On Saying Yes More

vote yes

Last week was a crazy roller coaster ride of emotional highs and lows. None of it is really any of my business to share, but suffice it to say, I have a new outlook on life this week.

I have decided to say yes more.

Yes to a trip to the pool, yes to a board game in the middle of the day, yes to a favor for a friend, and yes . . .

TO A DOG.

We have decided to look into getting a dog. I have to say “look into getting . . . ” because my children will never forgive me if I promise and then renege at the last minute. They ask me at least 102 times a day when we are getting the dog.

There are many good reasons why we have said no to the dog over and over and over again . . . allergies, expense, inconvenience, time constraints, travel arrangements, and did I mention expense? and allergies? and time constraints? and allergies???

Allergies are actually my BIGGEST concern. I have given up a pet before. It is without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But the children know that if any of the five of us have any allergy/asthma trouble with the dog, it will have to go. Despite that, we have decided that we’re willing to give it a try.

WHY?

Well, let’s just say that I have a little girl in my house who needs a special friend in her life, and I think a dog would fill that empty space in her heart. I am willing to put up with the expense and inconvenience that a little canine might bring into our lives to make this dream of hers come true.

And because life is too short to say no unless it really matters. And we have decided that all of our excuses are . . . just that. Excuses. Not that our reasons weren’t valid, but we’ve decided to take a chance and hope it pays off.

I also think that having a dog will be a great opportunity to practice positive parenting.

The kids know that this dog is THEIR responsibility. They will have to walk it, feed it, clean up after it and keep it happy. We’re planning to set up a system for all three kids to take part in doggie duty. I love these printable kids charts, and I’m thinking about trying out the Kid Pointz reward system.

If they don’t keep their end of the bargain, there will be consequences. Perhaps they will have the option to pay another sibling to take over their duties for the day if they’re not feeling up to it, but if I end up taking on doggie duty (haha… punny!) they will definitely be charged — either monetarily or with loss of screen time or with added chores.

For now, the task at hand is FINDING the right dog. I have a neighbor who runs a rescue so she is going to help us. The hardest part is being patient. We think we want some type of Bijon/Shih Tzu mix — they are supposedly good for people with allergies, and also friendly and gentle with children. Plus, we sort of like little dogs. But I’m wide open to advice and suggestions.

There is something really freeing and joyful about saying yes more. The smiles on my kids’ faces and the twinkle in their eyes is so worth it.

What are you saying yes to this week!??

In the interest of full disclosure, I am submitting this post to The Search for the Next Kid Pointz Blogger contest and will be compensated for my participation, but it’s a post I was going to write anyway. I love it when life works out like that!

Comments

  1. Susan says

    I have an only child due to the whole infertility/heart failure thing. When we finally had her, *we* were so content and fulfilled we did not feel led to adopt, pursue other options, etc. And this little girl was content with her life as well UNTIL she went to K and realized everyone else had a brother or sister at home. That is when she began her quest for a dog. Long story short, we have a mini Beagle now. People don’t believe me always when I say she never asked for a brother or sister again once we got her a dog. It truly does fill a spot…whether it is problems at school, friendships or just a need to have a little buddy. Don’t get a Beagle though ;)

    • says

      Ha! Yeah, we have friends with a beagle. Not my first choice of dog, for sure. :-) We really want one of those little fluffy yappy dogs that everyone says aren’t real dogs, lol.

      I’m glad to know that the dog filled that need for your little girl. I really REALLY hope no one is allergic in our house. If we had to give it up it would be horrible.

  2. Suzy says

    Don’t let Ali know….you are going to have to hide it when we come visit. Now we truly are the ONLY ones in the world without a cat or dog!

  3. says

    YAY!! I have to say our Samson is our first baby. We have had him for 9 years and he is the heart of our family. He is fantastic with the kids, very protective of them and us but a gentle giant that would rather sit on our lap than the floor. I think every child should have a dog in their life. We like bigger dogs because they are more playful and from what I hear better with children, but I am by no means an expert. Good luck with your search :)

  4. Kate S. says

    We have poodles. I have allergies to dogs and poodles are all I can handle. They are smart and sweet and you definitely do not have to have them groomed like “poodles” Ours look like fluff balls.
    I never had dogs growing up and got my first one after I got married. Now I cant imagine a home without them – they are part of the family.

