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  1. Oh my I have to read that book. As far as a dog.. get a Cavlier King Charles Spaniel! I have one a male Bailey, born in Ireland, although I live in the US and he is the best companion. No little ones at this house but he loves kids and anyone who comes to visit.
    He will be right by your side and will keep your feet warm too on cold winter nights.And he is frisky and loves to go for walks as well which is good for all.
    I have a picture of him on my blog. He acts like a cat, as even on warm summer days he likes to lay by the door or windows where the sun is shining. Keep us posted on your decision. You are a delight to read.
    Yes dogs of any kind cost money for upkeep-but what a companion for your precious boy.

  2. Oh course you should start out with keeping your word. But first, borrow one from someone you know for 3 weeks while they are on holiday. Give Finley the main responsibility of taking care of it.Then progress to ownership of your own. All the while reading about how to care for a pup of your own. If he is not the least bit interested in taking care of the pet, only the fun stuff, then you have your answer. Yes even the picking up of poo on a walk in part of the job.Now, find someone that needs a sitter for 3 weeks. Or someone who is bedridden with a pet that needs help. Or a neighbor who works long hours.

  3. Dear Alison,
    I am a housekeeping fiend, too and had the same dilemna with an only child. I bought the nintendo and the cat and they just wouldn't do. The puppy came and the first couple of cleaning months was hard but all is well now and I have to tell you that scrappy poodle crosses do not shed hair, to my eternal delight. Then there are gorgeous accessories like a pink wicker basket lined with a crocheted op-shop granny blanket and I feed her from pretty old floral china bowls. So it did not put an end to my lovely life, but brought another beautiful dimension to our family.

  4. I've got a little foxy dog, she's my baby and my kids love her. It could be good for Fin to have a pet to learn from and look after 🙂

  5. I'd say get the dog, but do indeed get a DOG and not a puppy. Check out the local animal shelters and find some friendly, already house-trained, not too old mutt to be Finley's new pal!

  6. Go ahead! You will have some days you regret it…but others when you can’t believe you haven’t done it sooner. I have a Beagle named Riley and she is the greatest pet for my only daughter. Just remember, Beagle’s are known for baying (a louder, more insistent noise than barking). They are bred for hunting and will go anywhere their nose leads them. They can’t help it. I can’t imagine having a Beagle without a fenced in yard!!!!

  7. I just don't think a Nintendo DS or a cat will fill the same space in that boy's heart that a dog will. I do , however, have some suggestions. Whatever you do, DO NOT get a Beagle to keep indoors. They are sweet, loving adorable creatures, but Oh My Goodness they are hyper! Poodles, and poodle mixes, are genrally calm, intelligent, not slobbery and they don't shed. I know there will be people who think a small child shouldn't have a poodle pup, but these are incredibly patient dogs. Besides, you never hear stories of a boy and his cat. A boy and his dog…it's classic.

  8. Dogs are loud, messy, and a lot of work, especially a puppy. A LOT of work. However, no one will ever love you like a dog will, or delight you, or teach you the meaning of Zen and living in the moment like a dog will; they're experts at it.

  9. The dog was created specially for children. He is the god of frolic. ~Henry Ward Beecher
    We've had several dogs…mostly because dogs really don't have tremendously long lives….there will be heart break at some point…something to consider, talk about with Fin and then go out and buy/adopt a dog! I would think a short hair Corgi….they are loving and gentle and the short hair breeds do not shed badly. We have a Pembroke Corgi( long hair) who is nine years old, a lady most of the time but she loves to lie on her back, splayed out in the most unlady like manner when she sleeps.
    Remember the benefits of dog ownership to yourself too. You will get to walk at least twice a day, you will never get up late again…dogs always want to go out early and then have a good breakfast when they return…keep your jacket by the door and your wellies handy…rain does not mean a day off from the early constitutional. I would try to find a good obedience class right off..you will save your sanity as well as the poor dogs( he/she will walk without tangling or running hither and yon, no barking at everything that moves and will not jump on you or others).It is costly as far as annual licensing, shots, and any vet trips for unexpected reasons. Food if well chosen and used as recommended by the vet will not be terribly expensive, boarding or caretakers for the times you are away can usually be planned and the fee saved ahead.
    I think you will find that "getting a dog for your child" is really not a good idea in and of itself, you must want an animal yourself. The primary care and responsibility is more than a five year old can take on..so you know it will be your job from the get go! Give yourself a few weeks and talk to lots of other dog owners before you decide…good luck and if Fin ever ask for a pony, remember this lesson!

