We’re getting a puppy. I told my son, in no uncertain terms, that it was never going to happen and now it is.
This tale began in lockdown. I’d taken Jackson for a walk one day – when he had started schooling from home and I had started living at work – and he asked once again for the one thing I had repeatedly refused.
‘Dad, please can we get a dog?’
‘No,’ I replied, ‘I mean, it would work right now the way things are but it won’t be like this forever.’
‘So this is about work?’ he asked.
‘No, it’s about all sorts of things. It’s about me not taking on more responsibility than I already have. It’s about me not believing that you’ll help given how it’s a battle just to get you to leave the house. It’s about not having freedom to do things spontaneously.’
‘But you had loads of pets growing up. It’s not fair.’
‘Yes, we did,’ I replied, ‘but there were six of us at home.’
Sometimes I don’t feel his thoughts until I say them. That really did seem unfair. He only has one living parent and no siblings and I’d been steadfast about not allowing him a pet.
I said I’d give it some more thought.
Two weeks ago, my parents took Jackson to meet their new puppy. Great timing, right? As it transpired, the future owner of the last of the litter was unable to take the dog in the end, so there was one left. The little bundle of fluff strolled over to my son and didn’t leave his side. From the video footage my dad took, the feeling was mutual: they looked inseparable.
‘Dad, I didn’t go there trying to get a puppy, but she wouldn’t leave me alone. She’s my dog now. She chose me. I’m going to call her Bo.’
Bo is Jackson’s middle name. The choice was non-negotiable. It seemed like the puppy was by now too. But what’s a parent to do when faced with a story so heartwarming and a blog post title so irresistible?
When the child says ‘Bo’, select her.