    • says

      Would you believe, my brother is allergic to poodles. So it IS possible. Which is what scares me about trying out a dog. I have horrid allergies to pugs, but haven’t ever known another dog to give me trouble. So we’re crossing our fingers.

  5. Denisines says

    A lab is my choice for a family dog, plus I love a big dog for a running ‘partner’ (ie. it helps get me out! ; )
    That said, ours is over a year old now & is still very playful (grabs shoes when she can, etc.) so she’s maybe a bit high maintenance in that respect…
    Good luck with your search, Jo-Lynne!

  6. says

    (Good for you!!!) I have a friend whose family wanted a dog, but they had similar issues — allergies, and shedding particularly. They hunted around for the right dog with the right personality and chose a Weimaraner. They were SO happy with that choice. Sweet temperament, great family pet, no shedding, and minimal allergy issues. I hope you find the perfect doggie for you! The joy that a dog brings is huge. And I think there are big spiritual lessons for kids to learn, about how God designs us to care for the animals and instruct them.

  7. says

    Good luck! My kids have of course asked for a dog too. But that will not be happening, for sure in this house, and likely ever. Maybe cats if we move to a bigger house with land. I just don’t have room in my life for any more living things. But–I think with the age of your kids this is great and y’all will have a lot of fun with it.

  8. says

    I have allergies to dogs and I grew up with a poodle but now hubby and I have a bichon frise and neither dog aggravated my allergies at all. Dickens (our bichon) is a VERY loving dog. He is also protective and GREAT with children. He has let our nieces and nephews pull on his tail and grab at him and he never made a sound or attacked them in any way. He was very patient with them and when he was done with their foolishness, he just walked away and laid down out of their reach. As a matter of fact, my BIL was playing with his son and pretended he was going to swat the nephew when the dog “charged” my BIL. When I say charge, I mean he ran at him barking and bumped his nose on my BIL’s shin. =) He has never bitten anyone, but he raised a big ruckus with his barking and was going to protect my nephew at all costs.

    I hope you find the dog that is right for your family.

  9. says

    The nice thing about Poodles and Bichons is that they do not shed. I’m sure you will research a whole lot of breeds to find out which ones are good for your family including those breeds that do not aggravate allergies and which don’t shed as much as others.

  10. says

    Good luck with your dog search! Are you aware of Petfinder.com? It is a clearinghouse of all the available rescue dogs. You can search by distance, breed, size, age, etc. We both of our last two boxers there. Two pieces of advice: 1) make sure you get the dog that YOU love because when the kids go to school or run off to play with friends, Mom is going to be the pup’s number one companion – no way around it. 2) if you get a puppy, plan on doing a lot of consistent training. Consider rescuing a dog in the 1-3 years range if you want a youthful dog who is past the housetraining and chewing stage.

  11. Beth says

    Most long haired dogs don’t cause many issues with allergies because they don’t really shed. I grew up with a yellow lab, and navy blue rugs. When he died and we wanted a new dog my mom insisted on navy blue fur, or a dog that didn’t shed. We ended up with a shih tzu. My parents have had Nutmeg for over 10 years now and she’s definitely part of the family, though turning into a grouchy old lady, LOL.

  12. says

    We have a Yorkiepoo (Wilson) and a Peekapoo (Zibby). I love the poodle mixes, just because they are more allergy friendly, plus they don’t really shed. We do have to get them groomed every 3-6 months or so, and I have to brush Zibby when his hair gets longer, but other than that, they are amazing. For my dogs, Zibby is better with my son (6), probably because he’s a little bigger (10-15 lbs) versus Wilson (6-8 lbs).

  13. Leslie says

    I agree with Emily. Labradoodle all the way!!!!!
    They come in various sizes so you can get a little one. We have a 95 pound one and she is the MOST amazing dog ever! She will not eat dropped food off the floor without permission, even if we aren’t here and didn’t realize the kids left their Christmas stocking candy all over the floor! She will not run out the door, ever. I can’t say enough great things about this breed.

    • says

      I was looking into that breed. My friends have one and also highly recommend them. The friend who runs a rescue told me that they aren’t as allergy friendly as the shih tzu/bijon but I don’t know how true that is – I think it probably depends on the person.

