Why I Forgave My Parents For Saying “No” To Pets When We Were Kids
Every now and then I like to throw in a humor piece that doesn’t necessarily leave you with a thought-provoking challenge, but instead, leaves you with a laugh. Enjoy!
Growing up, I always dreamed of owning a pet. I would imagine what it would be like to come downstairs on my birthday and see a giant cardboard box with my family standing around in anticipation. Eagerly, I would open it and inside would be a small ball of fluff with a red bow tied around its neck. We’d exchange slobbery kisses and be the best of friends.
But each year came with me begging and pleading for a dog, secretly loving those sad puppy-adoption commercials (because THAT would convince them right?) But every time the same response would be given: “NO!”
How could my parents not understand my “need” for a dog? My dad was on board a couple of times. When I was older, he was the one who finally convinced my mom, and the cycle of pups as members in our family continued. But in the early years, my puppy dog eyes that were begging for a four-legged companion were no match for my parents stubborn “no’s” and “not until your older” responses.
Fast forward to my adult years. The years I could FINALLY make my own decision. I brought a puppy home three months into the marriage. We hid him in our “pet-free” apartment. I’d watch this small pup climb/fall down each step of our second-floor staircase to go wee and run through our couple feet of grass that existed behind the building. After about a year of owning one dog, we agreed to take on another because we wanted him to have a friend! And more importantly, we wanted our kids to grow up and love our sweet dogs as much as us! We would NEVER deprive them of puppy love. No sir.
It was a perfect plan — so we thought.
Now, fast forward to when we had kids. The work of caring for my fur babies and human babies doubled. I didn’t fully understand until my first attempt taking two dogs to the vet with my two- year-old daughter while I was almost eight months pregnant. How hard could it be?
Vet Visit #1
I put the dogs on their leashes and started to walk outside. I failed to remember my dogs had NEVER been on leashes before and immediately viewed their restraints as torturing devices. My dogs moved and contoured their bodies every which way while yelping as if I was an attacker until I somehow managed to get them into the back of our van and close the door. I remember leaning against the trunk out of breath and scared for what was to come. It was then I glanced up and saw my daughter’s eyes as big as saucers, clearly feeling the same way.
Knowing that part of being a pet owner was tending to their care, I resigned that things would get better at the vet, I would just keep their leashes on them as they laid on the back seat so they would get used to them by the time we got there. After arriving, me and my very pregnant belly went to the back of the car. I took out my daughter and asked her to hold onto the purse over my shoulder because I needed both hands to get the dogs. I clicked the button on the trunk of the van, and as soon as the van opened, my dogs shot out like a cannon. One made it’s way to the grassy area outside of the vet’s office while the other practically hung himself on the seat as his leash got stuck.
I quickly came to his rescue while at the same time grabbing my daughter’s hand and sprinting toward the other dog. After grabbing them both, we had a repeat of the mid-air aerobics until we got to the check-in station. At this point, I went up to the receptionist who had eyes as big as my daughters…but for a different reason. Somehow along the way, my top and bra had come down fully exposing the left side of my chest. I blushed immediately and reached for my top while at the same time releasing one of the leashes causing the process to repeat itself.
Vet Visit #2
This time I only needed to take one dog, my one-year-old, and three-year-old. All the supplies were ready for the kids and my sleep deprived, “hot-mess” self jumped into the driver’s seat ready to go. With music blasting in the back for the kids and a podcast set for myself, I started along the 40-minute drive. About 15-minutes in, something felt off. Besides the loud music, everything else was quiet, and I wasn’t a sweaty mess from a wrestling match getting everyone into the van. I looked in my rearview mirror: Two kids, check! Diaper bag, check! Breast-pump, check! Dog…wait…he wasn’t there!
I HAD FORGOTTEN THE DOG!!!! The ONE thing I needed for the vet visit!
To be fair, you can still have pregnancy brain a year later, right? Because that’s what I blamed it on.
Vet Visit #3
The third time was today. I wore a better-fitted bra and made sure I had both kids and dogs safely in the back. This time was going to be better because I had worked out all the kinks the last two times. The only problem: the dogs don’t like their leashes any more than they did the first time, and my son was now old enough not to be contained in a baby carrier. Note that my son also has the same amount of energy as both of my dogs.
I was outnumbered and out-energized.
Turning around to give my kids the game plan before exiting the vehicle, I unbuckled them and relayed the instructions: “Honey, you’re going to get out with me and then grab my back pocket and your brother’s hand. Do not let go no matter what.”
She did as she was told, and I slowly and nervously raised the trunk. With a swift ninja-like motion I got a hold of the leashes. The dogs bolted, but I had a hold of them. Every.single.day. the previous week it had rained — making the path to the vet’s office a muddy obstacle course that they drug me through carelessly. My purse trailed behind me along with my crying children — all of whom were covered with a thin layer of mud by the time we made it to the door. Along the way, my son stepped in dog poop that I did my best to maneuver around. But, at that point, I didn’t care.
We checked-in and sat down. After waiting a couple of minutes, my son smiled at me. I saw green in his teeth and asked him “WHAT DID YOU JUST EAT???” Sure enough, he showed me green playdough on the bottom of his shoe — the same shoe also covered in poop. “Playdough, yummy!”
As we all left the vet’s office already dreading next year’s trip, I thought to myself of all the times my parents told me “no” and made me wait until I was older to get dogs.
Touche guys. Touche.
For all you mamas out there who love your pets and kiddos as much as me, I hope you can relate to this story and get a laugh. And for all you mama’s telling your kids “no,” I now get that too.