We've been putting them off for months.
Last month, we saw an ad for Guinea Pigs (of all things) that lead us to the Nevada SPCA website. We saw a number of small to medium sized dogs that might make a good fit...but we didn't actually go down there (I know better than that!)
A few weeks later we visited the Lied Animal Shelter website. Again we saw a number of small to medium sized dogs we thought might work and again did not go out.
The boys have persisted...bagged...and pleaded with us for a dog. Rather spur of the moment Saturday...end route to a park...we stopped at both the SPCA and Lied shelters (never made it to the park). We came away from both with two or three dogs we're interested in but no actual dog. We need proof from our landlord that we can have a dog before either shelter will even let us visit with an animal (very good policy in my opinion and I'm surprised it's not more widespread). We had a family meeting that night over dinner...the boys need to be pulling their weight more around the house, plain and simple, before we'll bring a dog into the family that will end up being cared for primarily by ME - MYSELF - and I! Cam and Alex were already to take the dog for walks each morning...yeah, that'll last about a week!
Sunday, the boys were suppose to help with a major cleaning for a couple reasons 1) Uncle Brian has talked about coming up for a visit, 2) we were going to look at some more dogs Monday at a couple other shelters, and 3) it's just plain gross up in their rooms. I even said we would forgo church (still a battle to get Cam to go without a fight) if they helped out. I think the TV with movies or SpongeBob was on more than they helped clean.
Monday we visited the Henderson Animal Shelter (we'd seen about 6 dogs we were interested in on their website) and planned a visit to Heaven Can Wait Sanctuary where there were 2 dogs of interest (but turns out all their animals are fostered out so we didn't).
At the Henderson Animal Shelter we found a couple dogs we thought would make a good fit. The one dog that had really drawn us into the shelter in the first place was a 6mo Boxer/Hound mix...she turned out to be much bigger than we thought and a bit too rambunctious for my taste. Alex fell in love with her however and spent the entire visit sitting in front of her cage petting her through the bars even though we'd ruled her out pretty quickly. Which made Alex want to veto every and any dog the rest of us looked at. Cam fell in love with a year old Terrier mix. She was quiet and seemed to have some basic training...she jumped up on Robbie which scarred him a bit but something that could be trained out of her...while larger than expected she was certainly a possibility. Robbie, Ian, and I fell in love with a little 4 year old Spaniel, maybe 10 pounds soaking wet! She was very much a lap dog and a bit clingy to Mark and I at first, warming up to the boys a bit as we walked around with her. She reminded Cam of Dani in temperament...a huge plus in her favor. She's a shedder tho...a huge minus in her favor. Mark wanted a Border Collie...unfortunately that one snapped at Cam and Robbie (maybe Ian, tho' Ian never said anything at the time).
We had been trying to get a hold of our landlord since learning of the need of proof. We (mistakenly) assumed it would be a simple matter of an extra deposit as there was evidence of a dog having lived here prior to us. Mark was finally able to reach the landlord about 2 hours after we got home Monday...no dogs...no ifs...no buts...NO! So maybe the reason the people before us left was because they had a dog without permission. Everyone (except maybe Mark) was feeling fairly blue the rest of the day.
Today, is a new day. The boys haven't mentioned any of the dogs or even the idea of a dog but it's hanging there...an almost real presence. Mark and I have been kinda enjoying the rental aspect...not having all the maintenance responsibility. But this really hit me, at least, with some of the very real and painful limitations.
It was a good process even if the ending wasn't "happily ever after".