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No Pet Clause

In the nearly 5 years I’ve been blogging, I’ve written ad nauseum the lengths that my children will go to in order to convince me that we need to procure a pet.

You might remember Barko, Emme’s imaginary dog.  Sadly, Barko mysteriously disappeared around the time that Emme turned into a teenager.  And for the record, that was 3 years ago.  When she was 8.

I just have to keep hoping above all hopes that she’s getting all the angst out of her system now, and when she really does turn into a teenager, she’ll be back to my sweet, compliant, and quiet child.

And if not, at least I’m hoping that Fiddledaddy will let me keep the refrigerator stocked with Choco Vine once again.

Jensen actually went through a phase wherein he thought he was a dog.  Replete with growling and barking at the neighbor’s dogs through our privacy fence.  Making us very popular with the folks who work the night shift nearby.  He has since become a little boy again, while oddly developing a deep and abiding fear of large dogs that could eat him as a snack.

I’ve caved on many an issue in my parenting days.  But I have not budged when it comes to the addition of another mouth to feed, and occupant to have to clean up after.

Oh, they swear they will take care of any pet of choice, and completely assume all cleaning, feeding, walking, and whathaveyou duties.  But I don’t believe them.  Any child that can drop a piece of toast with jelly face down on the linoleum, and then step over it to get to the remote, and then step back over on their way to the bathroom, is not deserving of any kind of pet.


Jensen has gotten in on the act, and is demanding that I get him a hermit crab.  He really couldn’t tell you exactly what a hermit crab is, just that he wants one.  When I gave him my stock answer of NO, he put his hands on his hips and stated firmly, “Well, I’m just going to have to get a hermit crab on e-bay.”

Allrightythen.  I’m just guessing, but that will be one cheap and easy to maintain hermit crab.

Today I learned that the girl’s A.H.G. troop will be working on their Pet Care badge next school year.  Emme sighed deeply, “Mom, it will be so EMBARRASSING that we can’t even EARN that badge, because we can’t have a PET.”

I countered, “But we do have 3 perfectly good fish!”  “But, MOM, they can’t do tricks!”

“Not true, if you don’t feed them, they swim upside-down.”

And with that, she flounced out of the room.

Either she’s going to resurrect Barko, or I’d best keep an eagle eye on the fish.

28 Responses to No Pet Clause

  • Don’t cave! Hold strong!! I am stuck with my parents old dog that I keep telling her to head towards the light and go be with Jesus. Outside dog who refuses to come in yet whines all.the.time.

    Did I mention my mom likes to call and chew me out for not taking better care of HER dog? The dog I am stuck with because they now live in an apartment and no one wants to put her down including my own husband. What? No, I’m not THAT bitter. Well, just a smidge that is getting close to being full blown. 😉

  • http://www.r2fishschool.com/r2-fish-school-p-2.html
    You can train goldfish if you want, and they are big enough. Just another excuse you can take away from them! 😉

  • Sorry, I think a pet adds to the live of everyone and it lowers blood pressure (kids add to high blood pressure). I’ve had pets my entire life and my life is better because of them. Good luck.

  • As our dog got older my husband told the kids there would be no more dogs after he died. Well, he died last May and we were all heartbroken, no one more so than our 12 year old animal loving daughter. Still, my husband held fast “no more dogs”. Yeah, right. 4 legged psycho came home with us from the Humane Society as my daughter’s Christmas present. The dog is absolutely nuts but we love him!

  • Charlie had been begging for a dog for over a year. I grew up with pets and was kinda wanting one myself. So we just added Ruby to the family about 3 weeks ago. I love having her around.

  • Well DeeDee, I have to say that my girls do step over all sorts of things, but I have to say now that they are 10 and 8 they have animal related chores. My Abby actually likes cleaning the litter box, she says its like being an archeologist! The gerbils are completely theirs to take care of I just go around behind and make sure that all is well! This was an attempt at giving you hope that help could be had from the kiddos(with much training!) if you decided to turn from the “NO”. You are still in my prayers daily, by the way.

  • Well, I’m a pet lover, and I could expound all the benefits of having pets, for their are many. However, unless the parents are willing to be hard with their children about the care of said pets, then the parents get stuck with the burden, and that’s not cool when you already have to care so much for kids. That said, my kids (ages 8, 9 and 16)are excellent pet care givers, and I have no concerns that they won’t be excellent parents when the time comes.

  • Please tell Emme that when she needs to earn her Pet Care Badge, we will let her borrow ours. But we will have to get creative, since ours is a large dog that might lick Jensen for a snack (: Or better yet, she can earn her badge by taking care of Jensen if she can convince him to start barking again.

  • How about seeing if a neighbour would let the girls help with a pet so they can still earn their badges?

  • Our family is a pet loving household, we have four dogs (one of which is a Great Dane! Sorry, Jensen!), four cats, two hamsters and a fish. The responsibility of their care belongs to my five children (ages 14, 10, 9, 5 and 3). Someone is assigned to feed them each day. And backyard clean is part of that!

    And for the record, if you had a dog, that toast would have barely hit the floor before it got eaten up!!! 🙂

  • I haven’t looked at the requirements myself but was told that you don’t have to have a pet to earn the badge. [makes no sense to me, but saves you!!] We’ve had the whole animal world in our house at some time or another…. large dogs, small dogs, turtles, guinea pig, fish and even tadpoles. Our last remaining animal, my ancient chihuahua, is on her last leg and I’m holding on to my new no-animal clause after she goes to doggie heaven. Once she’s gone, I just hope I can stick to my new clause longer than it takes for her poop to disintegrate in the back yard.

