The inevitable question, "Mom, can we have a dog?" has at last been uttered - with increasing frequency.
We had a dog. But his glaucoma and stiffness from arthritis meant he wasn't the companion for kids he used to be. Walking into a tossed aside toy led to yelps of alarm and pain. So, Jay Jay, my lovely American Eskimo who'd guarded my house while in college and laid next to me as I nursed both my children, went to grandma's house. Luckily, grandma had another dog to be his friend. And no toys to trip over.
So now in a new neighborhood known for coyotes, pack rats and hawks, we're looking for a furry family friend. I'm thinking big this time: Bernese Mountain dog or perhaps a Great Pyrenese.
But I'm the one who will have to walk the dog, clean up after the dog and buy the mountain of food such dogs require. Makes me think a toy poodle is sounding better and better. Problem is, I think a dog should be big enough for kids to flop on. That's what I loved best about our dogs growing up: wrestling on the floor.
As I watch the rescue sites and the SPCA for a good candidate, I am conflicted. What dog will be best for our family?