  10. The dog was created specially for children. He is the god of frolic. ~Henry Ward Beecher
    We've had several dogs…mostly because dogs really don't have tremendously long lives….there will be heart break at some point…something to consider, talk about with Fin and then go out and buy/adopt a dog! I would think a short hair Corgi….they are loving and gentle and the short hair breeds do not shed badly. We have a Pembroke Corgi( long hair) who is nine years old, a lady most of the time but she loves to lie on her back, splayed out in the most unlady like manner when she sleeps.
    Remember the benefits of dog ownership to yourself too. You will get to walk at least twice a day, you will never get up late again…dogs always want to go out early and then have a good breakfast when they return…keep your jacket by the door and your wellies handy…rain does not mean a day off from the early constitutional. I would try to find a good obedience class right off..you will save your sanity as well as the poor dogs( he/she will walk without tangling or running hither and yon, no barking at everything that moves and will not jump on you or others).It is costly as far as annual licensing, shots, and any vet trips for unexpected reasons. Food if well chosen and used as recommended by the vet will not be terribly expensive, boarding or caretakers for the times you are away can usually be planned and the fee saved ahead.
    I think you will find that "getting a dog for your child" is really not a good idea in and of itself, you must want an animal yourself. The primary care and responsibility is more than a five year old can take on..so you know it will be your job from the get go! Give yourself a few weeks and talk to lots of other dog owners before you decide…good luck and if Fin ever ask for a pony, remember this lesson!

  11. I have to add my voice to the pack and say – do it! Get a dog (grown and house-trained) not a pup, they are gorgeous but unpredictable and will probably eat your house and drive you insane. Eschew pure-breeds – they are not generally as healthy as the littlest hobo style dog, and mongrels or cross-breeds are known for their intelligence. It's hard to quantify just what a dog can add to your life – companionship, security, devotion etc. By pure coincidence my dog Clover arrived a week after my ex-husband left – I didn't miss him a bit and my son had someone to tell his troubles to (and he did, I heard him) who gave him physical comfort and distraction with her sheer joie de vivre! Keep us posted and don't be swayed by anything cute but yappy and ill-tempered – get a PROPER dog!

  12. I, too have tried to avoid the issue of getting a dog. My girls are five and love visiting the pet store at our local shopping centre. I've said that when we move house they can have a goldfish, and maybe (at a pinch) a bunny. I grew up with dogs, but I'm a bit wary of them now. I think I've developed a bit of a germ phobia over the years, and hate the thought of dog hair etc! I also feel as though I have to wash my hands after I touch an animal! We had a 'dog safety' session at the girls' kindergarten recently, and it actually put me off the idea altogether, what with the high incidence of dogs biting children within their own families. A lot of the other mums said that too! There are a LOT of benefits with having a dog (or any pet, really), and I do love them and love that they have such unconditional love, but for me, the hygiene and safety issues seem to come out on top. Maybe I'll change my mind over time… Tough decision for you Alison, as you seem to share many of my concerns too! Best of luck!

