Responsibility: Going to the Dogs


My sons’ unusual naming process for their puppy, who’s mostly Siberian Husky, went from Sosha, to Osha, and finally to Asha. I still haven’t shared this with several Indian friends of ours who share that name.

When my two older sons announced six weeks ago that they were getting a puppy, I joined the chorus of naysayers warning them that they had no idea what they were getting into.

When they adopted the beautiful creature pictured here my heart melted but I still knew that the demands of dog care – especially puppy care – would be way beyond them.

That’s why I couldn’t be more thrilled that they proved me and everyone else wrong. So far they have been exemplary dog owners. In fact, except for school (they’re both in college), their loveable pup has been at the center of their lives.

The first and most pleasant of surprises for me is seeing how they work together caring for their dog. They share ownership and responsibility and while they do engage in the usual complaining and arguing it’s rather mild compared to the basic respect and support they show one another.

My two sons have educated themselves, reading extensively, picking the brains of other dog owners, and observing carefully and reflecting on what works and what doesn’t.

They make the sacrifices, not going out when there’s no one to watch their dog, getting up early to take her out, cleaning up after her, feeding her and doing the multiple other tasks of puppy care.

They’ve found a good balance between strict discipline and affection with their beautiful puppy. They’re training her in the basics and letting her play appropriately rough during frequent visits to the dog park. But they also aren’t afraid to put aside their gruff male exteriors and share affection with their beloved pet.

I’ve learned a lot about my sons these past weeks and I like what I’m learning.


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