Promises Are Made To Be Broken?

For years now my son has been begging for a dog and so far I pacified him by saying to hold on until he is 10. He was 5 then when I made that promise. He is now 6 and he hasn’t forgotten. I know, I know – I shouldn’t make false promises. I don’t know why I did that. I feel like such a bad Mommy.

I don’t hate dogs. Infact, I grew up with my parents having pets all the time and I can totally see why they would be great companions. But what I can’t take is to be responsible for another life other than my own human baby. I live in Chicago where the winters and summers are both extremely skin-biting, and I cannot imagine having to walk the dog on frigid mornings/nights or sweltering summer heat which is more than likely done with toting my kids along.

I’m sure it sounds like excuses to some but really that is true in MY case. If you are a Mom from the cold weather spot of the world (and I don’t mean 40 F degrees which is considered heat wave for us…I mean temperatures in the teens, and negatives for wind chills on normal days), then I know you will understand my dilemma.

On these frigidly cold days, I normally stay put at home with the kids, but if we have to go out for anything then they are dressed like they can’t move anymore just like in the movie “The Christmas Story”. Can you imagine having to walk the dog too? And for the most part, all the commotion in dressing them is just to be hurriedly taken to the hopefully heated car if they’re lucky. When we get to wherever we are supposed to go to, then they strip everything down and I am left having to carry what looks like a laundry full of clothes. The sweaters, the down jackets, the hats, the scarves, the mittens, and don’t forget my stuff too.

I haven’t even started to complain about what the dog house-training would have become. Heck, I just finished potty training my 3 year old, and I’m so over thinking about poopies. Oh, and I don't even have a backyard! Well we do, but it's all cemented - just the basic modern urban living. How in the hell am I going to have a doggy? What am I to do?

Ok, maybe by then he’ll forget the promise – you think?


Anonymous said…
LOL! Nope he so will not forget. I agree with great day, maybe a smaller dog, get him a sweater and booties for he cold winters??
Cheryl said…
Hi, I was just passing through and fell in love with your blog! Great site!
Anonymous said…
I'm so totally with you. Responsibility is a hack of a job. I dont think I will give in too soon. How responsible is your son? Put your foot down and you are not being a bad mom. You are just being realistic. Until he can share the responsibility and can take better care of his own self. Urban life is not that suitable for raising both a kid and dog with no place to run and have to keep thinking have to "walk the dog" It should be enjoyable, certainly not "work"
cmhl said…
ohhhh, he won't forget. believe me!!!
Anonymous said…
He won't foget. My aunt and uncle had to come through with a dog for the 10th birthday.

My advice is to start researching breeds that don't need a lot of exercise. My cousin ended up with a King Charles Spaniel who are about the size of a Cocker Spaniel, good with kids and don't need a lot of exercise. Besides, in four years you don't know how life will change. You might live in the suburbs with a yard by then. At that point, you won't have to worry about walks in the cold as much as cleaning the yard once the snow melts.

Luckily, dogs are easier to toilet train than kids. In fact, if you choose a breed and get on a rescue list, you might get one who is already trained and available because its owner is sick, being put in a home, etc. Dogs that are 2 years old make the best additions to a family with kids rather than puppies or older dogs.

Sorry, we've been working on the pets issue for a while, but we can't do it because we're an international family and split our time between three countries. Dogs just can't travel like people can!
Mama of 2 said…
Okay we have a dog....but we also have a back yard so if I don't want to walk him I certainly don't have to. Check out the post on my blog titled I could have sworn he had water to see a picture of him.

I agree while your son won't forget your promise a dog is a lot of responsibility. And if you aren't up for it don't take on the task. It will only hurt you and probably the animal.

If you can get a small dog that would be great. I agree with the pp about one that doesn't require a great amount of maintenance. And there are quite a few breeds out there like that.

You have 4 years right? Enough time to do some good research or at least attempt to change your son's mind. wink -- wink
Kel said…
I hear ya -60 days are a bitch. I'm so glad we have a fenced in yard. Simi can go and run as much as she pleases then comes in to warm up/dry off in her kennel.

I think that a lot can change in 4 years. A lot of the stuff you think only you will be doing, your son can help out. It might not be the load you are thinking about.

To make potty training easier with a dog get it in summer. That way by winter the dog will be trained and ready to go.

I don't think he'll forget. My 3 year old won't let me forget that I said I'd check on soccer stuff for him, so I pretty much doubt your 6 year old will forget a dog. LOL

I say see how it goes. Your oldest will be 10 and your youngest will be 7. That's a whole different ball game.

BlondeBlogger said…
It's definitely alot of work, and money! And if you ever want to travel, you have to worry about kenneling the dog.

Remember mine just cost me $337 in vet bills for one visit over a stomach ache?

BUT, that being said, I still think it's worth it. I had a dog growing up and he was my best friend. I told him all of my troubles and got so much love from him.