  13. Alison, two things…
    1 – borrow your sister's dog for 7 days. Finlay is in charge. Finlay has to make sure the dog is fed, watered, he has to wash the dog's food and water bowls, he has to walk MILES to exercise him (yes, I know this involves you walking miles but think how amazing your legs will be or else go to the park and make Fin go ten times round while you sit on a bench)… basically make it a bit tougher than it would and that should sort out whether he really truly wants a dog and is willing to do the cleaning and feeding himself at age five.
    2 – if you do get a dog, GET IT TRAINED. Pay for a professional and follow their instructions. I've known lots of dogs and when I get my own one day it will be trained. Well. Very well indeed.
    Dogs prefer being trained, they need a pack leader and that's you.
    They're great and I think the benefits far outweight the snags – for hygiene, I would say Fin's immune system would benefit from being round a dog 😉 And sane dogs don't 'savage' children (pit-bulls on the other hand…). If he's stupid with the dog it may nip him – fine, he's learnt something new about dogs' tolerance, hasn't he?
    Go for the trial week and see how Fin copes – I definitely think he should be able to feed and water and wash up after his dog.
    laura

  14. I think the 3 week trial is a good idea. I also think a grown dog would be best. Get one that’s housebroken and gentle and not to big. You’ll know the right one when you fall in love with it.

  15. So much good advice here, especially borrowing a dog for three weeks. And it's a good idea to work out how much it's going to cost, whether you're going to be around pretty much all the time to be with it (you can't leave dogs alone all day) and whether your garden is big enough.
    In my opinion a dog is the best pet ever, but if having one is going to be a worry, the cat is a good idea. Or what about a couple of guinea pigs or rabbits? We had guinea pigs when I was a child (albeit older than five) and they were lovely.
    Whatever you choose, good luck and have fun.
    x

  16. I'd say get a pup – we have a gorgeous 7 month GSD (a bit big for little homes I know), he's been hard work at times… just like having another baby in your house, but oh the joy of having him, watching him learn new things day to day, feeling that bond between the family and pup grow stronger day by day, I LOVE him to bits and so do the children, Harry (our gorgeous pup) is soooooo laid back and patient and an angel in the house. However, he is still unsure of the outside world (he's frightened of his own shadow – very common in GSD pups), he barks and shouts at other dogs – but we a being very patient and reassure him as much as we can which is calming him down. You do need alot of time for a pup/dog – not fair to leave them in the house alone all day – but if you have got the time and the money – the reward and pleasure of having a dog is priceless.

  17. Hi Alison
    I have three children who begged, wished and prayed for a puppy, promised they would look after it, brush it, feed it, walk it, play with it, LOVE it. Tried the nintendo puppy and a subscription to DOG magazine – but to no avail, only a real puppy would do.
    We bought the puppy – a gorgeous lab who is now two years old and yes they do LOVE her – but everything else is down to good old mum and dad!! so my advice is get a puppy – but only if YOU are prepared to do all the work and fork out for all the extra things they need apart from basic food – which does have an impact on your purse strings!
    Despite all that we ALL love her dearly and wouldnt bewithout her for a moment!

  18. I bowed to pressure from daughters and we have a boy yorkshire terrier aged 4 now,and a girl yorkie aged one now,I adore them both,but….and heres the big but….the kids NEVER EVER feed them,walk them or clean up after them! they are damn hard work!plus unless you have someone who can babysit them,you can say goodbye to holidays,weekends away etc.even though they are teeny little dogs,I have to fit in two walks a day,rain or shine,I just got a letter from the vet reminding me their booster jabs are due(another £70) think long and hard my friend,oh and if you are as houseproud as me,dont get a breed that moults!

  19. Hi Alison,
    “Every boy should have a puppy.” Shouldn’t they?
    Some breeds don’t shed hair, some don’t even bark.
    People will stop to admire the pup, talk to you etc., and who knows where that could lead. I have friends who met the man of their dreams this way.

