Things to consider when getting a family dog

Filed under: Just For Moms

I adopted my dog, Jordi, in 2002, long before I had even fathomed the thought of ever having a family. I actually went to the shelter to look at Jordi's brother Bosco, an adorable black-eared mutt with huge eyes that called to me beseechingly through the Internet. But when I got there, Jordi had other plans. He was so strangely homely, I felt sorry for him. Tragically, he looked more like a demented rabbit than a dog and he would not leave me alone, swatting my leg lightly and peering at me straight in the eyes, odd head cocked as I tried to play with his brother. In the end, he decided I was his Dog Mama and I was not really consulted in the matter. Bosco was cute but Jordi had tenacity. Who knew that's the way that it works?

Fast forward five years. I am moving into a new home with a two year old and a massive white dog. Carpets do not mingle well with toddlers, so I installed hardwood, but now I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place for floor mats to protect them. A white carpet would be covered instantaneously with banana mash and unintentional raspberry purees, missed toilet opportunities and crushed cheerios. An anything-but-white carpet would be streaked and matted with the dozens of blankets in off-white fur that Jordi sheds madly everyday.

So, my unsolicited advice to families considering making an emotion-based decision when buying a family dog:
1) Make sure he isn't going to shed madly. Stay far, far away from animal rescue foundation dogs who are part husky, part shepherd, and maybe part coyote.
2) Ensure you place so money aside for future dog dentist bills because - man, that breath will blow your socks off during hot summer weather five years from now.
3) Research temperament and whether that breed of dogs is known for its tolerance of kids.
4) Black fur? Never wear white again. White fur? Be prepared to throw out every black item in your wardrobe from now to eternity.
5) How about that shedding?

**Edited to add**

For the love of all things holy, this was meant to be tongue in cheek. My dog is a furry second-son, and my own son's best friend. I wouldn't trade him in for his brother, for money, or even for a million Lindt balls. We love Jordi to pieces and couldn't imagine life without him. For real.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.