At the height of of our family's pet ownership, at one time we had one horse, twenty-six chickens, five cats, one dog, two fish, and one turtle. I know the work that goes into pets. Pets come and go in most families and there is great value in that. They teach so much- responsibility, kindness, compassion, love.
It had become easy for me to have a romantic view of having pets. Our three outdoor cats and one turtle got fed once a day. Besides a monthly bowl and tank washing, there is nothing else that has to be done for them.
But then, I wanted a dog.
Because of changes in our neighborhood, we really felt like we can't have an outdoor dog. So our dog needed to fit specific criteria for our family - not too big for the house but not small and yappy, doesn't shed too much, and never ever be aggressive to children.
We've been in love with several breeds over the past year and convinced at one time or another that's the kind we should get. We've also committed to never get a dog if it has certain breeds. I was afraid to go to a shelter to look at dogs because I might have chosen one out of emotion.
The first week after Ray's graduation, he started looking at ads and making calls to shelters and dog adoption agencies. He searched high and low and made many calls to get the right one for us. Well he did the unthinkable. He stopped by the humane society.
There were a few days, okay a few weeks, that I didn't think we would make it. I told Ray more than once to take him back or call a friend who had offered to take him if we couldn't do it. (I forgot to mention that I've been afraid of dogs for most of my life, especially big ones, and Chihuahuas, and dogs that bite, and growl.)
But then I got hooked.
He came to us house trained - huge bonus! Our friend hired a trainer who comes to our house once a week for a few weeks - another bonus. We are figuring out how to keep his hair under control - much better help. And as of today, he would rather lay in his crate than anywhere else in the house - sold. I guess Gunner is a part of the family.