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If you move to a house on a private lane with a big yard, the kids will want a puppy.
If you cave and buy the kids a puppy, the puppy will be a crazily energetic black lab mix.
If you get a crazily energetic black lab mix, you’ll have to take her for daily walks in the woods near your house (which are quite lovely, in fact, and I totally recommend a regular walk in the woods for anybody with or without canine accompaniment).
If you go for a daily walk in the woods near your house, you will probably run into your father, who lives close by and also has a dog (you’d actually be surprised by how often this happens).
If you run into your father, you’ll probably stop and talk to him near a muddy embankment where the dogs will run up and down the hill into and out of the creek.
If your dog runs up and down the hill into and out of the creek, she might just get her front leg stuck between a root and the ground.
If she gets her front leg stuck between the root and the ground, you might just reach down and try to free her as she howls in fear and pain.
If you reach down and try to free her as she screams in fear and pain, she might very well bite your hand really hard, turning it into a sort of gory, hamburger-looking mess.
If she bites your hand really hard, turning it into a sort of gory, hamburger-looking mess, you will have to wrap it tightly in an awesome blue shirt you heisted out of the clean laundry pile in the Phys. Ed department’s lost and found, thereby rendering it bloody and unreturnable.
If you wrap it tightly in the shirt, you will still have done nothing at all to help your dog as her front leg breaks in two places, and actually a dog’s front leg is really an arm, complete with radius and ulna, or, in this case, broken radius and ulna.
If your dog’s leg breaks in two places, you will thank the good lord baby jesus that you ran into your dad because somebody needs to stay with the dog while you get your bloody fist and two vaguely hysterical offspring back to the car.
If you get your bloody fist and vaguely hysterical offspring back to the car, you might be lucky enough to see your husband, who has been called by your father, come screaming into the parking lot of the dog- walking- woods and take off running into the wilderness, only to return in five minutes carrying a fifty pound dog in his arms.
If you are lucky enough to see your husband yadda yadda yadda, you will probably spend a good part of the night and some of the morning hours in the veterinary hospital and the human hospital.
If you spend a good part of the night and some of the morning hours in the veterinary hospital and the human hospital, you will suddenly change your car buying plans to the effect that the car you are getting just got a lot smaller and quite a bit older.
If you spend a boatload of money on dog surgery to the detriment of your car buying plans, everybody will be OK and you might even just realize that you do love your dog more than you thought you did, even though she shreds cardboard boxes and scratches paint off the door.
And chances are, if you realize that you do love your dog more than you thought you did, you’ll be glad you let your kids talk you into getting a puppy.
Updated 3/23/10 9 pm: