The great dog debate

For the past year Dave has tried to convince me to get a dog. I dated Dave for 3 years and thought for sure I had initiated all the right conversations to ensure compatibility before marriage. I asked the important things like:

"Do you want kids?"
"Do you expect me to do your laundry?"
"Even though you personally don't support ABC's 'The Bachelor' are you willing to turn the TV over to me each Monday night between 8 and 10pm?"

Somehow the elusive pet conversation never came up in our courtship. I didn't have a pet. He didn't have a pet. You would have thought if he felt strongly about dogs he would have had one when I met him. And I definitely do NOT remember my young women's leader ever suggesting I discuss dogs with a future mate. They really should update that manual.

The first year and a half of our marriage was blissfully free of pet debates. I blame Dave's (somewhat) recent dog desire on two things.

First off, these two aren't helping any:

Of Dave's 4 siblings, only 1 used to have a dog. But in the past few months the other 3 have picked one up (2 of which are pictured above.) Unfortunately these dogs are quite friendly and cute, weakening my resolve and strengthening Dave's position.

The other problem is we live in some sort of dog wonderland. Everyone, and I mean everyone in our neighborhood owns a dog. If you invite a friend over for dinner and tell them to "bring the family" be prepared to set a place at the table for a dog. As newly weds when we started attending the family ward the question of pressure from our peers was not "so...when are you going to start a family?" but instead "you don't have a dog? oh. hm. that's interesting. well...are you going to get one?"

Dave says yes. I say no.

My problem is in the absence of knowing this hypothetical dog (which I most likely would fall deeply in love with) all I can see is the negative:
  • Our beautiful 1920 woods floors covered is scratch marks
  • Our savings decline with each new vet bill and purchase of dog food
  • Me trailing a dog with a plastic bag, so I can pick up its warm, mushy poo and carry the stinky treasure until I can locate a trash can. Or worse yet, me running out of plastic bags and not knowing what to do with the latest treasure. Do I kick dirt over it & run?
  • Never going on vacation ever again, unless you count a dog park as a vacation
  • The lawn that Dave won't even let me WALK on, dead & dug up
  • My dog charging some poor terrified child, and becoming the person who yells out "don't worry - my dog is nice!"
  • Drool marks & dog hair, everywhere
  • The fear in my sister's eye as she relives the 3 unlucky times she was bit by a dog
  • Never seeing my families mountain retreat again as it is strictly a "no pet zone"
  • Dealing with horrific allergies I never knew I had
  • Sophie's choice. Do we spend $6,000 for a surgery that will hopefully extend little Sparky's life? Or do we sentence the poor little creature to death.

Am I being over dramatic? When I bring up these concerns, Dave replies "yea, but it will be fun!"

How do I argue with that?

Then in rebuttal he sends me email after email with pictures of puppies (like the one pictured below) with subject lines like "why don't you love me?"

He is totally fighting dirty.

So my friends what should I do? Should I buckle or stand strong? There is no option for compromise here.


Christina said...

Haha! That dog is pretty adorable. I won't officially take sides or Dave will be mad at me... :) After having a child, I've realized that owning dogs is a good prep course. Not being able to do anything ever again without stressing about, "we can't be gone longer than a couple hours." If I'm gone for the day, Jared will take off work a few hours early to make sure the dogs get outside and get some attention. Oh how I could go on for pages and pages... Are you allergic to dogs???

TippettsFam said...

don't do it. i say enjoy your freedom while you can (before you have kids). then again i've never had a dog so maybe i'm just completly clueless and totally missing out on the cute, slobbery suckers.... (sorry dave)

sara said...

just have a baby. same benefit (unconditional love) but it will for sure be welcome in the mountains. i have one (a baby) you can borrow if you want practice.

ESL Teacher said...

How did you miss that in your courtship??? That was right before you ask if they want kids? We covered the pet issue throughly and that is how I knew he was the right one for me!!