      I don’t know if they are as easy to come by? It seems the shih tzu/bijons are everywhere. I really like the idea of getting a dog that is 1 or 2 years old.

  14. says

    we have a cockapoo that we adopted when he was four. I’d highly recommend this breed for allergies, intelligence and for being a really wonderful companion. My oldest daughter is severely allergic to dogs and she has never had a problem with him. He is truly the center of our whole household. I hope you don’t mind me sharing one warning… the dog will likely view you as his or her pack leader and so will look to you for everything. I’ve also learned that while my kids help a lot, the real care falls to me and my husband, but we honestly don’t mind. I’ve been thinking about writing a blog post about Winnie for a while. I’ll try to do it later this week and I’ll let you know if I do. You might enjoy our story :)… good luck with your search!!

    • says

      Thanks, that is really good to know. I am actually excited about having the dog, myself. I think it will be a sweet companion during the day when I’m working from home. I adored my cat that I had to give away, so I like the idea of a pet in the house. I know it will be work, and there will be times I’ll wonder what I was thinking, but I really do think it will be great for our whole family.

  15. Dawn G. says

    Big smile! We are dog people and my 9 year old son’s best friend is our dog, Daisy. She is 2 and walks him to the door and is sad when she sees him putting on the backpack. And when he gets home it is a love fest. It truly is the cutest thing ever when a child and a dog are connected like that. We are big dog people. Our delicate flower Daisy is a 135 lb. English mastiff. She is the 4th one we’ve had and they are all wonderful with children, and super laid back, low energy dogs. Enjoy the search, do your homework, and be prepared. It is a lot of work at first, but so worth it.

  16. says

    We have a Shih-Tzu/Bichon mix that is almost two years old. WE LOVE HER! We got her as a puppy, and the first two months were a lot of hard work, but it was so worth it. She is such a central part of our family that I don’t know what we ever did without her. She’s the first dog I’ve ever had, and I can’t believe how much I love her. She doesn’t shed at all, and she hasn’t bothered any of our allergies. If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them. Shichons (what my breeder called her) are a fantastic choice!

  17. Lorie says

    We have a maltese and she is technically “hypoallergenic”. They are similar to the Bichon that you are mentioning. They are white and small and fluffy. SHe is 11 lbs and just so loving and wonderful. They are a little “stubborn” at times and made training difficult but we managed and she couldn’t be more wonderful! I highly recommend and that comes from a family who has a son who has taken allergy shots for 5 years.
    We also just put our dog of 13 years, a Sheltie, down. He was amazing but a little bigger than you are looking for.

    Pets always help fill the heart. When one of my children have a difficult time at school I often find them curled up in their bed with either the dog or cat just loving on them. It is wondeful. I may be found in the same position if I have had a bad day :)

  18. Kim says

    We have two miniature all black schnauzers and love them! The are smart, lovable, and dont shed. The only thing they are not is the fluffy part you mentioned. I married a man that had a labradoodle and while I will never verbalize it out loud (wouldnt want to make my schnauzers jealous), he is pretty near perfect! And I have never been a big dog fan, he is Only 80 pounds. He was a rescue dog. I will be praying for just the right dog for your family!

  19. Leslie says

    Glad to hear you’re considering a rescue dog! We’ve had two, both have been wonderful. Short hair Dachshunds don’t shed too much — but the one we have now has some “entitlement issues” now that the kids are grown and it’s just us here most of the time (he thinks he’s “entitled” to sleep in bed, and not his bed — ours!). He doesn’t shed much — he’s been on a special diet since we’ve had him (we watch the quantity of food he’s given, his “treats” are baby carrots, cherry tomatoes and an occasional piece of banana).

    While I wouldn’t recommend a Doxie for younger kids — since yours are all school-age, they’re at good ages to handle a dog.

    Good luck — and the unconditional love of a dog will help any and all of you through any tough days that you might have (and hopefully don’t have many of) . . .

  20. Laurie says

    We have a Shih Tzu and absolutely LOVE him! He has brought SO MUCH joy to our home. Now that our girls are away at college and my husband is a firefighter and is gone throughout the week, Rookie is truly a great companion for me each day as I work from home. We keep him groomed really short (I think they refer to it as a puppy cut.) You definitely have to consider the costs of grooming, annual vet visits, heartworm/flea meds, and pet food (grain free!), but it has been completely worth it! He’s definitely the king of the castle!

