My husband and I are both dog people, which means we both have childhood and teenage memories of dogs that were essentially part of the family. I grew up with Springer Spaniels—first, Dublin and then Bridy. My husband grew up with a St. Bernard, Coors, who in its short life gave the family more than a few happy stories.
With all of our apartment living and travel over the past 7 years of marriage, we’ve been pet less, except for the close call we had with a pug purchase about 5 years ago. Living in an apartment in Minneapolis at the time, so many of our neighbors had small dogs and I started seeing a parade of miniature bulldogs and pugs in and out of the elevators. I caught the bug, so to speak, and made an appointment at a breeder soon after. I got to cuddle and play and satisfy my pug fetish for a good 20 minutes. Fortunately, a chat with our parents (the ones who had already raised dogs) put things in perspective, as they reminded us that our jetting to and fro over the weekends, not to mention our long hours during the week, was not fitting lifestyles for a pug. So the phase passed and life went on.
Here we are 5 years later, and boy have things changed. Settled in suburban Ohio, I’m no longer walking up stairwells but rather a driveway to our garage and house (yes, life called for it!) and 3 beautiful daughters. With a fenced in yard, a basement and three eager helpers, we’ve asked ourselves if we’re ready for a dog. My almost 5 year old has requested a dog for her birthday and I have to say, I’m very tempted. That is until my husband tells her, “Maybe when you’re a teenager…” and then steels me that “Are you out of your mind” look. You know the one I’m talking aboutJ. Something tells me that he’s not ready to expand our brood. Perhaps it was the 3 kids in 4 years that makes me not push back….not yet anyway.
Enter our lovely neighbors: Peter & Linda are a 50 something couple with 2 children recently out of college. They have 3 very friendly dogs that make their way up to the fence that divides our yards to be caressed and scratched by little hands that fit through the openings. This past weekend, Mary (4) and Clara (3) went out for a little adventure with their dad, which left me and Annie (15 months) a few hours to frolic the morning away outside. On our walk home from the playground, we stopped outside to chat with Linda who was gardening with their golden retriever. Annie was entertained for awhile, but then started making her way to Linda’s front door, through the mulch piles, to catch a glimpse of her smaller dog. I chased after her and brought her back to me. Once back, she took off again, with that same determination past the wheel barrow, over the mulch piles and up to the front door where she pushed herself up against the screen to see the dog. This sequence repeated itself 4 times. Somewhere between the 3rd and 4th time I find myself crouched next to her at the foot of the door, about to explain why we can’t go into the neighbors’ house and she just looks at the dog and says “TUCKER”…. “TUCKER”…. Oh my! Was this a sign? Annie has said Mama & Dada up until that point, and that was it. Wow—I guess the neighbor’s dog had made quite an impression!
For now, it looks like we’re going to hold off on the dog purchase, despite my daughter’s birthday request, or my other daughter’s 3rd word tribute to Tucker. Unless that dog can cook, clean and walk itself, we are probably in for a little wait. Still, I want my kids to grow up with a dog and I hope I can make that happen in the next few years. For now I’ll have to be pleased with the dog days of summer and enjoying Linda and Peter’s brood next door.
Mary and Clara over Memorial Day
Annie shmoozing with the neighborhood pooches
Annie and Tucker
Meghan is the Communication and Licensing Director at Step2. Meghan is a mom to three little girls, all under the age of 5, who are best friends and worst enemies at the same time. Meghan, married to her husband of 8 years, loves to travel, try new foods, and has recently become a big fan of Downtown Abby. It’s a real treat when she and husband get a babysitter and over-order at their favorite sushi restaurant.