Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Selling Pet Ownership

 Stopped by a few relatives' houses today plus added on a visit to my childhood friend Katie's house.  She broke out her super cool water slide for my boys, her kids, and the neighbors.
 This one "cracked" me up.

 Two of my boys, Katie's kids, and two friends.
A friendship that has lasted 35 years.  So blessed!  Missed our friend Erin today!

For the last several months, we have seriously considering dog ownership.  Chris contacted breeders.  The boys read books and perused websites.  I.......tried to act like it wouldn't happen.  (Just kidding, sort of.)  What I did do was solicit advice from my pet-loving friends.  I've learned pet owners LOVE to talk about their pets.  They'll pepper you with advice, witty stories, tear-jerking moments, blog posts, book recommendations, websites, and on and on.

Typically, our conversations go like this:

ME:  We're thinking about getting a dog.

PET-LOVING FRIEND: Dogs are the best.  I love my dog, except for the time when he ate all of my socks and gnawed the legs off our kitchen table. Anywho, you'll love it!

ME:  We're thinking about getting a dog.

ANOTHER PET-LOVING FRIEND:  Dogs are wonderful!  Just know, the first two years are AWFUL.  I didn't get any sleep, the dog ruined our carpets, and he bit our neighbor.  Aren't you excited about getting a dog?

ME:  We're thinking about getting a dog.

ADDITIONAL PET-LOVING FRIEND:  Great!  Make sure you budget for a crate, vet bills, dog food, dog beds, electric fence, dog collars....what else am I forgetting?

After the umpteenth conversation like this, I wondered if pet owners need to collectively decide on a better sales pitches to give to us non-pet owners.  We're unconvinced!

But then I thought about how'd I describe parenthood to the childless.

CHILDLESS FRIEND:  We're thinking about getting a child.

ME:  Great!  You'll love it.  Just know the first two years will be rough.  You won't get any sleep and until the child is potty trained there is a high chance your carpet and couches will get stained.  Know children are expensive, crazy expensive.  I won't even itemized all you will expend.  What am I missing?  They're difficult at times.  They frustrate you to no end.  They break your heart like no other.  Despite all this, it's the best thing you'll ever do and you'll never understand a love as deep and strong until you become a parent.

See the problem?  The childless friend probably couldn't move past the scary intro!

...not that I'm comparing children to pets (but I sorta am).  

Perhaps I can't truly fathom the joys of pet ownership until placed in the role.  After Caleb's allergy tests last week, pet ownership has been tabled for a year, but it's something we're still considering and I'm opening my heart to the (good?) possibilities.

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