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Suburban Island

Daddy's in the Doghouse
Saturday, Nov. 13, 2004, 2:13 p.m.

QUESTION: Can I have a puppy?

WHAT I LEARNED: Strike while the iron is hot.

The call of the tiny domesticated animal to the heart of a young girl is not to be surmounted by any means known to man. My daughter has been longing for a dog for a very long time. We all have allergies and so we have not succumbed to lure of the puppy. However, my daughter is now a college girl. She has a job and is working enough hours on her part-time job to have some money to spend on herself as she pleases – knocking out one leg of the no-dog argument.

She has been fixing her thoughts on a dog again recently and this time with more resolve. She has been researching options and in the course of doing so did stumble upon a perfect puppy last week. She and this puppy just clicked. It didn’t seem to bother any of our allergies. It was a tiny little thing. A precious, darling little bit of fluff. Best of all it was very laid back and definitely an un-hyper puppy. We all handled the puppy and no one had an allergic reaction to it. In fact, it is a breed that is supposed to do well for people that have allergies. Perfect – right?

Like the story really ends there.

Because she is a good daughter, she didn’t just get the dog and bring it home. Instead, she tried to get her dad’s okay on it first. Daddy was adamant though and stood fast against the imploring, reasoning, insisting, requesting, suggesting, and admonishing that the other family members brought to bear in favor of the puppy.

Now my husband is a lot of things that are good and worthwhile but creative he is not. We have decided that he must have consulted regularly with everyone he knew to come up with some of his sounds bytes, which got more and more adamant and inventive as the week proceeded.

Here’s a sampling of Daddy’s reasons why not. Note the progression from routine to inspired:

Initial Thoughts on the Subject

  • Everyone in our house has allergies
  • A puppy is a lot of work
  • It’s expensive
  • I don’t want a dog in the house

Ah yes, the tried and true anti-puppy statements know to all parents of the world.

Expanded Thoughts on the Subject

  • I called my allergist and he said no and never
  • I’ll die – we’ll all die – if there is a dog in the house
  • Nobody else in the family wants to help with the dog (me, me, I want to help with the puppy)
  • It will whine and bark and wake you up at 4:30 AM for the rest of your life (last part implied)
  • It will run all over the house peeing and pooping and depositing super-allergens everywhere – I will never be able to sit on our sofa again
  • I had a dog and it bit some people and besides I was allergic to it and we had to get rid of it – you’ll get sued by a dog-bitee and don’t forget about that allergy thing (we’ve never heard about this dog before)

However, this one is our family favorite - You aren’t Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, or Kelly Osbourne and won’t be able to carry that dog around with you like those people.

It’s kind of freaky to see your burly husband standing there is the most Paris Hilton-esque with puppy-in-hand pose he can come up with in his mind to really underline this lap-dogs-are-only-for-rich-famous-girls concept. I wanted to shout out - Do that again. Do that again. Being sometimes wise, I held my tongue. We obviously shouldn’t have watched even one Simple Life episode around him. The tip off that this idea came from one of his many outside sources for reasons-not-to-get-the-dog is simple – the man has no idea that anybody besides Paris Hilton has a dog that they carry around and to actually name names makes us sure these words came straight from the call-a-friend option in the advanced round of the Puppy-Please, Daddy Game.

Yesterday somebody else bought the puppy. We were all sad about it. Except of course my husband who grew defensive in the face of his daughter’s disappointment. What’s a daddy to do? That puppy was pretty special. She was pretty disappointed.

Daughter is now strengthened in her must-have-puppy effort.

And Daddy?

As you might imagine, Daddy’s in the doghouse.

image by Suburban Island

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