What do you get a boy who’s about to turn 12? A puppy! Or maybe 11 puppies?…

My son’s birthday is next week. I can’t figure out what to get him or when to shop. He reads, a lot, so I have a stack of books that I’ve been meaning to pass along to him. I’ll wrap those. But he needs something cool and hip that he can brag about at school. Or does he?

I have to admit that I have no desire to adopt one of these puppies. And if a puppy became a birthday present for my son, it would become my responsibility – that’s the nature of kids’ busy lives – they don’t have time to meet the needs of a dog. I know that every last one of these puppies will find a good home because they’re cute and cuddly and wonderful. So why would I adopt one.

However, I could see adopting 2. They need each other. I can’t imagine any of them being split up from their pack. They’ve done everything together since birth. How unnatural to break that union. But could we really be a 3-dog family?

Chocolate Charlie has been ours for 3 years. He came to us out of necessity. Kiko (my forever dog) had to be put down suddenly. Floyd, who’d been raised by Kiko, flipped out. He started howling when we left him alone. He escaped from the yard, headed to the park and caused mayhem at the playground. He was lonely and really needed a friend.

Dylan was going through a rough patch at school, so we thought we’d get him his own dog. We looked at all of the rescue sites online and went to an adoption day. He’d had his eye on a black lab who seemed great online, but had no interested in Dylan or any other human being when we met him in person. Dylan was devastated. He thought he’d made a commitment to adopt this dog who didn’t actually care about him. Near tears, he kept looking at this 5 month old chocolate lab pup. So we took him for a walk. Chocolate Charlie couldn’t take his eyes off of Dylan. They walked together, curled up together, love at first sight.

We took Charlie home. Dylan has been whispering his secrets to Charlie ever since. They sleep together, Dylan feeds him. It’s a good thing. But in the end, it’s up to me to walk the dog and train the dog. That’s ok. A boy and his dog – nothing better.

So, what do I want in a new dog? A female; a breed that’s not considered dangerous (I can’t tolerate the perceptions people have of pit bulls and Dobermans…); a bit of a challenge; a playmate for Charlie; a dog that will become a therapy dog.

Could one of these puppies satisfy my needs? Could the mom?

(Chocolate Charlie came to us from:
we help them walk dogs whenever they’re in Petaluma and it fits our schedule…)

Reader interactions

2 Replies to “Birthdays”

  1. Did I tell you that after I showed David the photos of the puppies with D and G, that he said that he wanted to have 11 puppies and one mom dog when he was a grown-up. Of course, my kids are begging me to foster puppies too!


  2. I've had 2 families ask me about fostering! For us, it was easier than volunteering at the shelter. The whole idea that you can help a bunch of animals appeals to kids. So far, giving them up hasn't been too difficult. We'll see how that goes with these puppies…


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