Friday, March 18, 2016

When is a Good Time for a Pet?

Most of us have probably grown up with a pet. We have such fond memories of beloved Fido or fuzzy Fluffy, who gave us the cuddle right when we needed a little lovin'. We want our children to experience the same, but if we're going to approach parenting proactively, we ought to consider a few things first.

When my older two were toddlers, a generous friend gave us a puppy. Now I never had a puppy before but we agreed to this gift because we thought it would be nice for the kids to grow up with a dog. I envisioned lots of giggles, cuddles, and special playtimes. I was wrong.

Reggie the puppy was cute and adorable but soooooooo much work for me. Here I was trying to potty train a two year old and a puppy at the same time. Yeah. The  puppy was chewing everything, including the kids and instead of giggles I was getting screams. We gave the puppy back.

Now a cat was more our speed, so we had cats for many years. But my youngest longed for a dog. We did a lot of research this time around, and considered a few things carefully.
* Can we afford a dog? Dog people say you should plan on a budget of $500 to $1000 per year or more for food, vet, vaccinations, training, treats, etc. That doesn't include the cost of the dog to begin with.
* Are my children prepared to help care for the dog? We realized the initial excitement of walking the dog or taking it out to do its business would wear off and there would either be major resistance  or I'd end up doing it myself. 
* Is this a pet I'm willing to live with when my daughter leaves home, presuming it outlives her teenage years?

We made the decision to get a puppy when the youngest was twelve years old. We reasoned that her older siblings were all leaving home and she'd miss them so much and a dog would help. Anna was amazing with Dutchess. I agreed to do the early morning walk but she would do the afternoon walk. And she happily fed the dog each day. Anna never once complained. She and Dutchess had so much fun together. She would dress her up, teach her tricks, and cuddle with her at night. Dutchess was company for all of us as we missed the college kids. Dutchess truly was a blessing for our family. And now, Anna is in college herself and Dutchess keeps me company when Steve is at work. I know Dutchess misses her - she sleeps on Anna's bed at night.

And now for a refashion...

Remember that pretty dress I made for myself from Sew Different's asymmetrical dress pattern? It turned out too small for me and so I gave it to Anna, thinking she'd like it for Easter. However, it looked too much like her older sister's nursing scrubs, she thought, and politely told me she probably wouldn't wear it. I said that was fine... but would she like it if I made a skirt out of it? She said yes. So I a-hacking did I go.

I cut off the top portion and cut out an identical piece from another cotton fabric that would the skirt's lining.

 I sewed the lining along the top of the skirt and then would flip the lining over, sew up a place for elastic, and wah-lah... a skirt for my beautiful girl.

Blessings! And have a very blessed Resurrection Day!