My mother was a big woman. And she was strong. She worked for 45 years in a factory picking up and assembling big electrical transformers that weighed over 100 pounds each. She had bright red hair and an Irish temper. Not somebody that you would want to mess with.
She had a simple way of raising her children, all three of them boys. She meant what she said. Period. But she wasn’t strict. You could pretty much do what you wanted, but if you were dumb enough to get into trouble, you handled it yourself. This was enough for me to stay out of trouble, but for my brothers, not so much. .
The only time I ever remember my mother slapping me was over a dog. The dog’s name was Bambi, a small, cute, purebred Chihuahua. Bambi was evicted from my friend’s house when she unexpectedly took a dump on my friend’s parent’s bed. When I found out that they were getting rid of her, I begged my mom incessantly to let me have her.
My mom never really liked a dog in the house. As a matter of fact, she hated them. But after I wouldn’t shut up, she finally acquiesced. Bambi did turn out to be a handful. She had her mean streak and was very possessive, biting the hand of anyone trying to pet her when she was being held. She also had fits of temper where she would rip up her bed, and the occasional accident on the living room rug. Finally after a couple of years of putting up with her, mom decided to get rid of her.
She told me that the little dog had come down with a fatal case of heart worms. I never really found out if it was true or not, but I accused my mom of lying. That was bad enough, but then I did the inexcusable: I called my mom the term that is used for a female dog in heat. The blow came out of nowhere. I hadn’t realized that my mom was that quick. Slap, right across the face. It really stung.
This is the time of year when many families consider getting a pet. But for the family’s consideration as well as the pet’s, maybe you should think long and hard before making the decision about getting a pet, and what kind to get.
According to the Healthy Planet Magazine:
“The very first step in our process begins with one or more family discussions.
Sit your family down to discuss issues surrounding this impending decision. Bring up points like responsible roles that will be assigned to able bodies. Kids need to understand that there is so much more to a pet than simply having a cute little puppy or kitten. Without these actions, mom usually suffers, having to account for cleanable mishaps as well as permanent, costly damages to furniture and carpeting.”
If having a dog or cat is improbable, then there are other popular alternatives like reptiles or fish. These can become a neat family project if everyone works on them together. But dogs and cats are what most children want the most.
A big choice is to whether to get a puppy or kitten or an adult dog or cat. The puppies and kitten are more adorable, but then there is the matter of training them to be housebroken. I can attest that I have cleaned up a lot of messes and thrown away a lot of good shoes over a puppy’s rambunctiousness. Cost is also a factor.
If you decide to adopt a dog or cat, be sure to look at the rescue animals first, rather than going out and buying from a pet store. They probably came from a puppy farm anyway.
After you bring your pet home be consistent and loving and bear in mind what dog expert Cesar Millan says about having a dog: food, discipline, and then affection. Be the leader of the pack. With a cat, be a good follower.