I never wanted a dog. I didn’t have one as a child. And there were a variety of factors that discouraged me from wanting one as an adult. The Big 5 for me were:
- The expense of dog ownership
- The damage a dog would do to my home and my slippers.
- The added work and responsibility of caring for a dog, given that I didn’t have enough time for the 4 other humans in my home.
- The cramp a dog would put on my personal freedom, especially related to travel, and staying inside on cold January mornings in Wisconsin. Woof.
- My wife and kids already provided my recommended daily allowance of cuteness.
Yet despite my well-founded reasons for not wanting a dog, my kids wanted a dog. And my wife wanted a dog. That didn’t matter to me. My reasons were better than theirs, which included things like, it will be fun. And, they are so cute.
Getting a dog was a non-negotiable issue for me. Despite all the negotiating my family brought to the non-bargaining table.
Until One Day…
However, 3 years ago I changed my mind. All of my reasons for not wanting a dog were still valid. But new information entered the decision.
One day, while reflecting on my life, I recognized how much my wife had supported my choices to help me live my ideal life. She didn’t flinch when I told her I wanted to become an entrepreneur and launch The Weaponry, the advertising and ideas agency I founded in 2016. She supported the additional work and isolation required when I wanted to start writing books. She supported the additional time and attention needed away from our home when I decided to coach my children in youth football and high school track and field.
In recognizing that my wife and family were supportive of the inconveniences that came with me living my ideal life, I recognized that in their ideal lives, they owned a dog.
We had room for a dog. We could afford a dog. And there were 4 other humans in my home that were willing to care for said imaginary dog. Yet I was preventing my wife and kids from having the life experience they all wanted.
So I changed my mind on something I never thought I would. Not for me. But because it was so important to them.
So in the winter of 2022, after much research and online shopping, we drove to South Carolina on a weekend, picked up an 8-week-old Border Collie named Strawberry, who we renamed Amicalola, and now call Lola for short. And we became a family of 6.
Today, with a year and a half of experience, the benefits of having a dog in our home are obvious. It has changed our family dynamic, mostly for the better. The rest of the family really does a lot to take care of her. And Lola loves me. Because Lola loves everyone. And she didn’t know that I didn’t want her in the first place
Don’t be afraid to change your mind. Changing your mind is a great sign of growth, learning and increased intelligence. Your decisions and opinions are made with the information you have at any given time. More information should alter your perspective. And eventually, that information may even change your vote.
We all make difficult decisions by sorting through a complex set of contrasting dilemmas. Whether you are weighing gun legislation, abortion rights, or whether or not to add a pet to your household. These are never black-and-white issues. They are grey issues because there are valid points both for and against both sides of every issue. The more you know about life the more you will adjust your view on most issues. Even if you don’t change your final vote, it will change your perspective and appreciation for a differing opinion. That’s a sign of increased intelligence.
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