To Dog or Not To Dog


to dog or not to dog waco moms blog

When we told our kids we were going to move to Waco from Southern California, we all discussed the reasons moving would improve our overall quality of life:

  • -Daddy would be home more because he wouldn’t have an hour long commute
  • -We could afford to buy a house
  • -We could get a dog

They were such good sports about the whole move.  At ten and twelve, they could have been really upset to leave their friends and the only place they both really knew as home.  We moved to North County San Diego when our son was 5 and our daughter was 3.  Instead, they both seemed to embrace the idea of moving to Texas.  We had only driven through Waco a few months before we moved when Daddy had a “meeting,” which was actually his initial interview.  The only places they saw on that visit were Target, the lake, and Pogue and Woodway Parks.

Three short months later, we watched all our belongings drive away in a moving truck.   There is nothing more life reflecting than watching everything you own/collect/hoard be loaded up in boxes or wrapped in blankets and plastic wrap to put your life in perspective.  It’s just stuff, right?  But how do we accumulate so much of it?

We watched our ten thousand pounds of bikes, bedding, and books get loaded into a giant orange truck.  It was hard to be too excited when the truth was we didn’t have a place to unload it all on the other end.  It was being driven straight to a storage facility where it would stay for a month while we lived in a VRBO rental and tried to find a house.  By the way, longterm VRBO rentals were not a popular option in Waco at the time we were looking.  

The kids started school two days after we arrived.  It was the best thing for them to just jump right into their new community.  Thankfully, my husband didn’t have to start work right away, so he and I could house shop.   Obviously, in this state of transition, we weren’t getting that promised dog yet.  

Our kids have begged for a dog for years.  My husband and daughter have pet allergies, but the idea of a hypoallergenic dog appealed to us.  I grew up with a menagerie of pets, including horses, cats, birds, and over the eighteen years I lived at home, we’d had a total of twelve dogs!  So I do know what it means to have a dog.  Which is also why I decided in adulthood that I wasn’t ready to have a dog.  We moved around so much in our early years of marriage, and apartment living isn’t right for the size dog we were thinking of getting eventually.  That lasted eight years and then babies came, and I wasn’t looking to add to the chaos that a puppy would bring – and we didn’t stop moving around – a lot!

We didn’t buy a house in that first thirty days in Waco, so we ended up in a six month rental (again, NOT an easy feat here).  No dog.  We did buy a house on half an acre, but we had to wait for a Magnolia renovation and Fixer Upper filming (that’s another story) and ended up in a three week “homeless” stage where we slept at other people’s guest rooms and pool houses.  No dog. Then we moved into our amazing home, but…it needed fence repairs before we could trust a dog in the yard.  Somehow, we are at nine months later and the fence is finally finished, but no dog.  We’ve had a whole bunch of other excuses – like the  spring break trip we just took.

Spring break hike at Torrey Pines State Reserve in San Diego

But now we are out of excuses.  Honestly, we have been searching the interweb for months for hypoallergenic puppies – we’re thinking labradoodle so we can have something large enough to run with our cross country runner kids who will need a companion for the days their dad can’t go with them (I can’t keep up).  Here’s the deal, though – hypoallergenic puppies are $$$.  And remember that home renovation we did?  Well, that cost a lot.  So, we don’t have a few thousand dollars lying around to get a pricey puppy.  We’ve tried a couple of local rescues, but they don’t want to give a puppy to a family that’s never had a dog.  The rules are seriously stricter than a adopting a kid (not true but sure seems like it).  We found a loophole and had an “in” at a local rescue, and we even found a dog online.  She wasn’t as big as we’d hoped, but we didn’t even get a chance to see her because she was adopted the morning we called.  So now we’re thinking we will get a young 1-2 year old dog.

And since I’ve already mentioned that I spent my childhood surrounded by dogs, I happen to know that if I take my bleeding heart kids to the humane society or the like “just to look,” we WILL walk away with a dog.  Not necessarily the right dog though.  And let’s be honest, as much as my kids are wanting this dog, every mom knows that this dog will attach itself to me.  I’ll be the one there when everyone else is at school and work.

So now that I’ve given away so many secrets about my personality type (INFJ, btw), you know more about me than I planned to share.  I’m an overthinking stay-at-home mom who needs to get her kids a dog despite the fact that I’m not a dog person.  Help!  I’ve literally told my kids that they should pray that God drops a dog at our front door.  I don’t really mean that, but maybe???  I promise to let you know as soon as this miracle takes place!

 Do y’all have a dog?  What ages were your kids when you got it?


  1. So, you know how I feel about my dogs. They are a responsibility, but also a source if unconditional love, I really think they help people learn love and compassion, and it’s so great to have a non-judging, non-shaming friend. To me, the good outweighs the bad.
    From your fellow INFJ, much love to you in this decision!

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