By Doug Dunbar

We finally did it. After nearly twenty years of marriage, two kids now 10 and 7, three cats, two hamsters, opossums, birds, turtles, fish ducks and more, we got a dog.

She’s a beauty. Humane Society girl, Australian Shepherd/Lab mix.

Sydney, as we’ve named her is fun, energetic, quiet and gentle as well.

She doesn’t chew (yet), is awesome with the kids, and here’s the part where you get jealous, she does not shed. Not one hair. Most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.

The kids are in love with her, and so are we.

The first few days, she was a bit timid, as if to say, “I already have had my heart broken, so I don’t want to commit unless you do.” We have.

Adopting shelter animals has always been our route of choice. They are often such loving pets, who just need a family willing to give the time, effort and love.

By now you are probably asking, “Why did you wait so long to get a dog?”

Good question, and my answer comes from caring very much for animals. To me, having an animal that needs human interaction, and love, daily, requires that you be somewhat of a homebody.

Not to say you can’t go on vacation, but for many years, we have traveled, a lot. It’s something we like to do. So, we have waited for a time in our collective family life, where we won’t be gone so often. Where time at home will move toward the top of the list. Time with Sydney, and our other animals. Getting a dog, only to leave him or her on a fairly routine basis, always seemed very unfair to the dog to me. Right or wrong, that’s how we view it. So, more staycations it is.

Seeing my kids running and playing with Sydney in the yard, now brings smiles as big as going down a ski hill, or on a rollercoaster at Six Flags. Our version of “ruffing it”, at the Dunbar household.

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