed, I think to myself, “Did I do right by him today?” Sounds nuts, maybe, but I want to make sure I am doing my best for him.

  92. Kristian says...

    If no one else has suggested it before now- maybe test it out by volunteering at a shelter for a few weeks? Have the boys volunteer too. (by the way, I am not advocating that one only consider adopting. Both buying an AKC registered dogs or shelter dogs have their pros and cons. Volunteering would be to see if you and they would actually like taking care of dogs.)

    This is a good age for the boys (they are old enough to understand the chores involved and how to treat the dog), but there’s a lot of work and stuff that goes into a dog. The walks, how long it can be alone (or the work of bringing it to work or doggie daycare etc. etc.) and care for when you travel. BUT we have always had dogs- from the time I was a baby to now as a momma with a baby of her own, I’ve had a dog. I love all our dogs so much and they enrich our life. But it is a lot.

  93. Liz says...

    Awww. We are proud parents of Luna the Labradoodle, 3.5 and James, the human boy, 14 months. A nice chunk of my pregnant anxiety went towards worrying about how they’d interact, but they are buddies. Recently, vocabulary has expanded – Luna will hear James in the morning and cry to greet him, and James will awaken, reach for Luny and give her a very excited whisper “HI!” Dogs make things better. Sometimes the days are hard and you walk them in the rain, and you see things you’d never focus on…the love and joy are palpable. They are hard work, but just like kiddos, worth it.

  94. Christina says...

    We were hesitant to get a dog several years back and were able to work with a rescue organization that allowed us to foster a dog before committing to keeping her. Thankfully, the dog was a great fit for our family and we love her to death! I would also say that despite our kids’ promises to take care of a dog, that has never been fully realized. The novelty of picking up poop wore off quickly. We still require them to help take care of her of course, but they aren’t enthusiastic about it. There have been times that I have second-guessed our decision (diarrhea on my favorite rug, my laptop cord chewed and her out of control barking when anyone dares step onto our porch). But I would definitely say that the benefits have outweighed any second guesses. There is something incomparably sweet about that little creature’s excitement to see me enter a room and her desire to be as near to me as possible at all times.

  95. Shelle says...

    I know all about children campaigning for a dog. My son started working on us early. When he was in the 5th grade told us he was growing up and would be going to college SOON never having the experience of having a dog. Getting a dog was the best decision of our life! Then before I knew it we had two dogs! Boots (all black with four white boot-high paws) is our extrovert and Bear is our introvert. When my son and daughter went off to college, my dogs helped to make the empty nest not feel so empty. Dogs offer unconditional love!

  96. Laurie says...

    3 years after losing my Airedale and first dog Winnie Woo, I got 6lb Radish this week. Food dogs so popular! There is also a ‘curly fries’ in my building, and funnily enough the second dog I’ve known named, Joe.

  97. Emily says...

    I adopted a puppy from the local animal shelter six months after moving to New York City. It had been a big move for me, away from my family, friends, and a job I loved.
    Adopting Francis was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. She helped with my anxiety and forced me to get out of the apartment and meet new people. She is so excited to see me when I come home from work and never fails to do silly things that make me laugh. I’m obsessed with her. Dogs are the best!

  98. Anon says...

    My sister always jokes that I am the only nay-sayer of dogs and I guess after reading the comments it’s true. I grew up with dogs so I get the parts that are rewarding BUT I would never own a dog ever. To me they’re too much work that’s ultimately not worth it. They wreck your house, they smell bad, they make all plans harder to come by. Sorry but dogs are definitely not for me not matter how much my kiddos beg for one. But we all need to go on our own journeys and I wish you all the best no matter what you decide.

    • Sophie says...

      OMG you are NOT the only naysayer. I’ve been scrolling through all these comments feeling more and more like a horrible person because all I want to say is DON’T DO IT!
      And I say this as someone with a dog. To be fair, we got a German Shorthaired Pointer (suuuuuper energetic and crazy) as a puppy, and we’ve had her for 4.5 years now and while she has chilled out considerably she still drives me insane and inspires rage in me like nothing else. We also have a toddler so I think all my patience gets used up on her and frustration gets let out on the dog, which I know isn’t fair. But seriously. Others have said this, and it’s so true, but it’s like having another toddler in the house. Only our canine toddler is bigger than the actual toddler, knocks into things and gets waaaay in people’s grills when they come over. Having to reconsider playdates with friends with their small babies because you don’t want their babies to be trampled by your dog when it’s having a jumpy excitement fit…
      Yeah, I sound like a terrible person. But holy shit, dogs are so much work!

