When I was growing up, I was your average farm boy. During school breaks, I would wake up early to help my father feed the dogs, horses, and cattle. If it was time to shave the sheep’s fur, I stayed at the stables, cleaning the area or soothing them. For more than two years, my siblings and I had a pet pig named Porky, which we allowed to stay in the house.
My love for animals developed once I got a little older and took on more farm responsibilities. While my friends looked for part-time jobs at fast-food chains or ice cream parlors, I stayed behind to take care of our livestock. My parents tried to make me do the former, saying they could handle everything by themselves, but I did not budge. I loved farm life; nothing else could compare to it.
However, some changes remained inevitable. Since I always had a thing for technology, my folks encouraged me to apply at the best universities to get my Bachelor’s degree. When I got accepted at UCLA, they threw a party at the farm to celebrate the news. Dad even said, “Don’t worry about your tuition, son. Just get good grades and try to make correct decisions all the time.”
Although I was happy, the college acceptance meant that I had to leave the farm and the life that I had always known. I moved to the East coast the country to take my classes, and I only managed to see my loved ones on long holidays. I missed the farm more after graduation since I had to settle at Silicon Valley and practically make my technological dreams come true. It did not help either that I lived with some friends at a condo that did not allow pets inside.
I followed the same mundane routine for years until I got married to my long-time girlfriend, Jess. We both came from prominent families, so it was natural for us to buy a large house that we could fill with at least four children someday soon. Searching for the perfect property within our budget was a breeze, considering we had similar tastes in aesthetics and land size.
If there was one thing that my wife and I had never-ending discussions over, it was my desire to have pets at home. I said I wanted a massive dog (like a Belgian Malinois or German Shepherd) to protect our little family and handle the kids’ roughhousing, but she told me that it won’t ever happen. My wife also uttered, “You never mentioned that you wanted to have pets when still dating. Why start now?”
Making The Family Like Pets
To be fair to my wife, she did not grow up around animals. Thus, I could understand her hesitation and fear of living with them. But it did not entail that I would give up my dream of having some in the property. The experience taught me about effective communication and emotional growth, so I wished for my future kids’ formation years to be not too different from mine.
These are some tips that my friends who used to have the same issues gave to me:
Get A Trained Pet
The first thing you should do is pick up an animal that has already been trained to behave. It should not be too challenging, especially when you know the breeder. You may ask them to teach the dog a few tricks before taking them home so that your family will not freak out too much.
Introduce Your Family To The Animals On A Great Day
No matter how behaved you think your new pet can be, your spouse will not care about it if they have had a depressing day. It will also not work if the animal is the first thing that your children see after a nap. Their brains are too muddled in either circumstance; that’s why you cannot answer them.
With this information under my belt, I waited patiently for the perfect opportunity to knock. I timed it when my wife sold a house at a high-end neighborhood to be too happy to say no to anything. And it was a great idea—my wife let the dog in, albeit reluctantly.
Ensure A Trainer Is Within Reach
Another great idea was making sure that the dog trainer was in the room when the pet and my family met for the first time. Doing so helped my spouse to feel less scared about the dog’s presence. She could ask questions about the animals that you bought for the house.
When I brought Baxter the Belgian Malinois to the house, my wife freaked out so much that she ran to the bathroom and locked it. Her message was clear: “Take it out of the house or else…” But once I did everything mentioned above, my family started warming up to the dogs. Wasn’t that wonderful?