Making Plans to Get a Family Dogby Emma Longden
For as long as I can remember, our three children have been asking and asking for us to get a dog. It has become something they talk about together all the time, at one stage my daughter even started acting like a dog whilst out and about on walks, chasing after imaginary sticks and barking, that's how into having a dog she had become.
Obviously getting a pet, especially a dog, is a massive decision to make, and not one that my husband and I have reached without a lot of big discussions first. The first and biggest hurdle we have had to overcome is the fact that, for the past four years, we have been living in rented accommodation. Now in the process of buying our first house together, we feel that we are in a good position to be able to add another member to our family - this time a four-legged one.
We had originally looked into adopting a dog, but have come across a few obstacles and we are now looking into getting a puppy, to grow with our children. Our youngest has just turned four, so is now old enough to understand how to treat a dog and to understand what he can and cannot do, which was another big concern of ours, when looking at getting a dog for the first time a couple of years ago.
Having made the decision, we are now doing our research into which breed of dog to get, looking at the factors that are important to us, and making sure we are getting the right dog for our family and situation. Getting a family dog doesn't come without its hurdles; each of the children have their own ideas on what their dog will be like, including wanting to be the one to name them.
I think it's important to include the children in the process as much as possible, to make sure they feel involved and that it is their dog as well, but all the important choices will need to be made by us to ensure we don't make mistakes that could affect us or the dog negatively. We have discussed how our lifestyle will change once we have a dog and looked into the financial aspect, from initial costs down to the need to buy dog food alongside our shopping, and we are comfortable and confident in our decision and how it will impact us as a family.
Although it would be lovely to pick out our puppy as soon as we get the keys to our new house, it isn't feasible and we don't want to rush into anything. Instead, we will be getting settled and then adding to the family in the new year.
Getting a family dog is a big milestone, but with the right research, and once you are in a position to be able to offer a dog a home, it will be the best decision (I am told), and we cannot wait to welcome ours into our lives.