Friday, October 24, 2008

Shopping list: 1 bichon frise, 1 kitten, 1 rabbit ...

At some point in kindergarten, every time Jo went to the school library she would only check out totally boring nonfiction books with some variation on the title Caring for Your Pet ____ or All About [Dog/Cat Breed X]. These were dry as dirt earnest, detailed manuals published by the likes of the ASPCA and the American Kennel Club. Not exactly my idea of soothing bedtime reading, but who was I to interfere with my child's interest in books/science/companion animals?

In the months since we have come to discover that the kid had an ulterior motive. She filed away all the details and used them to craft her master plan. And now, once a week or so we hear "When Folly dies can we get a bichon frisé? And then, you know bichon frisés get along with cats so we can get a cat? Or a rabbit, and also a guinea pig."

After she tried this a few times and I responded with horror at her blasé attitude toward the death of our beloved pet, she amended her request thusly:

"When Folly dies, it'sgoingtobereallysad, and then can we get a bichon frisé?"

We've had this dog since before the kids were born and they really do have a sibling relationship. By which I mean a love/hate kind of a thing. She tries to steal their food and they freak out. Then they feed her their leftovers right off their plates. She grabs their toys, they grab hers. They play together intensely for awhile and then ignore each other intensely for awhile.

She's over 10 years old and she has a heart murmur. She sheds, she barks viciously at the vacuum cleaner, she sometimes refuses to go outside and then has accidents in the basement. And when she's gone, it'sgoingtobereallysad.

(Photo is from 2002 and is one of my all-time favorites.)

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by Burger King Corp.

18 comments:

Hip Mom's Guide said...

I have such a similar photo! Our lab is almost 13, and I have to agree: it'sgoingtobereallysad.

But I love that she's so smart to have done her research first! Gifted, for sure. :)

Heather said...

My daughter asked me the same thing about our cat. Then she asked if she'd died yet the next day. Not feeling the love for the cat.

JGH said...

Only because I read this blog right before yours today:

http://brcrandall.blogspot.com/2008/10/crap-flower-children-and-meatballs.html

Vixen said...

Your daughter is quite tricky. This is a sign of great intelligence: all this planning. You will have to remain vigilant through her teen years!

Our basset is completely deaf, has a bunch of cysts that won't heal, can't have surgery because she almost died from the anesthesia, has similar accidents to your except not the basement-the bathroom and has to go out every morning at 4am now. She is 16 and when she dies itsgoingtobereallysad.

Gretchen said...

Not just a dog, but a bichon frisé?

How wonderfully specific.

My son's in the habit of re-checking out the same books from the library - like three or four times in a row. At least now he can read them to himself.

Vodka Mom said...

My kids say that, too. When Abbott dies, can we get.......

I say, "NO more damn dogs. No."

Alex Elliot said...

Our dog has been having some leg problems and I cringe to think about how it's because he's aging. My son is always getting out those books about ocean life. Hopefully he won't ask for an octopus or a shark!

mothergoosemouse said...

I'm really not cold hearted, and I think Folly is such a great dog, but I'm still giggling about this.

Karianna said...

My kids do the same thing. They're all about the next pet. I think they're just angry because our cat is older than them.

Lady M said...

Teehee! How about a betta fish? The hosts at the post-wedding brunch today had made centerpieces with live betta fishes swimming around in them . . . and at the end of brunch they were trying to get people to take them home. Definitely bloggable.

motherbumper said...

That story about "it'sgoingtobereallysad" is so adorable and hilarious and sweet. Though you must admire her practical side.

Patois said...

How funny, her checking out those books! She's working you, lady.

beth - total mom haircut said...

I did something very similar when I was little and wanted a dog. I researched it like crazy so that when my parents asked me if I knew how much care it would take, they had nothing on me. I'm glad she went so far as to check out what breeds would get along with a cat:)

Kate said...

Awww, I love all these posts about pets.

My son asks the same thing about our bitter old cat..."When Coco dies can we get a dog?"...As I cover the cat's ears.

the mama bird diaries said...

Oh, that is so funny! And sad about your pup. May your doggy hang in there for awhile.

Kim said...

My daughter does the same, and blithely tells my mother that "when Charlie dies Mommy said we might be able to get a gerbil." She (daughter) told me last night that when Charlie turns 16 (next month - he's a very old Springer Spaniel), "he's going to die." When I asked her why, she matter of factly told me "because he's old!" She has a point.

Love the research your daughter did :)

elswhere said...

I had no idea so many other kids were as blithe about their family pets' mortality as my kid is! I think she worries that I love Shy Kitty more than I love her, because Shy Kitty's been around longer. She likes to sidle up to me and say thing like, "If you had to get rid of one of us, me or Shy Kitty, you'd get rid of the kitty, right?"

the calm before the stork said...

ohmygawdsoadorable!