  20. Oh look, another Mimi! I have to say that I am realllly not a dog person (traumatised by jumpy cocker spaniels when I was smaller than they…) so I would be going for the cat or the DS. If you got a DS, how about adopting a dog through one of those 'just £2 a week' schemes that they show on tv? I am still holding out for a kitten of my own!

  21. Hi Alison,
    "Every boy should have a puppy." Shouldn't they?
    Some breeds don't shed hair, some don't even bark.
    People will stop to admire the pup, talk to you etc., and who knows where that could lead. I have friends who met the man of their dreams this way.

  22. Hi Alison, we have a crazy, nearly 3 year old English Springer Spaniel named "Dexter".
    I am not a dog person, or rather, I wasn't! I too had 2 cats. The thing is this…dogs are FUN, with a capital F. We bought Dexy to wear out our son Charlie (at age 6) and visa-versa and the plan worked briliantly.
    Dexter doesn't smell, honestly, must be something to do with the breed…generally I think, the less, ahem, fleshy mouth parts (ugh) the lesser the potential of stink! He doesn't cost a great deal, we're talking £20 a month for a HUGE bag of dried dog food to which I and a little moist canned meat, so really, only about £25 a month which was much less than I'd bargained for. The insurance works out at about £11 pounds a month too. And, yes, we have needed it, twice!
    But above all else, what price can you put on the sheer fun and joy written on a little boy's face? We adore Dexy, and although I have to hoover just a tad more, I never regret the choice we made. I hope you make the right one for you and Finn.
    Oh, and by the way, I'd be at least a stone heavier if I didn't walk the dog! Now there's a bonus! x

  23. Get a cat. They are great companions. I have two cats and no children, and if that makes me an old spinster then so be it! 😉

  24. I recently succumbed to my own wish for a puppy, and it's a lot like adding a two year old to the family. He's incontinent, has poor manners, puts everything in his mouth, and is very drooly. That said, he's the cutest thing I've ever seen and I love him dearly. Would I do it again? Hmm…. possibly not. It has caused a great deal of upheaval in our household, and resulted in much toilet paper being dispersed over as wide an area as possible before someone catches the culprit and removes the roll. Cats are easier. On the other hand, dogs are snugglier, and there's nothing like having those soft, melty eyes gazing adoringly into yours.

  25. Get the kid the DS. Know why?
    Because of the wonderous video game set called Nintendogs, in one of which I'm fairly sure a beagle is available. Even if not, there are plenty of puppies to choose from.
    No mess for you to pick up, and he has a dog that he can pet, train, bag poop after, and take care of.

  26. Right, Miss Alison. This is my opinion:
    This is a MAJOR – not to be taken lightly – decision.
    First of all, take Finley's wishes completely OUT of the equation. Millions of children grown up perfectly well in a house with no pets and he will survive if you don't get a Scrappy. Between us all, we can come up with a story that will suffice as to why you're not, in fact, now going to get a dog even though that was what he was led to belive earlier. He's only five and I'm sure we can come up with something. This won't be the first or last time that he has to learn to adjust his expectations to live with the realities of "Plan B" and this is probably a more useful life skill than those that come with dog-ownership. And, in any case, it'll be you, not him, that learns that dog-ownership lessons!
    The big question is if YOU want a dog. He is far, far, too young to have the first idea what is involved in dog ownership and the responsibility for taking on a dog rests firmly on your shoulders. Be under no illusions – it will be YOU who is dragging a moaning Finley out in the rain to walk the dog and YOU who has to pick the poo.
    Also, have you considered that the dog might possibly live on after Finn has left home? What if you want to really bump your interiors work back up again as he gets older… Will you feel tied by having to be around for the dog?
    If, after reading all of this you decide that you (and I do mean YOU) really do want a dog, then you need to borrow Scooby for a few weeks and see how quickly the novelty wears off (for you). If you are heartily relieved to hand him back at the end, then it's not for you.
    If, however, you love having a doggy to bits, then make your self WAIT three months while you see if you change your mind.
    If, then, you are sbsolutely certain, then start looking for a little doggy from a rescue centre. Puppies are cute (for a very short time) but also incontinent, bonkers and they chew everything. Also, you have no ideas what the adult character of that dog will be. There are lots and lots of lovely little doggies who, for a multitude of reasons, find themselves on life's scrapheap. Go and give a second chance to a little scrap of life from the rescue centre.
    Good luck! x

  27. I agree with Cyril.
    And I love that you use the words “heebie jeebies”… My mom used that term often. I will have to work it back into my old lady vocabulary.

