Why I Had Kids, Not Dogs

When I moved to the Seattle area with six kids, my youngest was an adorable toddler with dandelion fluff hair.


I expected the typical comments about her age, cuteness, and overall awesomeness when I took her out in public. After all, she was the top student in the Gifted and Talented Pre-school Program at PJ Academy, our homeschool. I thought talent scouts would be stopping me left and right with offers for modeling contracts.  I was in the big city, now, ya’ know.





I realized  people weren’t as fond of children as they were in the Midwest. I realized people were very fond of dogs. 

  • Seattle has more dog treat bakeries per capita than any other US city.
  • Seattle has 45% more dogs than children.
  • Seattle has 11 dog parks.

But it wasn’t until I dog-sat for a neighbor that I saw how deep dog-love runs in the blood of my PNW neighbors. Otis is a nice dog, well-behaved and well-trained, but poor guy is past his bloom.  Slightly overweight in the middle, he waddles and has more gray hair than I do.  He’s a mutt without papers or pedigree, isn’t too big or too small, doesn’t have  long hair or short hair, and has no distinct color or markings. He’s the perfect family dog. 

When I took my adorable toddler and the dog for a walk, dog- lovers stopped many times to pet Otis and talk to him in their doggy voice. One lady even let Otis lick her face. I was almost worried about her dog-napping, she was so enthralled with his gray-bearded face and rheumy eyes. When you aren’t dog-crazy, watching someone sweet-talk a dog is like watching an engaged couple when you aren’t in love. 

As I looked from my adorable white-haired child to this middle-aged dog, to me there was no contest who deserved attention.

It wasn’t the dog.

I felt I had to justify why in the world Seattle I had children, let alone six of them, so began this list in my self-defense.  I’m not opposed to dogs, I just decided if I was going to have anything else in my house with disgusting body fluids, it might as well be someone who could visit me in the nursing home.


Kids, Not Dogs 2 pm



Why I Had KIDS, Not DOGS


  • My kids  don’t lick friends or strangers.
  • My kids  don’t  introduce themselves to a stranger by smelling them, especially in embarrassing places. (One toddler accidentally punched someone somewhere embarrassing, but with no witnesses, was it really that embarrassing?)
  • My kids don’t pee on the neighbors’ car tires. (One peed in someone’s front lawn at a garage sale while I was busy hunting for treasures. I almost died of mortification, but lived to blog about it.)
  • My kids don’t poop in my yard, the neighbor’s yard, on the carpeting or anywhere else in the house. (I guess one pooped on my sidewalk once, but only once.)
  • My kids don’t bark during the night and wake the neighbors up. (My yelling at the kids during the daytime has been heard a few times, but I can assure you, my kids have never caused the neighbors to lose sleep. Well, at least when I was home.)
  • My kids haven’t thrown-up in the neighbors yard, then gone back to eat it the next day. (EEWWW!  I still am traumatized by this childhood spectacle by the neighbor’s dog, Goldie.  You wonder why I don’t have a dog?)
  • My kids don’t rub their bare bums on my carpet.
  • My kids don’t pee on my flowers or leave little round circles of dead grass in my lawn. (I think there were a few peeing incidents during poddy training, ya’ know, little boys naturally think a tree is a toilet. But, the trees are fine, thanks for asking.  That’s another thing PNW’ers love.)
  • My kids don’t lick my face after drinking out of the toilet. (They’ve all played in the toilet, and I’m pretty sure several drank out of the toilet, but they didn’t lick me afterwards.)


TweetA mom of six kids in Seattle justifies “Why I Had Kids, Not Dogs.”


The list is a little graphic, but true.  And after I’ve convinced myself I’ve done the right thing in having children, not dogs, I remind myself of the great future I expect with my six, lovely children.

  • My kids will visit me in the nursing home.
  • My kids will bury me.
  • My kids will push my wheelchair.
  • My kids will give me more grandchildren.
  • My kids will sell my treasures at a garage sale when I’m dead.
  • My kids will change my diapers.
  • My kids will all get dogs of their own.

Not necessarily in that order.

And if any of my kids actually read what I expect from them, they may be writing their own blog post.


“Why I Traded My Parents in for Dogs.”


Making your home sing MondaysWholeHeartedButton

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27 Responses to Why I Had Kids, Not Dogs

  1. Noorie May 13, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    But you really don’t need to compare, do ya?

    • Mindy May 13, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

      After I read on online article “Ten Reasons to Have a Dog” I was momentarily doubting my decision, but then the kids woke up and served me breakfast in bed and I was…..oh, dreaming of course…..:)

      • Noorie May 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

        haha! you’re fuuny!

  2. Dana Kolste May 13, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    I like dogs, and I’d like one (putting my husband’s allergies aside), but I decided that I am not ready to potty train a puppy until all my kids are fully diaper-free.

    • Mindy May 13, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

      Great plan, Dana. It would be too overwhelming to have puppy piddle and diapers all at once. But, if you could train a puppy to change diapers, we might have a better argument for not waiting…

  3. Koala Bear Writer May 13, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    Too funny! I have friends who decided to get a dog instead of have kids… and I do think there are some people who are too obsessed with their dogs (have you see dog fashions? spas? crazy!). Thanks for sharing and for linking up with the Write Mama blog hop.

    • Mindy May 13, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

      Yep, I’ve seen it all. Doggie purses, doggie strollers, doggie day cares….you really can spend quite a bit of money on your pooch around here.

