By: Tom Fletcher, CFP®
I recall writing an article a couple of years ago about holding out against owning a dog as a pet. A quick synopsis: I never plan to get a dog. Yes, I admit I felt a bit guilty each Christmas when my son would emotionally state that all he ever wanted for a present was a dog and not anything else (and he never mentioned a word about his two front teeth either). I remained an evil and impassive parent and never caved to the increasing pressure that my family applied. Please don’t get me wrong; I love dogs and have owned and been attached to several during my lifetime. My reasoning was amongst other things, as urban dwellers, we couldn't just open the door and let the dog go out and play in the traffic. I was concerned the human component of the equation would be much more onerous and time consuming in the city than those lucky suburbanites with large fenced in yards where they could just open their back doors and say “out you go Fido..”. With me being at the base of the hill, I was further worried that human component would be me, as seemingly responsibilities such as that tend to roll downhill in our household.
My mother in law lives in relative close proximity to our home. A couple of months ago she indicated she was interested in getting a dog. Furthermore, she proposed a loosely based joint custody agreement which had the potential to allow me to gracefully save face from my entrenched position with my family. In theory the dog could spend weekdays barking, chewing, shedding fleas and fur at her home, and then on weekends and holidays the animal would come over to our house and sleep. On Sunday nights, the cycle would repeat. Score!
Time to do some research. My mother in law and son (technically the owners) wanted a rescue dog. After investigating, they found the adoption organization Last Hope K9 Rescue which has a fairly rigorous interview process for perspective owners and offers a wide selection of rescue dogs and places them through temporary foster families. We made a point of not showing them my prior article. A couple of months ticked by as we searched for the perfect dog on their website.
Finally at the end of September we zeroed in on Ozzie (short for Oswald). He is a beagle/mini pinscher mix, weighs about 20 pounds, and has a little extra horsepower beyond his weight. He was pretty nervous at first when we picked him up from the foster family, but has really blossomed in the past several weeks.
Now on any given weekend or holiday, if you’re in the city, keep your eyes peeled for some guy who just got dragged out of bed, with a few plastic bags in his pocket, being pulled down the street by a small dog with a little extra energy ...