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The holidays are coming and many a child is already pressing Mom and Dad to get them a puppy. Puppies, and their resultant dogs, are a big responsibility--much more than any child can comprehend. They have no clue how many thousands of dogs end up in humane societies and pounds across the country, just a few short months after the holidays.
Taking on a dog is akin to adopting a child and should be contemplated with the same concern, research, dedication to quality, and vigor that a couple should decide on the time to start a family.
Children will often beg with many enticing reasons why it is time to bring a puppy into the home. Some of the most common that my kids used are:
- My kids promised to walk the dog every day.
- They assured me they would feed them every morning and every night without fail.
- My children agreed to attend training classes, along with me, to learn how to properly raise our furry friend.
- They understood, up-front, that crate training was expected, and no puppies would be sleeping in their beds for a very long time.
- My kids promised not to give the puppy food from the dinner table, no matter how much the dog seemed to want it.
- They agreed to follow the rules that I established, based on "best practices" for raising a happy, healthy, well-adjusted dog.
- My children helped me recruit a few of their more trustworthy friends to act as puppy sitters when we were gone for more than a few hours.
- They agreed to help keep the yard clean of doggie droppings.
- They offered to bathe the dog when needed.
- They assured to me they would be involved in socializing the puppy.
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