The Perfect Dog


The other night I woke up to the sound of whimpering coming from somewhere out of the darkness. I glanced at the clock and it was 2:55 am and then I tried to determine who was doing the whimpering and where it was coming from.

It was Kenzie. And she was crying about something in the middle of the night in my room.

Once I got myself fully awake, I asked her why she was in my room crying in the middle of the night. I couldn’t understand exactly what she was saying through her sobbing, but it sounded like something about wanting a dog.

I knew she’s been wanting a dog… But, at three o’clock in the morning? And crying about it?

I guess I didn’t exactly understand why she was crying about wanting a dog in the middle of the night when she (and I) should be sleeping!

She continued crying and I started asking her why she was crying. Did she have a bad dream? Did she have a dream about a dog?

No, no dream. She explained to me that Mrs. Brady, her Pre-K teacher, said she should have a dog. She said she was sad because she wanted a dog. And she thought she should have a dog because Mrs. Brady said she should have a dog.

You see what’s going on here, don’t you? It’s the sisterhood at work! What she really means is that she’s upset with me because I don’t get her a dog and Mrs. Brady is too!

It seems like I’ve been in this position before. I’m the culprit, I’m the bad guy. And I didn’t even know I did anything wrong! And how dare I try to get a good night’s sleep when we are confronted by this huge problem!

Although I have never claimed to understand the way female feelings and emotions work, I now contend that I have absolutely, completely, totally no comprehension of what goes on in the female mind and heart, at least with the little girls (and pretty sure I don’t understand the big girls either)!

So, what could I say to redeem myself at this time of the night? While I was tempted to say just about anything that would stop her from crying at this early morning hour, I just couldn’t bring myself to promise her I would get her a dog. After all, I don’t think that’s a decision that should be made under duress!

And I certainly couldn’t say anything bad about dogs or about us owning a dog. I couldn’t say anything bad about Mrs. Brady because she was the one who said she ought to have a dog (though I must admit I considered calling Mrs. Brady so she could join us in this late night problem-solving session but figured her husband might not think she’s on duty as a teacher at this time of the night).

What could I do? What could I say?

There was nothing I could say to defend myself on this one! It was a no-win situation for me! All I could do was offer her comfort. Embrace her and cuddle her and tell her to stop crying and go back to sleep.

And she did, eventually. But it wasn’t that easy for her to stop crying. Once she starts, she just can’t stop that easily. Once the emotions start to spill over, it’s not that easy to turn them off! (Read this post, The Difference Between Boys and Girls, to see what I mean.)

Now, I really don’t have anything against dogs. In fact, I love dogs. I just don’t want to take care of one right now. We don’t have a fence to keep a dog. We’re often away from the house, so the dog would be left alone most of the time. Then, if we had a house dog, I could never get it house broke because we’re not home enough to teach the dog where to potty, or not potty. And, every time we wanted to leave town, I would have to board the dog or find it a babysitter or worse still, take it on the trip with us.

Besides, I think she already has the perfect dog…her little soft, stuffed puppy that she sleeps with at night!

I’m sure you appreciate my dilemma. I’m the bad guy because I don’t get her a dog. And there’s no other option for me. If I could rent a dog, I would rent a house-broken puppy, keep it on the weekends and then return it on Monday morning.

Undoubtedly, you also think I’m a bad guy for not getting Sissy a dog. And, I’m sure if I asked if she should get a dog, your response would overwhelmingly be “YES!”So, I’m not going to ask…

But, if by some chance I were to consider the remote possibility that maybe, just possibly, we might perhaps get a dog sometime in the future, what kind of dog would you recommend?

Inside? Outside? Big? Little? Full-blood? Mixed breeds? Housebroken? Shedding? Slobbering? Licking?

What’s the perfect dog for little Sissy and our family?

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