  99. Allie says...

    YES YES A MILLION TIMES YES!!! My late dog, George Michael, was one of the great loves of my life. He died four months after the birth of my daughter and the pain was one of the greatest I’ve ever known. Which directly correlated to the love I had for him. He was my partner in crime as I navigated single life in Boston, was by my side when I met my husband in Houston and spent nine months sleeping on top of my pregnant belly in Dallas. There is not a day that goes by when I don’t think about him. I’ve come to the place where I can talk about George and smile instead of cry, and three months ago, we welcomed our new buddy, Potato Chips, into our lives. The love is different but just as special and my hope is that he can be a dear friend to my daughter (and me!) as we navigate this next chapter in our lives. And that we can love and shepherd him through his. I see George in Chips all the time. He reminds me that we’re all connected in this universe and exist solely to love and care for one another. That’s all it’s about at the end of the day. And that’s what your (potential) pup will remind you of all the time…sweet, beautiful, complete, simple love. You’ll never regret it.

    • Twyla says...

      I can’t tell you enough how much i LOVE the name George Michael for a dog!!! LOL

  100. We have a dog, a cockapoo named Chili Dawg (Instagram @therealchilidawg). We’ve had him since he was a puppy. Besides my kids and husband, he’s the best thing in my life (and let’s be honest, he’s probably equal to my husband). He’s my daughter’s best friend. She was 7 when we got him and she was the perfect age. He brings so much joy and love to our family – I can’t imagine us without him. He’s 10 now and I know our years are limited; just thinking about that feels me with anxiety. He sleeps on my bed and it makes me feel so cozy. And let me tell you, there is nothing better for your self-esteem. When I leave the house – or room – and return, hours or even minutes later he is so thrilled to see me. Who else does that? No one. Get a dog – Anton is right; it will make your family complete! BUT be real – this will be YOUR dog and YOU will take care of it, not the boys. YOU will be sleeping on the sofa when the dog is sick with diarrhea and has to go outside every 30 minutes. I grew up with a dog and although he was “mine” my mother was the real caregiver. And then I went away to college and left her with the dog. So I knew the real deal and didn’t get a dog as an adult until I was ready for that responsibility and expense (I took the dog to the vet the other day, x-rays, etc – an unexpected $500 later).

  101. Ashley Prillaman says...

    Do it. I was scared of the responsibility of a dog before my husband and I met. We got our pug Wednesday and then adopted our terrier / poodle mix Angus. When it was just us four, they were my babies, my cuddle buddies. Now They are our sons best buds, his protectors, his pillows, his conspirators, his second set of eyes.

  102. Tamara says...

    Oh, do it :) My seven year old wanted one for ages, but we live in an apartment, both work, volunteer, etc etc. After some research about the best sort of dog for us, we finally got a puppy two months ago (a black boy cavoodle :)) and he has been so lovely. He’s added a whole other dimension to our family and we are outdoors much more. And surprisingly, he’s much less work that I was expecting!

  103. Ashley says...

    We have a rambunctious rescue boxer, Lucy, that we adopted when she was just a pup on Craigslist. We got her right at the beginning of our three-year-long journey to start a family, and throughout all of the miscarriages and grief, she was my little being to care for, and cry over, and snuggle as I ached to be a mom. She is now my one-year-old daughter’s best friend. And still mine.

  104. Kate says...

    You have to decide if you can be a good parent to a dog. Will the dog get enough exercise and companionship? You travel a lot…who will take care of the dog when you travel and is it more than is fair to a dog (only you can decide). Is the cost of dogsitting, vet bills, toys and food okay with you? How will you feel if the dog chews or scratches furniture or has accidents? I love my 2 smaller dogs and enjoy snuggling and taking them for walks/hikes. But they have definitely been more stress and more costly than I expected, especially after we had kids. Our older dog still tears up the couch pillows when making his “bed, ” making it difficult to justify buying a nicer couch. I’m not sure I would choose this phase of life to get a dog if I had to do it again. And I live in a house with a big fenced backyard with a dog door! Best of luck in your decision.