  28. This is, in my opinion, a decision which almost ranks up with whether or not you want another child. They cost a ton of money and take a ton of time. I've adored all the dogs I've owned – but here's the other side of the coin: (not to be a crepe hanger, but…) part of being a good pet owner is making heart-rending decision such as; if the dog truly doesn't work out, you'd have to find another situation for him (and feel awful) If he gets hurt/sick you have to decide if you can pay hundreds (or thousands) of dollars in medical care and dig a really deep financial hole for yourself. Or at the end of even the happiest doggie life, 9 times out of 10, you need to take him to the vet and have him euthanized. When this happened to me last winter, I really went into a horrible period of grieving and second-guessing myself. I still get choked up when I think of it. I'm sorry to be a downer, but that's part of the big picture. I say stick with play dates with Scooby for now.

  29. Im with Alexa on this, get the DS and get Nintendogs. Its great for little kids as its so easy for them to use and it teaches them responsibility without there being an actual living dog involved if they get bored. My 5 year old son loved it.

  30. i have a hard time believing that you can satisfy a 5 year old dog craving with a nintendo…get the dog – there are sorts that don’t shed at all and if it’s small it shouldn’t be too much trouble. we have a golden retriever (big & sheddy) but the kids adore her! it makes the trouble seem worth it.

  31. I love dogs too but every time I think about having another one I notice the people picking up their doggy doos in a plastic bag and carrying it home. Yuk!

  32. We have had two Springer Spaniels and LOVED them so much–but in January, we were given a sweet little chihuahua (my boys call her a tea-huahua because her daddy was a teacup chihuahua) and I am amazed at how much *easier* she is to take care of!!
    It truly is more work to have a dog (cats are so independent!), but very worth it.
    Good luck deciding–I think he'll be happy with whatever he receives!
    :)Kat

  33. I have a darling little cockapoo with the sweetest temperament. She has never chewed away my house, very rarely has problems with doing her business in the house (well, there *was* those few times when she did so when we moved into our new house and the previous residents had a wee heathen of their own) and is an absolute joy to have around.
    Get Finlay a puppy. He is only a little boy once and every little boy needs a best friend…

  34. I have a darling little cockapoo with the sweetest temperament. She has never chewed away my house, very rarely has problems with doing her business in the house (well, there *was* those few times when she did so when we moved into our new house and the previous residents had a wee heathen of their own) and is an absolute joy to have around.
    Get Finlay a puppy. He is only a little boy once and every little boy needs a best friend…

  35. pets are a gift…a slobbering, loud, pain in ass gift!…I remember my dog that I received for my 5th birthday because my Daddy made me the same promise! I will never forget it. She was a joy in my life everyday, even when she was bad..Nothing teaches compassion, unconditional love and responsibility like a dog. I say get the dog (but find one that doesnt shed like I did)

