The Family Dog and the Primary CaretakerPublished March 16, 2012
Victoria Schade/Do Not Reproduce
People frequently come into Life on the Leash when stocking up for a new puppy.
"My kids were begging me for a dog," my customers - invariably women - tell me. "We waited until they were old enough to help out, and they promised that they're going to walk the puppy, and clean up after it."
"That's great!" I reply. "How old are your children?"
No matter what age they tell me, from 8 - 18, I know how things are going to end up in the family:
Mom. Does. All. The Work.
It's the dirty little secret of the "family dog." I'm sure these eager children have every intention of pitching in, but it's the rare household where that actually happens. School schedules, sports, friends and unfortunately even a lack of interest get in the way of daily dog responsibilities. The fact is, the family dog usually ends up Mom's responsibility. Sure, Dad will do the occasional walk, or sweep the yard for poop, but when it comes down to it, Mom does the majority feeding, training, walking, playing, and caring. (The benefit is that Mom usually gets most of the canine love along with all of that work!)
Are you the do-it-all Mom in your household? Or were you one of the "I'll help, I promise!" kids who left Mom to do the heavy lifting?