There are few things I wouldn’t do for my kids, but when they asked for a dog two years ago I said no. When they asked for one last year I also said no. But this year, it started to feel like they could use some extra love.
“Please, Mama,” they begged.
“I just want something to love and to cuddle with at night,” my son Ari told me.
“We will help take care of him,” Josh promised.
At age 5 and 6, these kids are sensitive and loving and I know that the divorce has been hard at times, especially for my older one. Sometimes it feels like he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. He is constantly asking questions about who is in his family and why his father and I are divorced. He can be anxious and has often told me that a dog would cure it. He is either a genius manipulator who knows how to play on my heartstrings or just a kid who craves consistent, unconditional love.
This year, I finally said yes.
Dogs are said to have therapeutic benefits and I have this overwhelming gut feeling that it’s the right time to take on this new family member. My boys are getting older, gentler and are even helping around the house. We are in a groove the three of us, and now we are ready to make it four. I researched the gentlest, calmest types of dogs and decided on a mini double doodle (a cross between a Labradoodle and Goldendoodle).
When we went to visit our puppy, Theo, it was a magical experience. He is soft and tiny at just six weeks old. We instantly fell in love.
My hope is that Theo will teach my boys about love, kindness, responsibility and what it is to care for someone besides themselves. I hope this puppy will make them happy and fill them with joy. I hope Theo will calm them down on days when things don’t go their way. I know it will be a big job for me—it will be like having a newborn—but I want to do this for my kids. And, the truth is, having a constant companion might be good for me, too.