Okay. So the guinea pig died. And we replaced it, with...you guessed it...a dog. We tried to get another piggie, but we were informed that our boy piggie would not like another boy in his house (evidently they live alone with a harem in the wild) and that a girl piggie would, well, you know what would be the problem there. And we didn't want to get the piggie fixed. My son downright refused to entertain the idea, and Mommy and Daddy thought it would be too much trouble. So we got a dog. Hmmmmm. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
If you are, (and you probably are), you are right. A dog is a lot more hassle than fixing a piggie! We got a shelter dog who is about a year old. Old enough to have learned a few things, but young enough to have some "issues" to work through. Despite reassurances to the contrary, Charlie has some housebreaking to work on, seems to possess some major separation anxiety (and who wouldn't after being abandoned, then losing your foster family), and has latched on to me in a serious way as his alpha dog. A lot of work indeed.
But at least one thing makes it worth it. I asked my son Elijah the other day if he liked having a dog around. "Yes," he replied. "Our family feels complete." Wow. I knew he had wanted a dog, but his comment surprised me. But I thought back to my own childhood. I had outdoor dogs (my dad hated indoor pets), and I remember the names of each one still. I remember lying in the grass with one dog in particular, Brownie (my favorite). I told him things that I told no one else. We were pals. Watching my son and daughter play with Charlie, I'm reminded of those days when I needed someone to cuddle, who didn't care if I broke the kitchen plate or made a mess in my room. Someone you can call Charlie-Boy and not be worried about whether it's cool or not to show love. Maybe every kid needs a dog.