Introducing a new pet to the family

Back last year I wrote about B really wanting a puppy for Christmas. And we all know about that rule! And along with the ‘not just for Christmas’ rule we have previous experience of introducing a new pet to the family, so we were a little more cautious.

Prior to having children, we had Fred and Ginger, our ginger tabby cats. Fred and Ginger are twin sisters, out to confuse every vet (and us initially) who thinks tabbies are boys. Completely independent, one is loving, one is aloof, they have been perfect pets.Ginger tabbie kittensMiller, our cocker spaniel, is a couple of years old than CM, and is the most placid dog in the world. He has perfectly adapted to children being introduced to his family, and just accepts all that life throws at him.Cocker spaniel puppyIn 2014 Jewelly was introduced to our family, because CM really wanted a kitten. This in itself was a really difficult process for us, to the extent there were two Jewelly’s, as we underestimated the difficulty of introducing a pet to a family filled with excitable children. Black Jewelly is a fighter, she holds no prisoners, and has incorporated herself into the family.

So, B’s request for a puppy was a bit of a difficult one for us. You couldn’t argue with his spirit, he didn’t think it was fair that Miller was the only dog in the house, Miller needed a fellow dog, and therefore B wanted a puppy for Christmas.

Part of this was easy to prepare for, we knew we were going away after Christmas so a puppy was never going to arrive as a gift. But we also had in our back pocket that the boys would celebrate their 5th birthday in January.

The more obvious part of the consideration was whether we actually wanted to add another pet to our family. With three cats and a dog we definitely have a full house.

When considering other pets we might introduce, we are limited, because of the cats.

Introducing a puppy would seem the best option, but then there are the knock-on considerations- the cost, the care and the impact, on us, and the other pets.

From one aspect the timing was as good as it was going to get. Now we have decided to stay in this house for the imminent future I would love to have new flooring throughout. And therefore from a practical perspective this would be the only time we could consider introducing a puppy.

Considering Miller was key, he is getting on a little bit, and the idea of introducing puppy seemed timely. A puppy to liven him up a little bit and maybe be a bit of a companion.

But what was key was that Miller would still need to be the boss, any dog we were to consider would need not only to be child friendly, and low maintenance, but also to keep Miller as king of his castle.

The next consideration was who would we be getting a new pet for. Whilst B clearly wanted a puppy, our experience of CM having a kitten was predictable- she loves the bests bits and conveniently overlooks everything else.

Whilst we put some hurdles between B and a puppy, such as taking Miller for walks after school each day, we acknowledged the reality would be we, or rather Mr J, would really be the owner of our new pup.

And with all of this in mind, or course we did!

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