  36. For what my fourpenneth is worth, I say (as a doubly neurotic, OCD afflicted house-keeping fiend!) that sometimes in life we have to relinquish the tiresome obligation to ‘think everything through’ to the enth degree, and just go with our hearts!
    I have an only child (daughter) and she has the DS and all the pet games you can imagine for it, but the only thing she loved with all her heart was her first cat, Mitch. He was her companion, her friend, her confident at bedtime and the object of her unconditional love and affection. He taught her responsibility, compassion and care. He turned out to also be the best thing that happened to the three of us as a family too – I was amazed at the capicity we all had to love this hair-shedding-all-over-my-house fur ball, and the calming and soothing affect a pet can have on us humans at times of stress or upset. He seemed to sense when you needed a snuggle the most. He sat on the windowsill waiting for his little girl to come home from school – heck, he even used to try and follow us to school and was still at the edge of the road crying for her when I walked back home! Sadly, he died at just 6 years old, and yes, it was the most traumatic time in our life when he did, but even that was a life lesson in itself. And you’d think I wouldn’t miss the cat food, and the hair, and the occasional dead animal (although I did train him NOT to catch birds with subliminal messages of “birds are our friends” – I’m only a bit mad, but it did work!) and the tie of having a pet when you want to go away – but you know what? Within two weeks grieving our beloved pet, we NEEDED another pet in our lives – he left a gaping void. We now have two cats (double trouble!) who we adore, and who doubly love my little girl and give her that added dimension of unconditional love and fun that only pets can provide. I know a dog is different, but the heart wants what the hearts wants..
    I agree that little Finley is only a child once, and that when we all look back on our childhoods, some of our most precious memories are of pets we loved and who loved us back, not computer games. Go for it, and embrace all that a pet adds to our lives (including the inconveniences – since when did we say no to stuff that was a pain in the arse sometimes???!) The joy will far outweigh the rest. You can always research some of the breeds suggested above for damage-limitation (no shedding, good temperament etc) or go to a rescue centre and let a dog choose you….
    It may be the best thing that you ever do – and just think of the added frippery potential! I’m thinking Cath Kidston floral pet beds (sale is on now!!!), diamante collars, baby scented nappy bags for picking up poo, and I adore the suggestion of vintage china as food bowls – another good excuse for trawling charity shops if ever I heard one! You can train any animal not to go on chairs or anywhere in the house you won’t allow and confine hairs to one place (a gorgeous blanket?!) and those sticky rollers are fab! And get pet insurance..
    Go for it – who wants our houses and our lives to be neat and perfect all the time anyway?!!

  37. As dogs are so much more work than cats (and smell a lot worse) then get a cat and tell your son that if he can look after the cat for six months you’ll buy him a dog. After a week or two you’ll have to take over looking after the cat that *you* wanted anyway.

  38. I solved this problem by enroling as a Dog Walker at our local RSPCA. This way, the kids get to choose a new dog every week to walk – we can get them as muddy as we like, and we dont have to wash them, feed them, or pay the Vets bill.

  39. I am a francophone from Canada, so excuse my poor style and spelling, but I can’t help urging you to re-read Ciryl Sneer and Mary Ellen’s comments again and again, and I can’t help begging you : don’t take any new animal unless you are ABSOLUTELY sure that YOU want one. Most people here say that you will end up taking care of it by yourself, and I agree.
    So many animals end up in shelters or on the street because of promises made by parents who didn’t really want them in the first place. In those cases, it would have been so much better to explain why the promise can’t be kept. And did you really promise anything?
    In my opinion, the idea of borrowing Scooby to see if your son will really take care of it (and explainig the deal to him)is the most safe and practical one for everyone.
    Also, I’m not sure that getting a video game or a cat (or another animal) is a good idea. Your son might keep on asking for a dog anyway and you might end up with a video game AND a cat AND a dog… That’s a lot of money spent and, from what I read, money can be an issue for you right now.
    Finally, I feel that if you really wanted an animal, you would have written about it long ago…
    P.-S. : People tell you that your son will only be a little boy once in his life, but remember that he will still be a little boy at 10, and he might be much more fit to take care of an animal at that age.

