Sometimes when you are a parent you have to draw a hard line in the sand. I am struggling with a classic parenting scenario right now. The sceanrio goes something like this...Boy sees dog, boy LOVES dog, boy begs mother incessantly for dog, mother denies boy the joy of having the dog, boy's heart is crushed, mother feels like crap. This is what you might call a no win situation.
Jacques is is in full blown dog obsession right now. He goes to the library and brings home books about dogs... for a while he was researching breeds of dogs. Then he found a gut wrenching book about shelter dogs who became heros by you guessed it... saving their families from fires, visiting sick children in hospitals, and overcoming things like blindness, deafness and in one poor pooches case, extreme ugliness. Well, Jacques is a giant soft mush bucket 11 year old boy, so as you can imagine he is positive that he should adopt a shelter dog. Okay, that's a noble thought... I agree. Now Jacques spends hours online pouring through photos of dogs up for adoption at numerous local shelters. He has his heart set on one dog in particular named Bubba. I guess something about Bubba's sweet, pathetic profile photo spoke to Jacques.
Here's a letter he composed on the subject:
It's not that I don't like dogs... actually I love them. I've had three dogs. I just don't want to take care of one now. The gerb (drool), the kacking (barfing) on the kitchen floor, the dog diarreah (don't even get me started about Christmas morning 2002), muddy paws, hair on everything, dog oil slime on the side of the couch, on and on and on...
I like to pet other people's dogs and then walk away while they are left dangling a steaming bag of poop from their leash. Still, I find myself feeling weak and sad when I explain these things to Jacques and he just stares at me, not crying but with big fat tears running down his cheeks. I was pretty impressed by his letter. I told him that and he said, "Yeah, well I stayed up all night writing it. I thought I really had a chance." Doesn't that just kick you in the guts?