>Standing My Ground… It Wasn’t Easy!


The idea for this post came from a chat with a friend; thanks Shawn!

My dog journey is a perfect example of the struggle to maintain balance in my life while trying to meet the needs of my family.

Sometime during the holiday break, my husband decided that our 7 year old had to have a dog right away. I’m not sure what sparked the urgent need for a dog, but my husband was relentless in getting this dog; like an angry pit bull, he sunk his teeth into the idea and would not let go. I think he latched on to the idea from watching our son interact with my cousin’s cat. Tailor is a typical busy little boy who cannot sit still. Other than outdoor activity, his DS game, or a movie, it’s difficult for him to sit still. GG, the cat, does the trick.

I love dogs and grew up with them, but, January is not the time to bring a puppy into our home. Trying to get my husband to understand this seemed like an impossible task.

My Argument:

I work outside the home, which limits my time. Hubby gets home a few hours after me. Immediately after work, I pick up our son from school, do the homework ritual, and take care of dinner, and so on. Our son isn’t responsible enough or mature enough yet to walk a dog out front or even in our fenced back yard with an in-ground pool, so I would have to go outside with him. Commercial Break: I am an extremely organized person who vigorously manages my time. I don’t like to be rushed or to be late and try to do all that’s humanly possible to avoid doing both. Going outside with Tailor would mean a serious delay on homework, dinner, dishes, his playtime, and my workout time. As of now, we’re just fitting it all in and soccer and football season hasn’t even started. If I sound selfish, sorry, but I won’t apologize; because I am determined not to sacrifice my wants and needs while taking care of my family. 
My Compromise:

Although I think we should wait until 2011, to preserve peace and harmony in our home, I could agree to get a puppy during the summer when I am not working. The summer is an ideal time for the entire family to become acquainted with our new family member. During the summer we have few time constraints. As a family, we can take our dog to obedience class and teach our son how to properly handle and walk the dog, and try to housebreak him as well. Taking on this incredible responsibility during the summer will be less stress on everyone including our puppy.

I am also open to the idea of adopting a dog from the human society. As a result of a loss of jobs by many pet owners, may dogs have been displaced and found themselves in animal shelters or euthanized. Getting an older dog would eliminate the process of housebreaking a puppy and saving a life.

I honestly thought that my argument and compromise were logical right? Well… all I can tell you is that my partner didn’t quite see it quite that way. I swear- this is how marriages end in divorce. During the course of a month’s time, the level of stress in our home intensified and everyday I was panicked at the thought of “Donovan” showing up on our door step. Yeah, that’s right. The name was already picked out and a darling picture of Donovan hung on the refrigerator and in our son’s room. A family friend even donated a crate and bed for the little bastard! I’m sorry, but in the end that’s how I was feeling. Honestly, I love dogs, but this dog wasn’t even in our home and was causing me to have heart palpitations. I questioned myself and wondered if I was being selfish. I sought advice from close friends and colleagues because I needed to know if I was off in my way of thinking. I was told that I was being fair and I needed that reassurance. Thanks guys for your support! Anyway, the icing cake for me was when I learned that a substantial deposit had already been made. Gee! Talk about pressure! Hold your ground Tanya….. Steady… I kept telling myself.  Commercial Break: You see, I think this is when we (women) usually just give in because, at this point, it’s the easy thing to do and giving in will take all the animosity and tension away. But in the end, if it’s not the right decision, in the long run, all that tension, animosity, and stress WILL definitely return with a VENGENCE!  I felt that bringing a puppy into our home before we were ready and before we had a daily plan, would be disastrous for all parties involved.

Anyway after going back and forth with my husband and continuing to reiterate my point, he decided that our marriage was more important than fighting over when to get a dog. It’s crazy because we both agreed that a dog would be good for our son and the family, but the question of when to get the dog was the dilemma. So I guess, by the end of January, the issue was resolved and… neither of dared to utter the word “DOG!” Even if it meant saying the phrase, “doggone it!” Yeah, I can laugh now, but didn’t think it was funny then.

Okay fast forward to March—today— You won’t believe this, but we’ve found a breeder in New York that we’re going to visit in the spring. Additionally, he’s agreed to visit a local animal shelter. We will check them out to decide if we will get a puppy or adopt an older dog during the summer. We are going to move forward slowly with this and hopefully, everything will work out. I will definitely keep you posted on our journey to finding our new family member.  Meanwhile, if you have tips, pointers, on owning a pet,  please share!  Thank you!  By the way, we like small dogs…   Yorkie’s, Shih Tzu’s, and Maltese’s.. we think…. still lots of homework to do.


2 thoughts on “>Standing My Ground… It Wasn’t Easy!

  1. >Tanya….again a great post. Thanks for sharing this story. We, as wives, women, girlfriends, and mothers have all struggled to find the balance between our individual needs and the needs of our families. You're so right, its almost innate for women to give in for the sake of peace when it seems there is no other way. There are times when we too must dig our heels in and stand our ground for the sake of long-term peace in our homes…not just peace for the moment.

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