How did I convince my husband to go from vehemently refusing to let me bring a dog into our home, to loving hikes with our two dogs and happily giving belly rubs 50 times a day? Here’s how….
When I was very young I was a sales rep for a computer company. In sales they teach you how to overcome every objection the customer comes up with to make the sale. To be honest, I wasn’t very good at sales. Now I wanted a dog. Desperately. It was time to get tough, time to break out the big guns and sell the idea of getting a dog to my reluctant husband, John.
|Not everyone likes the daily chores associated with having a pet.|
When someone is vehemently opposed to getting a pet it’s often because they’re thinking only of the chores and responsibility of pet ownership, not the unconditional love or the FUN stuff. There may also be another underlying reason why they don’t want the pet, like maybe they were bitten by a dog as a child or perhaps their neighbor’s cat was mean & nasty.
My husband John grew up with 3 brothers, all close in age. Can you imagine a home with 3 mischievous boys running around and no dog!? If ever there was a household that needed a dog, there’s was it! They did have a neighbor with a nice dog, a Collie named Major, which could be a plus in helping me make the “sale”.
During our many conversations, which basically consisted of me begging (no pun intended!) to get a dog. I knew that one of the key reasons my husband didn’t want a dog was because he had encountered so many “bad” dogs. As an insurance rep, he often visited auto body shops in New York. Many body shops keep guard dogs on the premises to help prevent theft. Sadly, they train these dogs to be territorial and aggressive toward strangers. These experiences affected John, his perception of dogs was that most of them were unfriendly.
I was lucky to have grown up with an amazing dog as my best friend. Although he had cats, my husband had never known the joy of taking your dog for walks and hikes, playing in the yard together, cuddling up on the floor to watch TV together, or the furiously wagging tail and licks on your face as soon as you get home.
|There are so many fun things to do with a dog, hiking is just one of them!|
Not only am I an extreme animal lover, but I also volunteered at our county animal shelter in Phoenix, AZ. Can you imagine volunteering day after day, surrounded by so many amazing dogs but never being able to take one home!? Let me tell you, it was pure torture. I just had to convince my husband to get a dog! I began to formulate a plan.
|Adorable dogs that were available for adoption at the shelter|
Knowing that John's main objection was thinking most dogs were mean, I endeavored to show him how loving and wonderful dogs can be! I also had to let him know that I would happily handle most of the chores like feeding, training, and walking the dog.
I started off by dragging him to every dog adoption and dog friendly event I could find. I would point out all the well socialized dogs and how well behaved they were. I would stop by all the dogs available for adoption and try to get him to interact with them.
I also found excuses to bring him to the shelter I volunteer at, where I would point out this or that dog, how sweet and friendly they were and talk about their breed characteristics. “This breed of dog doesn’t shed at all!” I’d say, or “That breed of dog would be a great hiking companion!”
Every time we went to the mall I’d even drag him into the puppy store pointing out all the different breeds of dog and talk about their breed traits to see if any particular breed caught his interest.
|Getting a dog is a big decision, you and your partner should both agree that getting a dog is the right decision|
I watched lots of shows on Animal Planet, especially Victoria Stillwell’s It’s Me Or The Dog. OK, so maybe that was just for me! At first he couldn’t stand my non-stop Dog TV, but after awhile he would watch some of the shows with me and we’d have discussions about the family and the dog in the show. It opened up a lot of great conversation for us. Instead of talking about how much I wanted a dog, we were talking about dogs in general. He was slowly learning a lot about dogs and dog behavior. I thought that if he could just be around more “good” dogs and learn more about dog behavior and training he would start to trust dogs and agree to get one.
|This isn't Malcolm, but this little guy looks a lot like him|
|The time had finally come for us to get our first dog together! Here she is, our sweet girl Isis, named after the beautiful and loving mythological Goddess, Isis!|
|This is one of my favorite photos of John and Isis. The look of love is unmistakable.|
It took a lot of time and patience on my part, but being on the same page about getting a dog and bringing home a dog that John and I both wanted was worth the wait! Our Siberian Husky, Isis is our first dog together. It was shocking to see that the guy who did NOT want a dog has so much love in his heart for her! I don't think either of us can imagine life without her now.
Two years after Isis came into our lives, I adopted Phoebe from the shelter I volunteer at and our little family grew by one more!
|Our darling girl Phoebe posting in our front yard. She is such a joyful soul!|