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Monday, June 15, 2015

5 ways a dog helped my kids

When I first got our puppy, Fletch, I was told in no uncertain terms by someone that it would be a huge mistake, that we weren't prepared to be pet owners and that my kids would literally kill the dog. (I swear.) Not only has that not happened, but I can say with authority that having this puppy has really helped the mood of our household overall, not least because he's there for my kids in a myriad of ways only a dog could be.

1) He will always play with them.

Mom working on the computer again and can only make bracelets with the kids for ten minutes? Don't worry! Fletch is there with a ball to help them out of their doldrums.

2) He takes the blame.

I don't know how many times missing shoes, broken toys and huge messes have been blamed on this little guy. We always laugh about it, because it probably wasn't Fletch who forgot to flush the potty after all.

3) He's always there for them.

My kids are really sensitive, so when they have to be reprimanded, they take it hard (for like a second before they go right back to misbehaving again). But nothing in the world is better than a live snuggle buddy who loves you no matter what when you're feeling down.

4) He LOVES them so hard.

Every morning when they wake up, he'll spend a half hour celebrating this momentous occasion. When they come home after being away, or even if they just come inside after playing outside for a bit, all bets are off for ten minutes while he licks them to death and wags his tail ecstatically. He does not hide his emotions, and his emotions are OMG YOU ARE BACK I HAVE MISSED YOU SO MUCH LET ME LOVE YOU RIGHT NOW I CANNOT HANDLE THIS. They love it and need it in their lives.

5) He gives them something to take care of.

They worry over him, and take charge of him as if he were their own kid. They help feed him and give him water and take him outside and make sure he's feeling happy all the time. This has the added benefit of them realizing that the sun doesn't rise and set on their faces alone. With a smaller thing in their lives, they see that they might not be the end-all be-all forever for everyone, and that other things may also need our compassion and strength. It's helping them (slooooowly) become big girls.

Fletch has been the perfect addition to this family. Absolutely.

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