Putting the cart before the dog

Olivia is on a non-stop quest for a new dog. We have a dog, but she is 13, and she is a Labrador, so she's definitely a senior.

The push for new pets is ongoing with Olivia, but it spiked lately with an actual promise from us. Here's why Olivia is putting the cart before the horse - or dog, as it were:

We were thinking about adopting a foster dog in March. By "we" I mean me, not my husband, who was against it.

We were not looking for a second dog. I was helping a friend find his dog a new home, and ended up liking it a lot.

We are a one-dog family so this would've been a big exception. We ended up placing the dog in a new home because she didn't get along with our dog.

As we fostered this three-year-old dog, we realized she has personality deficiencies that might not have existed if she were brought up by us, from the start, as a puppy. She was moody and unpredictably mean-nippy, and we wondered if it's because she bounced around at three other homes before us.

Because of this experience, we no longer want to adopt an adult dog. We told Olivia the next dog will only be a puppy. It can be a shelter dog, but it has to be a puppy that we imprint.

Well, this kid went nuts. Kids - they hear what they want to hear. This happens ALL the time.

Any little kernel of truth gets distorted into their reality. Usually, it's stuff regarding play dates, and a "maybe" suddenly becomes a "surely."

So the dog. Olivia immediately started researching dog breeds she wants, coming up with names, deciding what tricks to teach it, where it will sleep, if I can sew it clothing, etc.

I was forced more than once to look at a neatly handwritten list of dog breeds and the pros and cons of each (ie: all the non-shedding dogs, so it can sleep on her bed), and then sit and hear her chirp on and on about it.

I, a typical tired parent, can barely plan for the next day, much less in the distant future with an uncertain date. We started responding to her excited comments and requests with, "Mmm hmm. Interesting. We'll see."

*worn down by all that enthusiasm*

I have said this so many times, but it bears saying again (when I have the energy for more than just "Mmm hmm") - "Olivia, your dog isn't even dead yet. I'm sure her feelings would be hurt if she knew you were planning for her eventual demise. Stop talking about a new puppy."

How many months - or years - must I now endure this never-ending talk about a new puppy? This is more chatter than NSA intel gets after a huge ISIS lead. Make it stop!

Note to self: NEVER, EVER, EVER give the vaguest hint of getting a new dog if there is no actual timeline. NEVER.

We love Inca.

We love Inca.