“We want a dog!” “We want a dog!” This anthem has become louder in our home as my kids grow older and more assertive. Every holiday, birthday, or special celebration of a job well done, is followed by a request for a barking family member.

I grew up with a dog so I know how special that relationship is… especially with a child. However, I cannot fathom the idea of having another responsibility and yet another “being” to take care of. And, of course, the kids aren’t looking for a chihuahua, Maltese, or poodle.

No, no, no.

Michael wants a Saint Bernard, and Jules just loves the “Marmaduke” dog. In other words, the bigger, the better. So, instead of telling the kids we have too much on our plates, we do what any sensible parents do in these situations, we blame the kids.

We throw excuses at them, like they are “not old enough and responsible enough to care for a pet,” they will have to “learn to do more chores,” and we'll maybe consider it“when they are old enough to walk the dog by themselves.”

The rooms get cleaned, the beds are made, and we continue to live in a cage-less, leash-less house.

However, our time is running out before the anthem becomes even louder. My brother has decided that he is ready to add a four legged creature to his family. While this is wonderful news that is sure to delight his kids and brings lots of love into his home, my kids will be less than thrilled when we go for a visit and are greeted at the door by their new furry “cousin.”

Of course, they will absolutely love it while we are there, but leaving to return to our dog-less house will no doubt be filled with tears and, gulp, anger.

Do I think that we will ever get a dog? I can say with close to certainty that one day, our family picture will include a furry, panting animal friend. But not today, not tomorrow, next week, or this month. So, instead we try to silence the begging and pleading, and hope that our kids will be patient.