The Great Dog Debate

AUTHOR: | POSTED: May 17, 2016 | COMMENTS: 8 Comments
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Carolyn Savage

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.

Uh…say what?

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!

So...my BFF Tracy is fostering a Mama Schnauzer/Poodle mix and her five puppies for the Toledo Humane Society.  This is the runt.  Even Drew can't resist.

So…my BFF, Tracy,is fostering a Mama Schnauzer/Poodle mix and her five puppies for the Toledo Humane Society. This is the runt. Even Drew can’t resist.

8 Comments on “ The Great Dog Debate ”

  • susan | May 17th, 2016 1:03 pm

    Hello. I have never posted before to you, but have been enjoying watching your beautiful family. Dogs. Tough one. I lost my dog 2 years ago and still miss him. I watch other peoples dogs for them – I am known as the dog-sitter. Two things happen, I get my fix of having a dog around and all the fun they bring. Then they leave and I clean up for a week and I thank God that I don’t have a dog anymore. So my advice is – take a dog in for a week. When the dog leaves you will either love that the dog is gone or know to go get a dog! Good Luck.

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  • Jackie | May 17th, 2016 1:16 pm

    I don’t know which is handsomer, that dog or your son!

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  • Jackie | May 17th, 2016 1:17 pm

    I don’t know which is handsomer, the dog or your son!

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  • Adriana Reyes | May 17th, 2016 1:34 pm

    I cannot imagine life without a dog. When I was little we always had 2 dogs, I didn’t have friends close-by and they were my playmates after school, they taught me what unconditional love is. Now that I have 2 kids we have 2 dogs again and they have learned things I tried to teach them but they wouldn’t quite get (responsibility towards other being, love for any living thing in this planet, tenderness, and so much more!)… and yes, dogs live inside the house!! 🙂

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  • Jill | May 17th, 2016 1:55 pm

    Yep, get a dog. Your kids will be thrilled and it will get lots of love. Make them help with the care and they will learn the responsibility that goes along with a pet. Any allergy issues that would affect Nicholas?
    Have fun! Goldens and Labs are wonderful!

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  • April | May 17th, 2016 8:19 pm

    What about getting a cat instead? Less work, can be left alone for long periods of time, smaller, no poop to step in in the yard and if you get two they are fun to watch playing.

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  • Delia James | May 18th, 2016 3:27 pm

    We have 3 dogs. And 5 kids. Our Boston Terrier is 7 years old and we have 2 rescue pups who are a year old that we adopted last Spring. I cannot imagine not having our dogs. They make our house crazy sometimes but they also fill it with love and laughter and the kind of chaos that makes you look around, shake your head, and think “what a wonderful life”. The kids have learned so much responsibility from having the dogs- they are in charge of feeding them twice a day, giving them fresh water throughout the day, poop scooping in the yard…those have been important lessons for our kids. I never thought I was a dog person (I always said we got the dogs for the kids) until recently when I realized I planned our summer vacation around how long we’d have to be away from the pups. I guess I am a dog person 🙂

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  • Jill | May 25th, 2016 5:09 pm

    A week later, what is the dog update status?

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