    • Tmercí says...

      You described exactly why we do t have a dog. I grew up with a dog, and have wanted a dog. Yet, when it comes down to it, we wouldn’t be a great fit at this season of life. We love to travel. And that put the breaks on for us. Cost, every other month finding care when we travel. Plus we work wonky hours and have small kids. Someday perhaps :)

    • sarah says...

      YES YES YES to all of this.

  105. Briana says...

    I never had a dog growing up but was desperate for one. Fast forward to age 25, living alone for the first time, and I adopted a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I spent years meticulously researching the perfect breed for me, connected with the national rescue, and even fostered a few to make sure it was a good fit. When you rescue a pup, they let you try them on for a few weeks, and when I got my girl, I knew it was a great fit.
    When I thought about names, I had so so many ideas but couldn’t decide. Someone told me to pick something that I liked saying because I’d say her name 50 times a day. I ended up naming her London- the city where I studied abroad in college and had wonderful memories of. Couldn’t be happier to say her same everyday :)
    Dogs are a lot of work – especially the 80lb ones- but 11 years later, I’ve never regretted getting her for a second. Pets change your life and bring so much joy. Plus you have a great excuse to talk long walks and listen to podcasts!!

  106. CL says...

    We have a resuce mutt. We are painfully obsessed with him, but I will admit its a lot of work and often times a lot of extra money. The pet rescue organization estimated he was about 5-6 months old when we rescued him. Our dog is incredibly intelligent, has an adventurous spirit and lots energy, plus he is part herding breed and typically herding breeds take longer to breakout of the puppy phase. This meant we had to find lots of creative ways to burn off his energy and stimulate him the first 4 years of his life. But he is an amazing companion. (And honestly, he was a good puppy. He never chewed on our clothes or had accidents inside the house). You want to go for a long walk on a beautiful fall day? So does he! You want to go for a hike? So does he. You want to go sit outside at a beer garden and enjoy a beer? So does he. You get excited when company comes over? So does he. You like cheese? So does he. You like cuddling on the couch? So does he. It’s by no means perfect, it’s definitely extra hassle and extra $$$ when we plan vacations. We feel a lot of guilt when we work long hours and then have post work engagements. We feel guilt when he has been home alone all week (due to work) and then we have weekend plans that don’t involve him. But he is so fun and we already find ourselves talking about how much we will miss him when he is gone.

    Something to consider – as I live in NYC area too – active breeds are a little more difficult in the city. Especially if they just so happen to not get along with other dogs. Our dog is doesn’t like other dogs – so this means we have to avoid dog parks which makes getting him proper exercise more difficult. Dog parks are such a great way to burn lots of energy with little time. Also, if you get a puppy be sure to social him to the car ASAP! City dogs don’t always get socialized to riding in cars at a young age. Then they can sometimes grow into having anxiety in car rides – which also makes getting out of the city with your dog more difficult (if you do want to take them on family trips).

    • Kayla says...

      Dogs are wonderful companions and your boys are a great age to appreciate them! I would say though be mindful about breeds living in the city and know you are signing up for a ten to fifteen year commitment. Most of the time dogs only expense is food but other times you get an 800 dollar vet bill. If you can stomach that I think you and your family would love another companion!

  107. Adrienne says...

    It’s like having a child that never grows up. You will never be able to leave your dog alone for more than 8 hours (shorter time if you live somewhere without yard access). Traveling becomes more tricky. Date nights more tricky.

    That being said if you have a lifestyle that can support a dog (one of the biggest ones being able to bring your dog to work!) it can be so rewarding and life enriching.

    I just urge people to think first – am I content with my life currently before I bring new stressors in? It’s so easy in this day and age to get / buy / add on new things before making sure what you already have is working.

    • Chris says...

      Agree. I always say it is like having a 2 1/2 year old forever!

  108. Laura says...

    Big dogs have always been in my life. I grew up with a lab and then a German shepherd. Now my husband and I have two huskies. As a child and teenager, having dogs taught me so much about responsibility and reliability. But perhaps, more importantly, it taught me about having compassion for the earth and its creatures, and my dogs were and still are the best examples to me of what unconditional love really looks like. As an adult with anxiety issues, my steadfast, intuitive, gentle fur babies help me more than any other self-care or medical practice that I have. Not to mention how active they keep my husband and I.

