Thursday, July 22, 2010


At last, I have her where I want her.

When my older child wants something, she's very clear about it. Her latest "thing" is dogs. Everything about dogs. Her room is decorated with thousands of stuffed puppies, ceramic puppies, pictures of puppies...there's even paw prints neatly painted on her bookshelves (very tastefully, I must say). This week, she's going to "camp" at Animal Friends, the local no-kill shelter. There, she's being immersed in puppydom. And it's getting to be a dangerous thing.

If you've been following my rants, you know we already have a dog. A crazy nutbag, neurotic, chew-up-everything-in-sight-if-you-leave-me-alone-for-more-than-38-seconds dog. So, naturally, she wants a second dog.

Each day she's come home not only telling us what she's learned about dogs that day (today we learned the term "hybrid dog!") but also about the latest little cutie that she absolutely must have. Trouble is, it's not just her saying, "oh, she's so cute, I MUST have her!". No, instead, she comes with justification, explaining the numerous reasons why it would really be beneficial to have a second dog:

1. It would help with Daisy's anxiety and attachment issues.
2. Daisy would have a buddy.
3. It's not like it would be TWICE as expensive to have two dogs (really?).
4. Daisy would play with the dog while we were gone and stop chewing things.

Hmm, well, frankly a couple of those items DO make sense. However, as the person who does 90% of the walking, feeding, mess cleanup and paying for, as well as 100% of the poop cleanup in the yard, I ain't too interested in doubling my efforts.

Naturally, my almost-ten-year-old declared she would step up to the plate and help with all that. I asked, "even poop cleanup?"

Of course, she replied with "eww...gross!"

I told her that's what it's going to take for me to even CONSIDER a second dog. She then declared that, yes, she'd help.

I tried to make her feel better about it by explaining that if you leave the poop in the yard a couple of days, it hardens like a rock and is easier to pick up. For some reason that didn't make her feel better.

This evening she and I walked Daisy together, and she continued to spout out facts about why it would be good to have another dog, a boy dog, one Daisy could be buddies with, one that would distract her, keep her busy, and she would certainly help more with the feeding and care, and yes, she'd even help clean the poop....

And right then and there, Daisy left a deposit in the neighbor's yard. So with a wide smile, I handed my daughter the little plastic bag.

She replied with, "what, now?"

"Yup, if you even want me to CONSIDER IT..."


But she did it. Arms extended, holding her nose the entire way back. But she did it.

Upon our return, we walked into the basement and was reminded of the massive pile of cardboard boxes, destined for recycling, that Daisy turned into confetti all over the basement floor. The pile that's been sitting there for two weeks.

She's downstairs cleaning it now, as I write this.

Ah, a classic parenting moment. I wonder how long I can milk this?

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