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“But you love dogs,” I said, quietly. “You bought biscuits for Lacy. You get on your stomach on the ground and let her lick your face.” The anger had faded from my voice. I felt despondent. “You’re always going to want to keep your things nice. That means you’re never going to want a dog. And that… that makes me sad.”

A subtle change occurred in David’s expression. It took me a moment to translate it – before, he’d been angry at me for pushing too hard; now he was he was angry at me for making him feel bad. I heard a bark – deep, throaty; surely Kayla’s, the plump Golden Retriever with the rust-colored coat and bad knees – and I instinctively looked toward the window. “Fine. I get it,” I said. “You don’t want a dog. I’m not going to force you.”

“Good,” David said. His voice had a hard edge to it, but his eyes had softened.

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Comments

Facebook Dec. 7, 2011 @ 2:13 p.m.

Larry E. says: My wife and I have had a similar discussion (but no argument -- yet), so David has my empathy. It's not just about the people. It's also about the dog. Mind you, maybe Newt "Gingrinch" can offer you advice on how to make the dog productive and earn some income.

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Facebook Dec. 7, 2011 @ 2:24 p.m.

Suzanne Y. says: A dog would love you unconditionally, really don't expect too much from you in return, your "nice things" are just that and nothing more.

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Facebook Dec. 7, 2011 @ 3:16 p.m.

Michelle S. says: We have nice things, and we have a cat and 2 dogs. The secret to that is training, keeping them excersized so they don't get bored and eat things, and a schedule. Also, getting a dog that's ISN'T a puppy will help. So many older dogs (just 3 or 4yrs old) are available for adoption but so many people want puppies. If you don't want kids, you don't want a puppy. I've taken dogs out in the rain and its not that bad. Plus it only rains like 6 days a year here. Just keep a towel by the door to wipe/dry its feet.

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Facebook Dec. 7, 2011 @ 3:32 p.m.

Deena E. says: We had that argument here for several years, then he finally agreed to it...Jesus, you'd think these dogs were his flesh and blood now. He LOOOOOOOOVES them and I get to give him sh*t about how long he resisted. Happy couple=happy dogs.

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Facebook Dec. 7, 2011 @ 3:33 p.m.

Shawn S. says: It's a tough decision amongst couples, but Deena's right. Having a big, dopey dog greet you when you get home is hard to resist. BTW, kudos to whomever crafted this article's picture of the two dogs trying to see eye-to-eye.

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Barbarella Fokos Dec. 7, 2011 @ 3:36 p.m.

I just showed this image to David and said, "Don't be an angry puppy." http://i.imgur.com/kMcuJ.jpg

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ladorada Dec. 7, 2011 @ 3:46 p.m.

Dogs take A LOT of time. If you want to get one, make sure that you can spare an hour a day or more. Properly training the dog is critical, and not something you can do only when you feel like it. The dog will also need exercise every single day. Between walks, training sessions, and general care (bathing, grooming, taking it out to potty, etc.), you can expect at least an hour a day. Also, if you like to travel, remember that you will have to leave the dog behind. Not only is this hard, but you will have to hire someone to come in and take care of it for you. Just things to think about! I hate it when people get a dog on a whim and then never spend time with it, and it ends up lonely, bored, misbehaving, destructive, barking all day, what-have-you. That's just cruel.

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Barbarella Fokos Dec. 7, 2011 @ 3:59 p.m.

All very true and important facts, ladorada, thank you! I agree that it's important (for both David and me) to go into this, when we're both ready, with our eyes wide open. I've been doing a lot of research, and am aware of the very great responsibility it is. One of the reasons David gives, and I agree with him on this one, for holding off in the past has been our frequent travel. I want to be sure I can be home more often than usual for the first few years of training. It's so sad to see all the animals that end up at the pound or in rescue organizations (San Diego has so many wonderful ones) because people went in for the idea and not the reality.

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