    My husband and I don’t know whether we’ll want to have kids. People say to us all the time that you have no idea what parenthood is like until you do it, and then once you have kids, not having them seems unfathomable. I know it’s not the same, but that’s how I feel about having dogs. It’s enriched my life in ways I can’t explain, and I can’t imagine my life without them.

    And of course, if you can, rescue them.

  109. Alyssa says...

    I adopted a husky-cattle dog mix with my now-ex five years ago. In retrospect it was completely impractical. We broke up and I found myself looking for a new apartment in a very tight rental market with a dog in tow. But still, I wouldn’t trade him for anything! He’s my constant companion. He comes with me running, to work, camping, hiking.

    I would urge you to consider adopting over purchasing a purebred! So many people buy dogs thinking they can control their personalities, but in my experience, all dogs have their quirks and challenges whether they’re expensive purebreds or adopted mutts. (And, in fact, many purebreds have health problems associated with their breeds.) There are so many amazing dogs in need of a good home. : )

  110. Brianna McCarty says...

    PLEASE get a rescue! Bonus points if it’s an adult rescue – saving the hassle of house training? Yes, please!

    There are so many souls out there with so much love to give if they had the chance.

  111. Karen says...

    We have a 5 year old Wheaten Terrier that is the sweetest older brother to our 3 year old toddler. It has been a teaching process with our son to not pull ears/tails/fur, but our dog has been a very patient teacher. The only problem is, now our son is not scared of ANY dog and thinks they are all super friendly, which I fear may not always be the case with every dog on the street. So we have had talks about how to politely ask people if you can pet their dogs, etc. Our dog has been a great learning experience for us and for our son and although he is an only child (for now), having a dog around whose feelings he needs to consider and who may also steal his toys if he does not clean them up, has been very beneficial. We LOVE our two boys! :)

  112. Our family of 4 just got a Golden Retriever puppy! I’m a veteran dog owner, I had a Golden for 14 years! My dog was 4 when I met and married my husband. So he was my sole baby for 4 years until my family grew. Now, my kids are 9 and 7, pup is 5 months old. Be prepared for another baby. Dogs are just as needy. Expect to have broken sleep for about a month until they can be crate trained. Our pup still can not be left alone anywhere in the house by himself. We have a dog pen in the garage where we can leave him if we must, like when we are at work/school. But we have a big house in LA…I don’t even have to worry about bad weather. But walking him in the winter is still tough being so dark in the morning. It’s hard work. I also agree with the other commentor, don’t go in expecting your young children to have any real responsibility taking care of the dog. It’s you and your husband, hands down. But we LOVE dogs and it’s a commitment we’ve made. If you don’t LOVE dogs, think long and hard.

  113. Lisa T says...

    We also just added an Irish Doodle to the family! They really are the cutest dogs and our guy is a total snuggle bug too. My 5 and 8-year-olds adore him. It’s been quite some work (and stress) but I think it is worth it. My daughter’s reaction when we brought him home was priceless.

    • Kari says...

      NO WAY I have an Irish Doodle too! It’s such an uncommon breed in my area, I’ve never met another one!

    • Chris says...

      OMG we also have an Irish Doodle! She is so lovely!

  114. Shane Prada says...

    My husband and I wanted a dog for years, but whenever we sat down to really consider it, we would decide it just wasn’t time. When we finally decided it was time, we knew we’d need a dog that fit into our lifestyle, a lifestyle we developed without a dog around! Essentially we wanted a dog that doesn’t need a ton of activity, that’s quiet, medium in size, loves to lie around the house, and is easy to keep clean. I wasn’t sure such a dog existed! We ended up getting a whippet, and he is perfect. I highly recommend the breed!

    • Amy says...

      Oh thank you! I just googled Whippets. Your requirements are close to mine! What pretty dogs!

    • N says...

      Whippets are the best! We had three when I was a kid, and they are so lovely and lazy and sweet. Later we got dalmatians and they stole my heart too, but in terms of ease, you really can’t beat a whippet. If I ever convince my husband to get a dog, it’ll likely be a whippet.

  115. traciep says...

    My animal family is one of the greatest joys of my life and I consider some of my pets to the loves of my life too.

