Ok so apparently when you get a house with a big yard, it follows on that you should get a big dog. For “killer presence” and protection. Well I don’t know much about that theory anymore, because criminals have all sorts of evil ways to get to you if they have to, dog or no dog. But of course, we go on the hope that the dog will sound the alarm by creating a raucous, alert the family in the home, who will then push the panic button, right? Right. But what if you have a yapper who just likes to bark? We had one of those growing up. Then it almost becomes like Peter and the Wolf, and eventually you don’t even turn in your sleep when you hear your dog barking. Anyway, I digress.
Besides having a dog for watch-dog purposes, I’ve always said that I’d like the kids to grow up with a dog(s). Growing up, we had Scamp. He was a lovely dog with a calm temperament, I think he was a cross between an Alsatian and a German Shepherd. He was part of the family, and we all had chores around Scamp’s requirements – feeding, washing and caring for him. We had Scamp until he was an old dog and eventually we had to have him put down because he was so sick and became quite aggressive with the small kids, probably due to his pain and old age, he just didn’t feel like playing anymore. Back in those days (not sure if they still do it) the Vet would come and collect your sick dog and I remember how my siblings and I cried big sad tears when they came to fetch him, to have him put down. Shortly before Scamp got sick, we got Lady – we used to call them Lady and the Scamp, get it? Ha! She was a cute black poodle and whereas Scamp was big and strong, she was cute and cuddly. We also had her for years, and I think when she died, my mom buried her amongst her flowers in the garden. Can’t remember, I must verify that story! We also had Husky for a short while who we acquired from my aunt and uncle who were moving house and couldn’t keep him. He was beautiful too. Lastly we had Toto, who my parents still had until they had to downsize and move out of their home last year. She is a cute pug-nosed looking dog who now lives with my mom’s old neighbour. Anyway, the reason for that dog family tree history is to show that I know about dogs, I grew up with dogs, so this dog debacle shouldn’t really be an issue right? I would have liked the kids to be a bit older, so that they could get involved with caring and cleaning up after their dog. I would have wanted them to be at an age to understand the responsibility, but we need a dog kinda now.
I know what responsibility comes with having a pet and I just don’t know if I’m ready to take on that all by myself right now. We would obviously get a puppy who would grow with the kids so that they’d get used to each other and love each other, and become possessive of each other – it’s beautiful to see. However, caring for a puppy is pretty much the same as having another baby in the house, it’s needy and whiny and demands attention and needs to eat every few hours and wants to be loved. I get tired just thinking about it! I know that the kids are too young to get involved in any way, besides playing with the pup, so I know that this would be all on me. Hubby is too busy doing things around his new domain to be worried about a puppy (although I know how dogs grow on every member of the family, so I’ll give him time) so I know that this little pup will be like my third child. But I have to step up and take one for the team, but I swear I will not be picking up poop. Liam and his father are quite able to do at least THAT.
We have been looking at different breeds… the husband wanted a Rottweiler which I vetoed. I don’t know much about the breed, but they just look too mean and nasty for a family with small kids. Of course I wanted something cute and fluffy who could yap a lot – I mean you don’t want your dog to attack people, you just want it to create a stir, right? That idea was vetoed by the husband. We’ve discussed Labradors, Golden Retrievers and the like. Then while we were in Mozambique, hubby and I took a walk along the beach and there was this family with two small kids. The kids were building sand castles, the mom was reading and the dad was laying next to her watching the kids and they had this beautiful golden brown Boxer, sitting on his haunches and watching over the family. Every time the kid got up to run to the water’s edge to fetch a bucketful of water, the dog perked up and followed her with his eyes. When the kid was safely back, the dog moved his attention elsewhere. He just had this presence about him – he looked big and strong, but like he could be gentle and loving with the kids. And right there, we decided on a Boxer.
I haven’t started doing any research myself, and I don’t know much about the breed, but this will be my next pet project (excuse the pun) once we are settled and unpacked in our new house. What dog(s) do you have or do you like? What’s your recommendation for a good family dog? What do you think of Boxers?
All images courtesy of Google Images.