      I’ve learned how lonely a big city is, and that gives me more understanding why people love their pets. You can be around a million people and still be lonely. A pet is guarantee someone cares you’re alive, even if it is only to open their food and scratch their ears. 🙂

  4. Janis Cox May 13, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    We got our first dog when our children were 7, 11 and 12. It was wonderful. They learned caring, responsibility and always had the dog to welcome them home if they came home when we were not there. Now they are all married with children and dogs. When they visit us (and they always want to come to visit at the same time) we have 14 of us (including 6 grandchildren) plus we have 5 dogs (not all ours lol:). We have our third dog now – and we are retired or should I say realigned but our dog gets us out to walk and yes she helps us meet and greet others.
    So I have to say I don’t agree with you (even our paediatrician told us to not worry about allergies and get a dog).
    But loved reading your view point.
    Linking in from Koala Bear.
    Janis http://www.janiscox.com

    • Mindy May 13, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

      Janis, thank you SO much for speaking up for those that had dogs AND kids. 🙂 A lot of my friends did this quite successfully. I know there are a lot of cheers for your comment right now. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, is always fun to hear comments from others!

  5. Yvonne May 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    Hahahah! I am totally with you on this! Every time I clean my house, I tell myself : At least we do not have a dog! (Now my oldest, who has moved out, who never had a pet at home, has two BIG dogs! ) The only pet I ever wanted is chickens! (For the eggs) Looking forward to the day we live in a house where that can happen 🙂

    • Mindy May 13, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

      Me, too! My hubby and I always expected to buy a place in the country where we could have a cow, pig and chickens for food. The Lord moved us to the big city and we’re city-slickers now!

  6. Juggling Real Food (@JugglngRealFood) May 13, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    Perfect timing! My 8 year old daughter is campaigning really hard for a dog. I plan to share your list with her. Some of those graphic ones will surely talk her out of it. Right? Thanks for the laugh today. I certainly needed it.

    • Mindy May 13, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

      Glad I could help! At least she’ll have a fair look at what she is up against. Maybe she should write a blog post for you on WHY she thinks she needs a dog. 🙂

  7. Janet May 14, 2013 at 3:58 am #

    Love this blog…. at least on the farm where there is dogs and kids you don’t have to pick up their poop… they don’t live in the house… and the best reason to have a farm dog… they always give away the where-a-bouts of the kids that are hiding back in the trees somewhere. (until they learned they had to tie up the dog and put the cats in a cage to avoid mom and her list of chores). : ) FYI, we started seeding today!

    • Mindy May 14, 2013 at 4:01 am #

      If I lived in the country, guess what, we would have a dog! I know they are good for protection, but I never thought about using them to spy on the kids. You are a sneaky mom…

      Yea for seeding! Bet it feels good. We’re reading Farmer Boy now so last week Beka had to learn about harrowing. Wish we were there…

  8. lesleyannmc May 14, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    Mindy, when are you going to put your blog posts together to create a book, a la Erma? Seriously.

    • Mindy May 15, 2013 at 3:02 am #

      seriously, i don’t know. prolly after i finish cleaning the bathrooms – again – and scraping the gunk out from the inside of my garbage cans.

  9. Lynnette Bonner May 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    Mindy, this post had me laughing out loud. Well done.

    • Mindy May 15, 2013 at 3:04 am #

      Thanks, Lynnette. I appreciate you taking time to stop to leave a comment before you’re off to write another novel. Sheesh. You finish them faster than I can finish a grocery list! But, so happy for you! And for me, more books to help me relax this summer and remember what a vacation is…

  10. sinecostan May 18, 2013 at 6:07 am #

    I have never liked dogs particularly. Where I grew up in suburbia, some of the local dogs terrorized the neighborhood kids. And my mother always had cats.

    Today, my wife and I are a pet-free, child-free couple. We don’t have to think about kennels or sitters or any messes not of our own creation. I recently wrote a post positing that we would likely consider harboring a filthy canine within the confines of our home if it were toilet trained and always remembered to flush.

    We have nothing but admiration for the child-and-dog crowd, but we really do enjoy living a life free of anyone’s poop but our own. 🙂

    • Mindy May 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

      I’ll have to look for your post…sounds good!

      What I like hearing about everyone’s story is that they are happy with their lives and the decisions they’ve made of who/what to fill their homes with. I think contendedness is the key to our real happiness.

  11. momstheword May 18, 2013 at 6:54 am #

    Hahahaha, this was great, lol! I have both kids AND dogs and I’ll admit that my kids are much better behaved than my dogs, lol! 😉 At least my kids don’t throw up on the carpet, well now that they’re older! Thanks so much for linking up.

    • Mindy May 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

      Yep, your little guys prolly get away with more than the boys did. 🙂 But, as a parent we weigh to heavily the spiritual repercussions for how we parent. A dog would be more like a grandkid, I think, just the fun and snuggly part, with enough discipline to keep from getting in trouble with their parents. :0

  12. wholeheartedhome May 19, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    Hey Mindy? you wanna dog?? A Saint Bernard (who is no saint!!) She isn’t allowed in the house, and like the Golden Retrievers we had before her….it is either the children allowed in the house or the dog. The dog won!! I laughed and smiled through your post, loving every second of it.

    • Mindy May 21, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

      A Saint Bernard? Couldn’t you use him for a lounging couch? I’m picturing hair, drool and lotsa snuggles.

      My brother had chocolate labs that almost convinced me to get dogs. They were my nephogs. The kids used them as horses, trampolines and pillows. I even took a nap on the boat using Fred as a pillow.

      But, still, dogs are work and this Momma has been tired for 26 years. But, who’s counting?


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