My wife isn’t a dog person. So when our daughter started asking for a dog several years ago, my wife politely declined her requests and we didn’t give it as much as a second thought.
My daughter, though, shares some of my wife’s
stubbornness persistence, so she continued to ask for a dog repeatedly for several years. Still, we gave these requests about as much consideration as my son’s requests to play Fortnite on a school night.
But Something Changed
But then a couple of things happened that made us, or really my wife, take a closer look at things.
First, we went to my daughter’s parent-teacher conferences. During the discussion, the teacher handed us a series of essays and projects from the semester gone by. The first one was, of course, an essay about how my daughter wanted a dog.
The second was a fictional story … about her imaginary dog.
The third was a whimsical piece about where she would like to go on vacation: Dogville.
After a while, it became pretty apparent to everyone in the room that my daughter genuinely wanted a dog and was not giving up on this anytime soon.
Whatever. My wife is not so easily defeated.
A few days later, my daughter ate some shrimp and had an allergic reaction. We took her to the allergist where they did the standard test to see all the things she was allergic to.
We got the results and in addition to shellfish, she was apparently somewhat allergic to dogs. She immediately started crying. Hard tears. “This Is Us” tears. And then she texted some friends and family that her dream of getting a dog was crushed.
My wife and I settled her down a bit, and assured her that even though she was mildly allergic, some dogs were hypoallergenic and she could probably still get a dog. That seemed to help console her.
It was then that my wife and I came to the realization that our daughter wasn’t just messing around here – she really, genuinely wanted a dog. And it was time to break down and make that happen.
Bringing her home
Things came together quickly after that. But before we brought our new dog home, my wife sternly warned us that she was not going to be the one to take care of and clean up after the dog, like she does with everything else around the house.
We were going to have to look after of our dog. Fine, we said. Glad to do it.
We welcomed our mini Goldendoodle into the family right around Christmas. We named her Goldy given her breed and our family’s adoration of Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt.
Unlike Paul Goldschmidt, our Goldy weighed about 3 pounds when we got her, and she peed everywhere and used her teeth a bit much for our taste.
But other than that, she was perfect. My son literally cried tears of joy that first time Goldy came in the house and we all sat in a circle and introduced ourselves to her.
Even my wife was on board. But that didn’t stop my wife from holding true to her word, telling me and the kids that “your dog” needed to go outside, or “your dog” needed to be fed. We gladly handled the mothering of Goldy – but we weren’t as good at it as a real mom.
For example, Goldy wasn’t a big fan of being brushed. Being a dad and kids, our solution to that problem was to just not brush her.
This had a fairly quick and disastrous consequence. When I went to pick up Goldy from the groomer, I asked the gal at the front desk for Goldy, to which she replied, “you don’t brush your dog, do you?”
Umm, not as much as I’d like, why do you ask? Well, she explained that Goldy’s breed tends to develop knots if you don’t brush them, and Goldy had a lot of knots, so many that they had to give her a buzzcut.
Our adorable ball of love turned into something resembling a movie villain rat.
We brush Goldy’s hair now. Or at least we will if it ever grows back.
If you have a dog, you know how this story ends. My tough-talking wife gradually fell in love with Goldy. And Goldy fell in love with her.
Now, every evening, Goldy walks over to my wife on the couch, puts her front paws up and my wife lifts her up and Goldy cuddles on her lap. This can last a couple of hours, and my wife complains that her legs are falling asleep or that her feet hurt from not moving for so long.
But these complaints are pretty similar to how she “complains” about having to follow our kids around to all of their 142 activities every weekend. She wouldn’t have it any other way.
Of course, it’s not just my wife who loves Goldy. We all do. There are so many things about that dog that absolutely brighten your life, highlighted by how she nearly bursts with affection when you come home or when she first sees you in the morning.
She’s really just a part of the family, except for when she’s chasing her own tail, trying to eat garbage, or cleaning various parts of her own body. Of course, if we’re going to start judging family members based on their hygiene and awareness, half of us humans are on pretty thin ice.
From the moment Goldy came into our house, it seemed ridiculous that we didn’t have a dog before then. It was long past time to break down and get a dog.
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