Tuesday, February 23, 2010


“Wanna lick?”

My wife laughed at my younger son’s choice of words as he held my uncle’s dachshund snugly in his hands. At various times the little dog would turn his head and lick my son’s face. The smile that it provoked was huge and he wanted to share the love

“No thanks, my wife said.

My son left from there, his arms clutching his new best friend as he turned around and carried the dog to other attendees at the party. I know he enjoyed the moment. However brief it was going to be.

My kids love animals. They always welcome a chance to play dogs and cats, if they can. Our neighbor’s cat, Freaky, often makes it to our yard where he finds both my kids anxious to give him attention. The kids would do anything to have a pet of their own.

But they can’t. My wife is allergic to pet hair.

The allergy isn’t as bad as it could be. She can handle pets for a little while with no problem, but it can’t be ongoing.

The previous owners of our house had pets. For some people with pet allergies, that would have disqualified it. The previous owners cleaned. We had professionals come in and clean after that. And over the next few months, as we found more and more hidden locations of pet hair, we managed to get the place acceptable. Good filters got rid of more. Eventually, it was okay.

Yes, I know. I can hear the cries. We could get one of those hairless breeds. And my wife could probably deal with it. However, we’re fearful of how our kids will handle it.

A pet can be a 15-year commitment. My kids both say that they’ll take care of one. I know they will, for a while. They will be there to play with it and run with it. But at times, they’ll won’t be there at all.

So, we tell our kids to enjoy these chances when they can play with animals. We tell them they can even make money if they offer to look after pets when neighbors are away.

You hear some adults say that they don’t like kids or like kids for a short time and then want to give them back. The little amount of time satisfies their desires for kids. We worry about the same thing for our kids regarding pets. We fear that there interest will wane if they have a pet at the house.

So when we see our kids with pets, we know that they’re having fun. My younger son didn’t want to play basketball with his other cousins. He just wanted to take play with my uncle’s dog. Hopefully, he’s got it out of his system…until the next time.


Jody Hedlund said...

Hey Walt! I'm too weak. I've given in to my kids' desires for pets. . .5 times. Yes 5. A dog, 2 cats, and 2 hamsters. But on the positive side, I haven't given into their love-em-and-leave-em mentality. I require THEM to take of those creatures! And over time, it's amazing to see that they've risen to the resposiblity. (Although I do have to get on my son from time to time with his dog work!) But mostly, they've handled the pets with maturity and even though I feel like I live in a zoo, I've accepted pets as a part of our lives for now! :-)

Kelly Cannon said...

Walt, as you know, the Obamas had Mo's same concern--pet hair allergies. Not a Daschund, but a Portugese water dog might do the trick?! Then there's always allergy shots for Mo. That's what I told Rob before we were married--Honey, if you're allergic to Pitty Sing or Eliot (Pitty's daughter)...we'll get allergy shots for you. :)

Kathy said...

I have allergies, too.

How about some goldfish?

Walt M said...

Jody, my kids would love your place. They do love animals.

Kelly, don't know if I could handle having the same dog as the Obamas. The question/comparison would drive me nuts. (And I can't see Mo getting shots unless the boys prove that they're up to it.)

Kathy, my boys throw too many things in the house for goldfish. :-)