I had just received my last assignment before retiring from the Army and was stationed at MacDill AFB in Tampa, FL. We had always told our kids that when we were certain we wouldn't get assigned as a family to another country, we would get them dogs. We bought a house in the Tampa area with a large, fenced back yard that had lots of large oak trees. There was an enclosed and air-conditioned porch area leading from the house to the back yard. Although my family was going to be in the Tampa area, I was going to spend the next 6 months in Bahrain.
We took my son and daughter to a shelter, but did not find anything that looked like it would be a good fit with small kids, so my wife said she would take the kids back after I had left for Bahrain. After arriving in Bahrain, I received a phone call from my wife with the kids crying in the background. They had gone back to the shelter and found some German Shepherd mix puppies. My wife filled out the applications and then my kids each picked out a puppy. They played with them while the applications were being processed. My wife noticed that it was taking a very long time to process the applications, but didn't complain because the kids were having fun playing with their new puppies. They had both named them and were talking about what they were going to do to make things nice for the puppies' new home. Eventually, a worker came out and told her that we were an "unsuitable" family because the dogs would spend a portion of the day outdoors - even though they would be running free in a large, shaded backyard. Of course, the kids had bonded with the dogs by this time and were crying because their puppies were being taken away. My wife mentioned that she had told the worker the plans before they ever entered to look at the dogs and asked why they didn't inform her first so she wouldn't put the kids through this. The lady told her that because some people might lie to them, they were justified in hiding their rules from people (a nice way of saying lying). My 9 year old daughter's comment (through her tears) were that "Isn't that hypocritical?" It's interesting that a 9 year old can see that but an adult has lost that ability.
The next week my wife went to a Siberian Husky breeder and we paid $1000 each for two puppies. $2000 for two dogs was a huge hit on our budget, but after putting the kids through all this with the SPCA, there was no way I was going to say "No" while being 8000 miles away. We love the dogs and have had them for 7 years now. They both run with me in the mornings and love spending time in the backyard. But we would have loved German Shepherd mixes from the shelter just as much.
SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) (Read these stories)
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