  40. Dogs are great for anyone. The trick to the matter is that you must make room in your life for the dog, which is NOT to be mistaken for fitting your dog into the existing spaces in your life (nor is it to be mistaken for letting your dog rule the roost). Dogs have habits and deal-breakers…just like people. You have to compromise and pick your battles with your dog and eventually the whole thing fits together just like a jigsaw puzzle. And I have no real advice for this…just that it takes time and if you “listen” to each other, it will work itself out.
    That said, the most practical advice I received when I wanted a dog is that mutts are generally more hearty, more healthy, and less high-maintenance than bred dogs.
    I vote dog…good luck!

  41. First up, I have a beagle who is lovely, sweet and adorable, HOWEVER,she is as dumb as a box of rocks and is just not getting the potty training. I read beagles are difficult to train and I’ve found it to be true. You can see her for yourself by visiting my blog….I also have 4 cats. I highly recommend getting the cat. Your son will love it, and so will you (of course!) and it will be less demanding than a dog and much easier to train, thus eliminating stress from your life, and adding instead, a soothing element (stroke, stroke, pat, pat, purr purr). Get yourself a Betty…Let us know what you decide. (I’ve warned you-don’t get a beagle….!)

  42. I have had the same struggle for the past couple of years! My youngest finally won and just a couple of weeks ago we rescued a small dog from our local shelter. This little dog is the perfect pet for our family. Dog hair is easier to control than cat hair, since dogs are not as prone to jump on kitchen counters or furniture, and you don’t have to have a litter box in the house. We read up on different breeds so we would kind of know what we were getting into, hunted the shelter for several months before we finally brought this little guy home. I love him just as much as my son does! Get a dog!!

  43. No help here. Something tells me I’m too something (tired, busy, lazy, selfish, uh… into other things) for a dog. We did get a cat… Sooo much easier to take care of… but we also had the Nintendo…. dunno baby.. I am sure you’ll make rhe right decision… and about the trial period? It might be fun, but then… trials aren’t reality…. I dunno all dogs are different anyway.. what would that prove? What does that teach Finley about relationship? I dunno… too many questions. You can trust your own heart. You know what is best. If it isn’t good for Alison, it might not be good for Finley….

  44. oh no, set your chin high and get the puppy for him, it will make a huge difference to him to know that in his little world promises ARE promises, just make it a smaller one…puppies and little boys are made for each other and he will remember that companion for his entire life.
    Maybe you can show him a litter of kittens and while he is besotted get him to change HIS mind and agree to accept the kitty friend instead…..I see that as the only way out.

  45. my husband still wishes he was allowed to have a dog, and is still dreaming about the day when we get a fence and he can have his dream childhood playmate. i think he’s already picked out his name.. lol!

  46. Oh, my. This is a major decision.
    Here, I think, are the principles and issues. You want to keep a promise, and you want to make Finlay happy.
    Getting a dog IS like getting another child. Major work, major mess, major time comittment, major expense, and only people who MUST love a child should get one. Same for a dog.
    What good will you do for Finn if every day you resent the work and expense of that dog?
    You can sit down and tell him the truth. Tell him your situation is different than when you said he could have a dog; tell him you haven't space–financial or emotional–for the dog. He may well be heartbroken for a few days, but I absolutely guarantee that he will recover. He will forgive you and he will still love you and one day, he will even understand.
    It will be far worse for him if you get a dog, find yourself driven to distraction and then need to place the dog elsewhere.
    Just really be honest with yourself. Embarking on dog ownership is not for the faint of heart.
    Susie

  47. There is a definite reason the little souls are called “man’s best friend”. A cat will make your gorgeous lavender smelling house (and possibly your nighty pillow!! FORBID!!) smell like fish-oil poo and/or yucky scent that is MUCH worse for the wear than a wet dog odor. Cats are the most lovely little fuzzy creatures to look at, but one can always SMELL a cat owner coming. Not too hot on the game systems, but that’s just because I am not addicted to them. That could easily change if I allow it.

  48. In other words….
    Dog, Yes. Cat, Noooooo.
    But I will still love you to bits if you choose a kitty.

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