  • Your post inspired me this morning. Here is my comment to you: http://sojen.blogspot.com/2011/04/dog-tales.html

  • My son has a pet that is super easy to care for! As easy as fish! It’s a Madagascar hissing cockroach, and it can do tricks. Want one? Ours came pregnant!

    • Beth,

      I read this, my eyes rolled to the back of my head, the room went dark, and I remember little else. Except to say NO THANK YOU. My skin is still crawling at the thought. I’m just curious. Where do you keep it?

      I know I’m going to regret asking… 😉

  • Dee Dee – I think the key to pets is to get the easy care short-living ones (fish & gerbils are in that category). We have a dog that no one wants to take care of despite the fact that all my kids swore they would help and we have to find a pet-sitter for her every time we leave town. I love her, but I didn’t miss her at all while we are on vacation last week for spring break. We also have had and still have 1 gerbil. To me, they are the ultimate pet. They have short lives and they can be cared for by kids 7 and up. My daughter has been caring for her gerbils on her own since that age and loves them dearly!

  • NO pets for us here and the chance of that changing anytime in the near or distant future is extremely slim! I’ll take my three boys and let them visit the pets in Sandra’s home. 🙂

  • Oh my heavens!!! Just THOUGHT of keeping a hissing cockroach as a pet made my heart jump. I’d rather have a whole pack of dogs! I think I have cockroach issues….

  • Tater Tot is begging for fish, but I’ve never had much luck with fish. Of course, we have three huge labrador retriever that spend most of their time in the house, lounging on the furniture and napping and occasionally barking at the leaves outside. We thought having dogs was a great idea…that was before children came along. Now I practically need a Shop-Vac to keep up with the vacuuming. That being said, however, I can’t imagine not having each of the dogs. But I’ll NEVER have three at one time again. 🙂

  • Hilarious! Our pet story began when our middle daughter Bekah was 2. I’m pretty sure her first word was ‘dog’. She loved dogs! Every toy, game, pillow…everything was dog themed. No lie. This is all fresh in my mind as this week we’ve been cleaning out the dungeon known as our basement, and the girls have finally consented to get rid of at least 1/2 the dog toys they haven’t touched in 8 years!!
    When Bekah was 7 we got a dog. He’s a shih-tzu and is the most low maintenance dog EVER. He rarely barks, and is just the perfect dog. I do realize that a very small percentage of people get lucky like we did 😉
    Good luck, and stay strong!

  • Sometimes I think how complete our life would be with a dog. And how that dog would burn some of my almost 8 yr old’s energy. And then I start browsing petfinder for my beloved childhood dog. And once I’ve settled on one, I call my mom. She reminds me of all the toys I lost to the dog. All the poop in the yard. All the dog hair. And then I remember I don’t want a dog.

    And all is right with the world again.

  • We are animal lovers at this house. 2 outdoor dogs, 1 inside, 2 outside cats, 2 inside, 1 horse. We live on 12 acres in rural Ohio…so we have the space:)Yes, pets are work…but, they are worth it, in my humble opinion.
    When I get stressed….there is always something to pet:)

  • I would love to say that I am a hold out with you but I caved two years ago. We now have a very sweet dog that I take care of. I did say for years, YEARS, that I wasn’t old enough to have a dog. But my oldest child finally told me if I was old enough to be his mom, then I was old enough to have a dog. Gotta love him!

  • I’m with you, hold on strongly!! I have a strong no pet policy. The 2nd oldest is really petitioning for a fish but I’m still not budging. It helps a lot that we’re renting and the owners said no pets! 🙂

    When you’re a stay-at-home mom that is homeschooling, you really do have enough already to be responsible for that you don’t need to add a pet on top of it! This is one area where I freely say to each his own but don’t complain to me about it. 🙂

  • Thankfully – we have a child who is allergic to dogs. End of discussion. Oh, and the other two children love hanging that little guilt trip over their brother’s head.

  • Sometimes I think you and I were twins separated at birth. Two words of agreement on the pet issue: Amen, Sister.

  • No pets bigger than a wire cage for me. We’ve had fish (they refused to die, we got sick of them and let them go in a nearby creek). We have an outdoor cat (notice the singular, there were two, but one had the unfortunate experience of darting out behind my back tire as I was backing out). Evan (10) had a hamster but the darndest thing, if you don’t feed and water them they die. He built it a casket out of legos and we buried it in the back yard.

  • We have had pets since long before children. One day, I says to hubby. “cat or baby”
    So we got a cat.
    That was fine until we hit the dalmation stage. Dottie lived with us until the cat was long gone and two children had arrived. Then along came the first yorkie. By and by Dottie passed and Cricket was joined by a cleft palate male yorkie I hand raised from five days old. He’s a brat. We love him the best. Don’t tell Cricket…

  • I love dogs. We had one growing up – a dachshund. But he was Mom’s dog – because she fed him. Didn’t understand about “alpha” back then. But he was a joy as was my brother’s dachshund, a dog smarter than my two real nephews put together. (They can’t see what I’m writing, right?). We’d love to have a dog, but my husband is allergic, and frankly, with him being a quadriplegic, it’s just as well we don’t – they are a huge responsibility. Especially if you want to get away for a weekend, etc.

    My best friend blesses me by having us house-sit her two dalmations and two cats. It’s a block-from-the-beach vacation to Indialantic, FL.

    Except for the extra duty for you, what about having the kids spend a day helping out at the animal shelter? Seems to me that might meet the pet badge requirements as well as some community service badge. Maybe even give them some idea of responsibility as well as what happens when people don’t do what they’re supposed to.

    On the otherhand, they may just want to adopt them all…