I like dogs. I grew up with them, poured my teen angst into their fur, and cried when they died (one of diabetes, one in an accident, and two of old age). But I've always said our house would be canine-free until I had at least three kids old enough to walk a dog. That's because I have enough to pick up around here already; I'm not adding dog poop to my list.
Big Guy has wanted a dog for years. At his old school -- the awful one -- one of the few spots of light was a dog named Dilly. Dilly was so helpful in getting Big Guy to regulate his feelings that we eventually arranged to have visits with her worked into Big Guy's schedule. At his new school Big Guy talked about Dilly so much that by mid-year the social workers had convinced the administration to acquire several dogs.Now every kid at that school who wants to gets to visit with a dog once a week. It's a good thing.
We've been contemplating getting Big Guy a dog, so Jojo is our trial run. Here he is:
I think he's a Bichon Frise. He's small and likes to sit on your lap, aloof but cuddly, like a cat that barks when someone comes to the door. Jojo thinks I'm the alpha male, which is amusing and mildly gratifying; at least someone listens to me now!
I've been pleasantly surprised at how easily Jojo has become part of the family. Big Guy has been getting up 20 minutes earlier (not easy for him!) to walk the dog before school, and has taken Jojo up to the dog run for half an hour each evening. One of the girls usually walks Jojo after lunch. I've had to feed him a couple of times, establish house rules, and monitor the younger kids when they get overly affectionate. But it hasn't been hard, especially relative to the peace of having a comfort animal around. We will be sad when it's time for him to go.
Maybe it's time to get a dog of our own. Not a puppy. A dog.
Ears: 8cm long, 5 1/2cm wide.
Legs: 23 cm
Tail: 20 cm
Waist: 40 cm
Weight: 13.8 pounds
* as measured by Little Guy, as part of his schoolwork for today.