March 20, 2013

Think your kids are ready for a dog? Why not borrow one first?

My friend Sara and her husband think it might be time to get a dog. Both have owned dogs in the past, but that was before kids. Choosing to adopt is a family affair and everyone in the household needs to be involved and on the same page. Too many families rush into the decision, and I've wondered: Why not take dog ownership on for a test drive, first?

Fostering has its fringe benefits, and I was happy to host dog 101. Sara and the kids came over a few times to hang out with our pups. Having them meet Smokey, the lovely lady puppies Nutella and Cookie, Relay of course, even inviting Julia and Dante over as well, all that gave them a chance to toe the waters. Both the kids were intrigued.

Next up was a home visit my little ambassador. Sara took Relay home for a few days while Jeff had Navy responsibilities and I was up visiting family in New Jersey. Here are some very cute shots of the youngest enjoying the new addition. Unfortunately, one day he had to stay home from school because of a fever. Nurse Relay kept him company until he felt better.

Overall it was a success. Relay is a great dog to practice with and made the visit pretty easy. At 43 pounds, however, the oldest thinks he's just too big and it was clear he'd be more comfortable with a smaller dog. The household as a whole is also pretty laid back, so a low energy easy going dog is ideal. The boys helped feed, walk, and take care of Relay and Sara feels more confident that their family is ready.

I think from now on anyone thinking of adding a pet to the family should do a test run first. Too many dogs are surrendered because of unknown allergies, people unprepared for the responsibility and lifestyle adjustments, etc. Just borrow a poochie and take it for a test drive. What do you think? Would you loan out your pup?


I don't think I would loan out Blueberry. She's a pretty easy dog to care for, but I would miss her too much. I think a test drive is a fine way to test the waters, however, most people give up on their dogs 6 months or a year later when it becomes "old" to take care of them. So while most anyone can get excited about a dog for the first few months, it's not an indicator of how things will be for the long haul.

Yup, not about to loan out my pup for 6 months, lol. I just want to curb the impulse buy. I recently had to help place a dog into rescue that this woman had picked up off craigslist two days prior. She bought the dog and found out quickly that her husband had no patience for a puppy. There was so much wrong with that situation, but I'm glad to say the pup will find a forever home soon.

Though I wouldn't be up for loaning my dogs out to anyone... I think its a great idea for someone to foster if they're working with a good rescue staff that can be supportive.

how nice puppy slipping with the boy.awesome!!!

puppies and dogs directory

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