I had a deprived childhood.
I never had a "real" pet. Oh, sure, we had the occasional fish, turtle, and once, I even convinced my parents to let us have a gerbil. The fish died within a week. I barely remember the turtle, so, honestly, he could've been a figment of my imagination. The gerbil lasted until winter. My mother would not let him live in the house (he was, after all, a rodent), so off he went to live with a friend of mine.
I'm sure there are those of you out there who feel that animals of the cold-blooded variety and rodent family are fine pets. I am not one of them. In my opinion (and since this is my blog, that's really what counts), you have to be able to cuddle a real pet. A real pet is one that cares when you are there or not there, and I'm not just referring to whether or not they get fed.
A few years back, hubby got me a kitten for my birthday (at my request). She was a sweet kitty, a black domestic shorthair (read "common housecat") that we rescued from a shelter. She was, as I understand it, very personable for a cat. When we would come home from work, she was waiting for us at the top of the stairs, and she loved to sleep at the foot of our bed. She graciously tolerated, and even pretended to like, my then-toddler son.
Unfortunately, we moved, and, due to circumstances beyond my control (read "my mother-in-law lives with us and hates cats"), we had to find a new home for my sweet kitty. As an aside, she's very happy in her new home and has established herself as Queen of the Household, with four humans, a dog, and another cat as her obedient, if not always willing, servants.
Dear hubby has always been a dog person. Grew up with them and has very specific ideas about what kind of dog makes a good pet. I like dogs, and have a few ideas of my own. We had decided to hold off until after baby son #2 was born and we had established a household routine before adding a canine to our busy home.
A few weeks back, the subject of a dog came up with son #1. The conversation went something like this:
Son #1: "Mommy, can we get a dog?"
Me: "Well, we might get a dog sometime, but not right now."
S#1: "What about a cat?"
Me: "No, sweetie, Grandma is afraid of cats."
S#1: "Oh yeah. What about a bird?"
Me: "Uhm. No."
S#1: (hopefully) "A rabbit?"
At this point I decided I'd better at least consider the possibility of a dog, or I might end up with a son who felt his childhood was deprived.
I'm the type to research things thoroughly before acting, so that's where I am. Researching German Shepherds, because, as my big dog-loving hubby says "they're loyal and good family dogs." I'm not opposed to big dogs as a general rule, but I have a few other breeds I'd like to check out. You'll be the first to know when a decision is reached.