Sooooo, we got a dog for Christmas! Are we crazy? We've been asked many times, and apparently, yes! Here's how it all went down...
Sometime in September, Maggie and I went for a walk ("girl time") with the baby and she talked my ear off about dogs. She shared which of her friends had dogs, which dog breed was the cutest in the world, and which dog even had his own book series. I knew my daughter loved dogs, but I didn't know she was so into them. It started my wheels turning, and I wondered if we really had any reason NOT to get a dog.
Phil and I had a conversation that night, and I think he was surprised that after years of saying we would never get a dog (another thing to feed and care for!) I was opening myself up to the possibility. Call it a moment of weakness, call it temporary insanity, call it what you will...I was getting excited at the thought of our family having a pup. And then I realized that if we could do it for Christmas, I wouldn't have to do too much Christmas shopping...the dog would be the big gift! And that basically sold this tired mom of seven on the idea.
A dog for Christmas, now what kind of dog did we want? We researched breeds and spent so much time looking at sites like petfinder.com to find rescue dogs, only to fill out applications and follow leads to then be turned away because we had too many children, too many young children, a cat, worked outside the home, or no fenced in yard. It was maddening. These dogs need a good loving home, with people to play with, good food, and lots of exercise. We could provide all that! These dogs were homeless! But we kept running into dead ends and eventually just started looking at breeders. Of course, when you go that route, you have to be very careful of puppy mills, and we talked to a bunch of breeders and googled their names/company's names to determine if they were legit. The whole search was exhausting. Down in Amish country, there were a LOT of puppy mills, just an FYI.