Thursday, May 31, 2012

Getting a Dog?

My younger son has recently renewed his plea for a dog.  DH is allergic and I'm not sure that I want to add more tasks to my list of things to do (and we all know that much of the work of having a dog would, inevitably, fall to me).  But my son's list of reasons for a dog are compelling:
  • We can get a kind of dog, like a Yorkie or a Labradoodle, that is considered hypoallergenic.
  • A dog would teach him responsibility.
  • It would bring him away from the tv and the xbox (DH and I are always harping that he spends too much time in front of various electronic screens).
  • It would make him get more exercise.
  • A dog would be enteraining.
  • Dogs bring people joy.
  • It would teach him to raise something.
  • Walking a dog would be one more reason to go out and see friends.
  • It would make him work.
  • It would make him braver.
  • Dogs provide protection.
  • Dogs help relieve stress.
  • It would make him happy.
So how can I be sure that he's really ready for a dog?  Here are a few ideas:
  • Have him volunteer to walk one of our neighbor's dogs for a week or so to see how it goes.
  • Have him read up on the subject, perhaps downloading a book like The Complete Healthy Dog Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Keeping Your Pet Happy, Healthy & Active.
  • Have him talk with an experienced dog owner (like my sister) to help him consider everything involved in owning a dog.
  • Check to make sure that he's not allergic (since his father is).
  • Make sure he agrees to our house rules for the dog: it wouldn't be allowed on furniture; in master bedroom; would sleep in YS's room; would have to be well-trained to listen, not jump up, etc.
We might want to deal with DH's allergies by getting at least one additional air purifier.  Options include: http://www.sharperimage.com/si/view/product/Filterless-Silent-Air-Purifier---650-Sq-Feet/200163?trail= and others listed at http://www.sharperimage.com/si/view/category/Air-Purifier-Comparison/100325?mainCatId=&hideSearchResultMessage=true.

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