It sounds like you are in deep (pun intended towards those plastic bags you are going to be carrying around for the rest of your life if you give in).

Stand strong! Those are all valid arguments. Somewhere in this dog issue has caught hold of Dave's adolescent brain cells and his adult brain cells are ignoring all of the mature arguments you are presenting. You have to be the adult in his momentary lapse and stand firm! He will thank you in the long run.

M-Ann said...

Don't do it! Soon enough you will have plenty of creatures piddling on your floor. Plus - dog hair, dog smell, crotch sniffing, poop, and did I mention smell?! Stay strong.

madschill said...

we're thrilled to have a picture of fritz featured on your blog. I know all the downsides, but its been really great to have a cute little guy follow me around the house and he slept through the night from the day we brought him home-how many new mothers can say that?

Darcie said...

Xnay on the dogsnay! I expect you to hold your ground on this one. I agree 144% with every con on your list. As far as Dave's "fun" rebuttle, I agree with that too, but only about 64%. So my vote is to keep your household unscratched, odorless, and hair-free.

dave said...

There is a reason they call dogs "mans best friend" not "womans best friend". Really, I would expect any of the ladies to understand anyway.

dave said...

I meant to say - I wouldn't expect any of the ladies to understand anyway.

Angela said...

I'm in Sara's ward, and found her/your site through Design Mom. I had to weigh in here, cause I'm a lady and I DO love my dog. It all depends on the dog, really. I was against it from the start, and somehow was convinced by my husband to get a yellow lab when I was 6 months pregnant with my second baby. My husband put in the time training her from the start, and the chewing and wetting lasted only a short time. She is now the best dog EVER! She is a playmate to my two kids, and she is so fun to have around. She listens AMAZINGLY well. People who don't normally like dogs always end up loving our Mika. So... if you do decide to do it, spend the time training her from the start and you will be so glad to have a new member of the family. :)

Ashley said...

There really is only one pro to getting your own dog... and that is if you get a bulldog like ours then you can have your own little wrinkle that walks! Really though besides the constant smell of pee, waking up every three hours to take him outside, and the puppy bites that could take a toe right off, they are well worth it!! Don't back down Dave, remember every true man has there own dog, and if you have any more trouble rent the following movies for Carrie.
1. Where the red firn grows
2. Homeward Bound
3.Tuner and Hooch
4. Lassie
5. Old Yellar (my person fav)
6. Little Rascals (the old school version)
Posted by J.D. Westphal

carrie said...

JD you are totally cracking me up. Although I really don't think Red Fern is the best sales pitch for picking up a dog. A story about the devastation of losing a beloved pet? WHAT? Unless your angle was the "hey, don't stress about getting a dog b/c there is a good chance it will die."

Thanks all for your comments. It is good to know I'm not just a total wet rag & that most share my same concerns.

Angela it was good to get your insight. Most people I talk to either wanted a dog & got one, or didn't want a dog & don't have one. It was good to hear that some times people who didn’t want to buy the dog actually end up glad they did! I agree that training is probably the key. If only we knew how to train a dog. Maybe we could get Oprah to help out...I'm sure she would be interested in helping a random middle class white couple with no kids or major tragedies.

Chris said...

I just want you to know that I am really offended that there is not a picture of Danny on your blog. In fact he wasn't even mentioned by name despite being everyone's favorite dog (even the little kids he terrifies after they stop crying).

I also want you to know that I don't buy a single one of your arguments against a dog. You know that you dog would have an open invitation at our house anytime you want to go on one of your many vacations. I'm sure your new dog and Danny will be best friends.

Plus you get used to dog hair. In fact after a while food just doesn't taste the same without it.

I have to admit I had many of the same thoughts before getting a dog but as you know I now have as many pictures of Danny hanging in my house as I do of my kids. They grow on you.

So basically what i am saying is stop torturing the poor guy and get him a dog.