I have always had a pet. I was born into a family that had a dog. An Old English Sheep dog named Laddie. Soon after, as is the popular tale, a cat wondered into our lives. Her name was Meow Meow. I know, such creative names. I was too young to have a say.
As those animals passed from this life, they were eventually replaced by new pets. So sensitive of us. Eventually as I was taking my adulthood for a test drive (that sounded much worse then I meant it), I got my own dog to take care of.
A black Lab I named Flanders. She was an incredible dog. I couldn’t ask for more. Even though like most labs she was obsessed with food, and I had to contact poison control on numerous occasions for all the crazy things she ate; an extra large bottle of Tums, two pounds of granola, a huge jar of Hersey’s kisses, aluminum foil included, she was still the perfect companion. The true definition of man’s best friend.
Two years ago, Flanders left us to join that large dog park in the sky. It took about a year for that feeling of loss to dull enough to even entertain getting a new dog, but it came and it has grown stronger with every day.
But now that I’m an adult, an immature adult, I still have adult responsibilities. People who count on me and time that’s shared. It has made getting a puppy a more complicated decision.
Ok, so we are getting one. I want to have a dog in my life. It’s good for the boys as they grow older. Its a great tool to help them learn responsibility, care and giving. Sometimes kids struggle with not being able to look past themselves. Having a pet to care for can help give them an experience of giving. So we are doing it.
But that leads into a more complex question. Where to get a new pup? My conscious tells me to rescue a dog in need. My experience tells me “you’re not going to get a better dog than a lab”. I honestly don’t know what to do. Maybe we should start off with a cat? I just threw up in my mouth.