How To Coexist With Kids and A Ginormous Dog And Still Have Your Sanity

As I was packing box after box in our kitchen yesterday, my daughter was sitting at the counter chatting with me.  “Mama,” she said sweetly, “can our new house be clean?  Like all the time?” 

Hmmmm.  Why yes it could my darling.  If you, your father, your brothers and the family dog all go live in the shed.

The dog of this family is many things, but clean he is not.  First of all, he is a 180 pound furball.  Second, he is a St. Bernard – so you know what that means – he drools.  A lot.  I know – it IS gross!  He also prefers to spend his outdoor time lying in the mulch instead of the 2 1/2 acres of grass on which he could frolick.

I can’t tell you how many people have asked me why.  WHY would you get a St. Bernard in the first place, if you value cleanliness in your home?  Why would you choose to have an animal that outweighs your husband live INSIDE your house?

Well, we’re nuts.  But you knew that already.

Let me just say that I am not a dog person.  But these loves of my life that I share a home with all have some crazy gene that draws them like a magnet to every furry creature on God’s green earth.  And the good Lord made dogs as puppies first so that mothers like me can be seduced into saying YES to an adorable furball…

…that eventually grows into a dog whose body mass takes up 3 cabinets-width of space in your kitchen.

And the funny thing that happens to mothers like me – non-dog-loving mothers, is that the dog loves you best, and follows you around everywhere and insists on making you fall in love with him to the point where you can’t imagine your home without him, even if it means having to vacuum more than you have time for, and your daughter dreams of living in a house that is clean all the time.  While our dog makes more work for me he also teaches my kids about responsibility and gives them the invaluable experience of growing up with, caring for and loving a pet. 

My house might not always be clean these days, but the childhoods of these kids are fleeting, and I want to fill it up with all the goodness and joy I can.

Did I tell you I’m not a dog-lover?  In this case I’ll make an exception.