  21. LeaneG says

    Yorkshire Terrier!
    I had one when I lived with my asthmatic mother. They DON’T cause reactions. Mostly, the allergy problem isn’t the hair, it is the dander. Yorkies don’t have the dander that other breeds have.
    Most people think it is the hair that causes an allergy problem, but it isn’t. Also, yorkies don’t shed and when you keep them clipped in that cute ‘puppy cut’ you don’t have to worry about their hair matting. Good luck!

  22. says

    We have a Daschund and a Golden Retriever (plus 3 cats). I know allergies are a concern but I couldn’t be happier with our golden retriever. He is a giant teddy bear and he absolutely adores the kids! He is super smart, took very little training, and I love watching him wait at the window in the afternoon until he sees the school bus!

  23. says

    I finally said yes to the dog thing about 8 years ago. Our kids were then just finishing 6th grade, 8th grade and freshman years in school. We got a Maltipoo (maltese, poodle mix) He’s about 8 poiunds and has the smarts of a poodle and the temperment of the maltese. Super sweet and hypoallergenic. Perfect, right. Hmm
    We said all those things about the kids taking full care of him but . . . he (Cooper) decided I was his mamma so he wanted to sleep with me (even if it was on the floor next to my bed) which made the Dad the one to take him out in the wee hours of the morning. Ha. Oh well. We can’t imagine life without him but now that we have 2 out of college and one still in college . . . we are empty nesters with a dog that must go to Nana’s when we travel. Nobody told me dogs don’t go off to college too . . . haha

  24. says

    Yes YEs YEs to the Bijon/Shih Tzu mix! We have had one for over 6 years and she is a doll! AND my son who is often allergic to anything with four legs, has NEVER had a problem!!!

    And YES! it is sometimes the best medicine for all involved for Mom (and Dad) to “just say yes!”
    Enjoy!

  25. Laura Bean says

    Mini-schnauzers are great family dogs as well as schnoodles, schnauzer poodle mix. Be careful with Bichons my parents had them. They typically only bond with one family member. They are terrible to house train as well. Good luck with your dog search. I highly recommend adding a dog to the family. They really add a lot to a family.

  26. Victoria says

    We have a rescue dog, Shadow is border collie/spaniel maybe. He’s a great dog, very protective and friendly. He plays nicely with our ferret – though the ferret chases him!
    But what I wanted to say, years ago when I had a golden retriever, we acquired another dog, She was some kind of medium haired dog, and she loved our house, raced through it constantly with our dog in tow. But . . both my son and I started to cough, We coughed constantly for days. We never had a problem with our other dog but . , . I agonized over it, tried like crazy to find another home, but eventually she had to go to the pound.
    I would suggest you take a dog on a week or two trial basis — make it clear to kids, whoever you get it from, and all that it’s a trial and it may be only temporary. That might help avoid some heartache.

  27. says

    This last dog took us 3 years to come to an agreement on. (We have had dogs all of our marriage except those 3 years). We got a puppy. Oh she was a lot of work. Oh. Just. Oh. And I thought I might go stark raving mad (am I convincing you a dog is a good idea? heh). But she grew out of that – and also? I changed her food to all organic and she calmed right out of puppy-dumb (yes I said, DUMB). She’s all of 10 pounds, hypo-allergenic and absolutely positively the best best best decision we have ever made in animals choices. (And I’m a cat lover, so this speaks volumes). She’s 100% totally the best dog EVER. NEVER leaves the yard, even if someone goes by, she barks right up to the lot line and stops. She trained herself (believe me!). And she walks with me in the morning – 4″ little legs keep up 4 mph and she never whines.

    When she was a puppy I used to put her in her kennel at 1 pm and put a blanket over it, turn on the radio loud and leave her in a spare bedroom for 2 hours. It was like having a newborn. She still sleeps in a kennel at night (by choice, she goes and gets in it when it’s bedtime).

    The part where we went wrong in the whole deal is…….. not having another sibling for my son to pay when he doesn’t do his dog chores. {face palm}

  28. says

    We have a Pomapoo. Love him. Great size, small enough for your lap yet big enough to be fun. Loves to play and is great with the kids. Great personality and smart. They can go two ways with their fur. Long like a poms or curly like a poodles.

    Have fun with the choosing!

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