My kids LOVE their doggie and all of the hassle and money is worth it.

If you're worried about potty training, maybe you could adopt a dog that's already house trained?

That's what we did. We found an ad for a free beagle in the paper and adopted her. Of course, being in a new house meant she had to get used to telling us she had to go out, so there were a couple of accidents, but nothing like having a puppy!

Also, the benefit of adoption (aside from saving a dog) is that you can know what their temperment is like and not risk having a dog on your hands that might end up biting one of your kids someday.

Okay, that was probably way more than you wanted/needed to know! LOL

Good luck!
mikster said… have 4 more years to hope he
Carolyn said…
You'll relent, they all do. My mother did eventually, it took her 10 years but she relented in the end. Of course we were renting so she had the landlord as an excuse why we couldn't get a dog.
Jen said…
I dont think it's so much having to worry about your when you make those kinds of promises to your husband. I made that mistake and now we have a 4 month old yellow lab...and guess what? When that pup turns 1 year..I promised him we could get a black one..and a MALE at that so that they can have puppie together. (I dont remember now what made me make that promise....but I did and he wont forget!)
Valerie said…
you got 4 years but I am willing to bet he won't forget. Good luck.
Stacy said…
Don't do it! I have a dog now who is a complete psycho. She barks all the time, which little dogs generally do, and J thinks playing with her involves kicking, pulling, and pushing. Don't get me wrong - I am a dog lover! Seriously, I cry when I see puppies in the pound, but they are a lot of work and if you already know you aren't willing to put in the effort, then you shouldn't get one.
Cristina said…
I finally caved and got a dog for my husband b/c he begged for two years. It's a lot of work and he owes me BIG time.
MJ Tam said…
~Great Day – I’ll definitely look into the Corgies. Thanx

~chelle – Buying a sweater and booties for the doggy means more laundry for me…hehe. But will definitely look into smaller dogs.

~cheryl – thnx! Don’t be a stranger J
Hi, I was just passing through and fell in love with your blog! Great site!

~anonymous – we seem to think the same way. Thnx for taking the time in saying all that, because this Mommy doesn’t feel as bad…right now anyway.

~kate – I didn’t realize that dogs are easier to toilet train than kids. Oh and thnx for the suggestion in King Charles Spaniel. Where does one person go to be added on the rescue list? Btw – suburbs is out of the question. My husband and I love our life in the city, and the kids have fun walking around everywhere. I grew up in suburbia and after living in the city, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

~Mama of 2 – Attempt to change my child’s mind is the best advice I’ve received so far…hehe

~Kel – I’m keeping my fingers crossed too that my son will show more responsibility by then. You are probably one of the few people I know that reads my blog that can understand negative wind chills! Hehe

~Ablondeblogger – adoption! Why didn’t think of that. I really appreciate you telling me about all the cost, etc…

~Mike – 4 short years! Uuurgh…and we all know that will be really fast.

~Carolyn – 10 years?! Wow, you mean I can still prolong it? Hehe

~Jen – LOL… atleast your hubby will be the responsible one for the dog!

~Valerie – Yes, 4 years left for me hearing him say “Mama, remember you said when I turn 10 you promised to……” yada yada yada…hehe

~J’s Mommy - Yeah, that’s what I’m afraid of. I’m afraid that the dog will be soooo neglected and that it will only make me feel miserably guilty because I won’t be able to give the dog the attention it deserves. Thanks for that advice.
MJ Tam said…
~mommy off the record - it's pay off time! uhhhh...sometimes it's kinda fun when the husbands owe us big because he will have not have a right to say NO the next time we ask for something big...hehe
Trish Ess said…
He's not gonna forget. :) You might want to get him a robotic dog - or a small animal like a guinea pig to start. I live in a city (Toronto) with a semi-large (boxer) dog. He walks *ME*, and galumphs all over the place like a big horse... I no longer have a garden in the backyard... He's highly intelligent, and as a result, I have to find new ways to keep him amused during the day or he'll eat the house. He's already eaten three crates, so crate-training is out of the question (he actually bends the bars)... but I wouldn't give up my puppy-faced narfie dog for anything. :D
Anonymous said…
We made a similar promise to our girls, sort of a 5-year plan for getting a dog.

But now we're already thinking of ways to get out of it. Gawd, we're lame.

Let me know what kind of excuses you come up with. Maybe I can use them.
Crissy said…
Ummm, I don't have too much to add to the discussion, but if you get the dog, YOU're going to be the one falling in love with it, you know. ;o)
Heather Bea said…
We have a dog and we love him but he is a lot of work. Can I just say dog hair is everywhere, thank god for my Dyson.

like everyone said he won't forget, but would it really be so bad. You are currently thinking of the bad things about the dog. Our dog is like a family member we would all be in mourning if anything ever happened to him.
Anonymous said…
I'll loan you my dog for a week during the cold winter. Let him walk the dog and maybe he will change his mind.