We've been talking about adding a four-legged friend to our family for a few years now and I feel like we are on the verge of making this massive commitment. Owning a pet is a huge responsibility and now that H, H and J are older, I feel like they are ready for it. Petplan recently got in touch and asked if our children would like to design their own pet which they would transform into a soft toy for us. I thought this would be a good opportunity for the kids to dip their toes into pet ownership before we take the plunge for real and I set them to work.
Designing Our Dream Pet
The kids put their heads together and decided that they each wanted to design part of their pet dragon hence why it has three heads. Jack and Heidi decided on a dragon as they wanted a pet that could fly them places but also protect our house when they were at school.
The head that Jack designed is a bit of an obscure one but let me explain - it is the profile of a dragon and the lumps on his head are his special powers that mean he can survive without oxygen and breathe fire. I'm not sure those are the traits we'll be looking for in our next family pet but there you go.
Heidi picked a head in the style of a cat as she desperately wants a pet cat of her own. They are lovely and cuddly yet are still independent so don't need too much looking after. Plus they are cute which Heidi says is important in a pet. Hmmm.......
Harry decided on an 'angry head' as he says pets sometimes get angry plus he needs his anger to protect us if strangers try and attack us. Where do they get these ideas from??
Tri-Dragon has a personality all of his own - just like my three children, his three heads sometimes fight and argue but deep down they love each other and work together when needed. I was keen to give the kids an insight into what life will be like with a dog (if you can compare a dog to a Tri-Dragon) and decided they should take their new pet out for a walk in the rain. They were all smiles at the prospect but I do wonder how long this will last?
We went out for Sunday lunch but made a special effort to find a pub that welcomed pets. Luckily, we found one that allowed well-behaved Tri-Dragons. The kids took it in turn to look after and entertain him as we ate.
Then it was time to pop to the shops and obviously most pets aren't allowed inside of shops so Tri Dragon had to stay outside with the kids. I must say they were very responsible in looking after him but it has only been a few days so far and I do wonder if this enthusiasm will last.
So are we ready for a real life pet? There are a few more things to consider before we finally commit. Obviously, as responsible pet owners, we will need to take out pet insurance from a provider such as Petplan (who are the UK's No1 Pet Insurer) and costs such as food and equipment costs need to be taken into consideration and budgeted for. The cost of dog bowls, collars, pet toys, treats, pet beds and leads all add up. I'm not ready to give up out holidays abroad just yet so we also need to find a reliable dog sitter or kennels. Then if we decide on a puppy we need to ensure we have the time available to dedicate to training him/her (luckily Tri-Dragon is already pretty well trained) and prepare for a few sleepless nights as he adapts to his new surroundings.
A pet brings so much value and love to a family and looking after our Tri-Dragon has confirmed that yes, we are ready for pet ownership. Watch this space :-)
Disclosure : This is a collaboration with Pet Plan but all thoughts and words are my own.