AUTHOR: Carolyn Savage | POSTED: 05/17/16 12:53 PM
To dog or not to dog. That is the question…or the current argument going on in our house.
I’m not even sure how it all started but all of a sudden many members of our brood have puppy fever. Mary Kate especially. Well…and me. I have to honest about that one. I’m pining for a furry friend.
I talked about our current debate on air last week. Rick, the morning host at 101.5 The River, was flabbergasted that we didn’t have a dog. He has two. Marybeth, the other host, also has two. If you’re one of the many who listen every morning you know their dogs’names. They are frequent and favorite topics of morning bantor.
Honestly, when I really think about it, I’m actually surprised I’ve never pushed Sean for a dog. I grew up with dogs. Heidi was a lab. Bailey was a Golden. If you had asked me as a kid if I would have a dog as an adult there would have been no question. Doesn’t everybody have a dog?
It wasn’t until Sean and I were married that I realized I’d married a non-dog person. I distinctly remember where I was standing when the subject came up and he told me if we ever had a dog it would have to live outside.
Bailey practically lived in my room. The day Heidi died was probably one of the most traumatic moments of my childhood. Dogs can’t be banished to the yard. I thought Snoopy’s dog house was a concept of entertainment. Dogs live IN the house.
I think it was then that I dismissed the idea of ever having a pooch. I just couldn’t see making a dog live outside. And it was easy. I was working full time and I had no frame of reference for leaving a dog alone all day. My mom stayed home. My childhood pups were rarely alone.
Fast forward to now. Mary Kate loves animals. She spends 30 minutes each night watching clips on youtube…all about animals. A few months ago we tripped over a series of videos produced by Animal Planet called Dogs 101. Each video highlights a breed. As she and I watch every night I remembered how much my dogs meant to me. My parents brought Heidi home when I was one. I grew up with her. She was the sweetest, most gentle soul. I have memories of putting bows in her hair, and attempting to tie her to my Big Wheels yelling “Mush”!!! She wasn’t too keen on pulling me around but never once did she protest. Instead she was a constant companion who slept under my bed every night.
Bailey came to our family right after we moved from Michigan to Illinois. I was a sophomore in high school and as I’m sure you can imagine moving at that time in life was TOUGH. She was a Christmas present to my brothers and I and when my dad walked through the door with her we all cried. During a time in my life when friends were scarce and fears were high, Bailey was a welcome distraction. I remember the night I sat with her on my bed instead of going to a school dance. I didn’t have a date, but my movie partner lessened the blow.
My dad and I were recently talking about our dogs and he lamented. “Whenever one of you kids was having a rough moment you went to Bailey. She was our family’s comforter.”
It’s amazing how much stress disappears while snuggling a dog. I know a dog’s ability to relieve stress in people is a scientifically proven fact. I think those of us who have experienced it are blessed.
I’m still working on Sean. I’ve explained how good I think it would be for the kids. How having a pooch around might actually help diffuse some of the more fiery moments that some of our young ones occasionally experience. He’s worried about the chaos. I get that. Our lives are already pretty crazy.
So, I don’t know.
I’d love to hear your opinions. Stories about the gifts…or the headaches your dog brings to your family. Perhaps it’ll help one of us win this debate!