We went many years before making the commitment to having a pet. Two kids seemed like enough responsibility, thank you very much. But as our kids got older it seemed like the family puzzle was missing a piece.
My wife was not raised with pets. To her, owning a pet is like caring for a child that will never grow up, never learn to clean up after itself, and requires constant care and attention. Basically, it is like having a perpetual two-year old.
Cats were never an option. Sorry, cat people–I won’t bore you with the reasons.
It was my daughter who turned the tide. One of the things that seems to come with the onslaught of puberty is the ability to pester relentlessly. We got daily facts about how dogs improve health, lifespan, emotional well-being, security. We also got regular doses of tears, pleading, negotiations, promises, threats and cautionary takes about the fate of pet-less children.
She chipped away at our resolve like drips of water on a boulder.
I am also partially to blame. I like dogs. Knowing that my wife couldn’t withstand the pressure forever I began hunting for the “perfect pet.”
I had just a few requirements:
- No shedding (our son has allergies).
- Not too big (has to fit in a car, not eat too much, and be lifted by one person)
- Not too small (nothing that resembles a rodent, or trembles for no reason)
- Not too yappy (which seems to be related to Item 3)
- Smart (meaning a dog that is at least somewhat trainable)
- Good looking (why not, right?)
- Healthy (we wanted a dog that would be around for awhile)
- Full grown (no puppy potty training, chewing furniture and midnight whining for us)
Impossible, right? Wrong! Meet our Welsh Terrier, Deacon.
Welsh Terriers are bright, handsome, not too small or too big, non-shedding, lovable, playful and mellow (as the situation calls for), and Deacon came to us as a crate-trained 2 year old. He is a show dog whose temperament is just too mellow for the dog show lifestyle. He just wants to be loved, which is perfect for us.