Having kids means eventually having “the talk.”
No, not THAT talk — the one about whether or not your child or children can get a pet! Whether kids are born into a family with furbabies or not, eventually it’s going to come up.
Can we get a dog (bunny, kitty, hamster, Komodo dragon….)? Can we? Can we? Can we?!
Naturally, for busy parents who can immediately foretell a future that mostly involves THEIR responsibilities as dog owners rather than their children’s, it’s a big decision. This reluctant dad had an interesting tack: he drew up a formal, detailed and arguably hilarious, 13-item “Dog Contract” for his kids to sign.
(In using the term “furbabies,” we here at LWD just violated rule No. 11!)
Included: all the ground rules required for canine acquisition:
1. Dad never has to pick up dog poop. Ever. The dog’s poop is picked up at least 3x per week by children to Dad’s satisfaction.
2. The dog is well trained to poop in the side yard (rocks against Barbara’s fence). All family members agree that dog poop does not belong/will not be tolerated on either the front or rear lawn.
3. The dog is small. Target weight: 10 pounds*.
4. The dog does not shed. At all.
5. The dog does not slobber or have a runny nose. All parties agree that those kinds of dogs are gross.
6. The dog does not scratch the floor. Dad does not care how this is prevented — clip nails closely, walking boots, surgically remove feet, etc. All parties agree that the dog may not scratch the floor.
7. Dad never has to give the dog a bath. Also, if Dad decides the dog smells, a kid gives the dog a bath within 24 hours.
8. If the dog makes any sort of mess inside the house and new-age cleaning treatments prove ineffective, harmful chemicals will be allowed in an effort to eliminate stains and/or odors.
9. Dad has unrestricted veto power over the dog’s name.
10. The dog does not receive organic, gourmet or special-diet dog food. All parties agree that plain, old dog food is fine.
11. The dog is never referred to as a child or sibling. All parties agree that the dog is a dog.
12. The dog is not included by name on the family Christmas card, it shall merely be incidental — i.e., the dog will not be the primary subject of a photo.
13. The kids promise to never fall out of love with the dog or get bored with it. All parties agree that the dog is the primary responsibility of the kids for its entire life.
Perhaps these kids should just volunteer to walk dogs at the local shelter until they’re old enough to move out! 🙂