I’ve always wanted a dog, but two little ones and Glop’s alleged dog allergy have put pet ownership on the back burner for me. So when my friend and neighbor offered to lend us her beloved golden retriever, B, for an overnight, I jumped at the chance to see how our household would fare. Would Glop have a severe allergic reaction requiring an emergency room visit? Would the girls welcome a dog, torture it, or be scared to death? Here’s what I learned.
1. Dogs are a lot of work. Even for 24 hours. Everyone warned me, but I didn’t believe them. Now I do. Even super mild, super friendly ones like B, who demand nothing more than fresh air and kibbles. We had to take B out for many walks, feed her, pick up her poop, keep water in her bowl, keep her safe. Who knew a dog needed to relieve itself 4-6 times a day? Did I mention we don’t have a fenced yard?
2. Glop is not allergic to dogs. YAY! He sneezed just twice during B’s visit, and I blame pollen. He can’t use that excuse anymore (though I know he will try).
3. Doggie cuddles are awesome, even when you know they’d really rather be with someone else.
4. Dogs are a lot like toddlers. B even came over with her own stuffed animal. Dogs don’t throw tantrums, but you still have to deal with their poop, make sure they don’t eat things they shouldn’t, like pennies and playdoh, and keep them from running down the street. However, they do respond well to a “mom” voice and positive reinforcement. TREAT is a word understood in all languages.
5. We all like having a dog around, even Glop. He grumbled here and there, but always seemed happy to take B out for a stroll (maybe he just wanted to get away from all the hubbub here? or me?). Ab was in B’s face right away, while Sun was a little more cautious. But by the next morning both girls were happily feeding B her breakfast on their little plastic play plates. Having B around the house was a comfort to me; having her big golden body sprawled across my front entryway made me happy.
6. Even well-groomed dogs have pretty bad breath and can smell for a little while after taking a poop.
7. Not everyone likes dogs. Especially those with nice green lawns. I got yelled at for letting B take a pee on one. I took it surprisingly personally. The dog pee can apparently leave a yellow spot. I felt bad, but really, how could anyone get mad at a dog like B for anything? I see now how neighborhood dog wars start.
8. If you thought dogs or children were messy, try putting them together. A week later, I’m still finding kibble bits in the couch cushions.
9. We’re definitely not ready for a dog, nor the third child Glop wants. Someday, maybe. Until then, I’m happy to dog sit any time.