    By way of background, I went from adopting two stray cats, to combining animal households with my ex, to catching rescue animal fever, and somehow wound up with four dogs and three cats. I won’t lie to you — that’s an insane amount of animals. A breakup and a couple heartbreaking losses later, I now have two dogs and a cat. It’s still a lot sometimes but they are beyond worth it. Their love is pure and unconditional, and I am able to practice unconditional love in caring for them.

    Most of my rescues were senior animals and I couldn’t recommend it more highly. You are giving a second chance at life to an animal many will overlook and it is a true joy to live out these happy golden years together.

  116. Chantsy says...

    One piece of advice I learnt after a traumatic experience as a child (my mother bought us a puppy then resold the dog (!) claiming that we didn’t take the dog for enough walks!). Never put the responsibility of caring for an animal on your children. It is your job as parent to do all the hard work and merely their job to have fun and play with said dog. It is extremely rewarding when you have the right dog. Our rescue was the quietest and most cuddly at the pound and, ten years later, I am so grateful for choosing a great fit for our family.

  117. Denise says...

    So did you decide?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      alex and i had the longest talk last night! still discussing :)

  118. Avery says...

    We have two dogs and two cats whose name all starts with a “B”. It started with Bella and Beau(the dogs) and then spread to Black Beauty and Blaze as more pets were added. Our dogs are amazing! It will add so much to your family life. Our 4 month old baby has just started watching the dogs a lot to see what they’re doing and it’s so sweet. Owning a dog is a lot of work but so worth it!

  119. Sarah says...

    I had a dog growing up. My husband and I had a rescue dog up until he died shortly before my second child was born. Now with 3 kids I just have so many people to take care of that I can’t fathom adding a dog. I’ve told my kids “maybe when all of you can wipe your own butts”.
    Also, am I the only one who likes my OWN dog but I don’t particularly like petting/playing with other people’s dogs?

  120. jenny says...

    yes, yes, yes 100x yes! They are amazing and you will never believe you didn’t have one forever. Just take your time and get the right fit for your family. We live on a farm and have two special needs rescue dogs but my 11 year old has been campaigning for a golden retriever for years since we lost our beloved “first child/dog”. We found a sweet golden, picked her up last Saturday and she has already wormed into our hearts. Juggling 3 isn’t easy but sooooooo worth it to have Posey in our family. Have fun, adventure and love await. Nothing like a child/dog bond.

  121. Emily Ashton says...

    Ahhh dogs! They are the best! Before my husband and I got our first puppy I was firmly in “cat person” camp, and then we got Luca and everything changed! we shortly thereafter added another little pup to the mix, her name is Penny and she really rounded out our family! Having a dog is a feeling I never expected (I grew up with one but my parents didn’t love him as much as he deserved) but they are worth every penny of vet bills and random treats, they are so fun to hike with and just kick back on the couch with. Puppy years are definitely more difficult but then they morph into this little being you couldn’t live without. I would say do it if you can, and aren’t relying on your kids for help with them! It has to be truly for you too.

  122. Inge says...

    I always say: I love dogs… especially when they’re not mine!

    I love playing with them, the friendship you get, you can teach them things… but they are a lot of work: training their first year, walking and going out when they need to, you get a little bit restricted in going out (babysitters with allergies, travelling)… I am really glad that my parents have a dog, so my children learn to get along with them, and we only get the benefits and not the work.

  123. Meg says...

    Wish I could post a photo of our dog, because I am certain you would drop everything to find a pup! Finn is a 5 month old Irish Doodle. Chose a doodle so it is hypoallergenic for my husband and doesn’t shed for my sanity.

    We drove 4 hrs back from the lake this weekend. Just as we departed he somehow snuck from the backseat and into my lap, where we snuggled and snoozed together the entire ride. Never a fan of long drives until then.

    This morning my husband left him loose to roam the house. A first time opportunity for the pup, as he is now reliably potty trained when unsupervised. Finn found me sleeping in. He lept onto the bed, then onto my head and pillow and showered me with kisses.

    He fills my heart with absolute joy. He makes us laugh everyday. He snuggles like he was born to do so.

    Get a pup!

    Xo

    • Chris says...

      We have a 3yo Irish Doodle named Mara who is such a love bug. And they don’t shed!