Question from a couple struggling with infertility — should we get a dog?

I am not really a dog person, and this was something my wife and I really used to agree on. However, with the recent loss of ever having biological children, as well as the last two failed embryo transfers, my wife is changing her tune.

We live in a neighborhood full of dogs, and every time we pass a smaller dog on a leash my wife fauns over the little guys. “Oh look at him!” “Look at how little it is!” “It would be delightful to have one of those in my lap!”

I was raised on a farm and know what goes in to keeping a dog. I can only imagine the bother of having one in a city like Madrid. They fart. They defecate. They are difficult to deal with over vacations. The small ones are yappy. They are costly.

What should I do? I have tried to explain these things to my wife, but she seems unmovable. Perhaps it’s time to give in. I know her desire for an animal is rooted in her desire to care for a small living creature. Perhaps it’s something of a necessary substitute at this point, given the circumstances.

We are an infertile couple thinking about getting a dog. Should we do it?


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  1. #1 by Ria on October 15, 2012 - 4:58 pm

    I guess we’re not really dog people either, but we ended up with two dogs. I have to say, they require a lot more work and attention than I expected, but they are absolutely worth it to me. (Though I don’t know if I’d choose to have dogs if I didn’t have a yard.) We didn’t get the dogs because of infertility, but now that we know we’re dealing with that, it’s nice to have them around to keep me busy. I find them comforting, but I have to say that my cat seems more empathetic than our dogs, is easier to take care of and can be left alone for longer–even for a weekend with adequate food and water. My pets are a blessing to me each day, and I keep reminding myself that as we’re going through this struggle.

    • #2 by eph525 on October 15, 2012 - 5:30 pm

      Hi Ria,
      Thanks for the feedback. You mentioning how its nice to have them around and to keep you busy makes me wonder if this wouldn’t be good for my wife. Quite often she talks about being bored or says that she lacks real meaning in some of the daily tasks. Maybe caring for a dog, even though we won’t have a yard, will help her like it helps you. Many blessings,

  2. #3 by twintrons on October 16, 2012 - 12:22 am

    I highly recommend it. interestingly enough our two dogs knew how to calm are nerves when we received bad. They somehow knew something was wrong.

  3. #4 by The Author on November 13, 2012 - 12:20 am

    My husband and I recently got a cat, and he has definitely helped ease the strain of infertility for us. He’s fun and cuddly and requires very little work. I’d definitely recommend an animal. It helps fulfill my need to nurture.

    • #5 by eph525 on November 13, 2012 - 6:23 am

      We are thinking about a cat. If my wife wasn’t so allergic, we’d probably already would have one. However, if she could get by with an air purifier, this would probably be our answer for now.

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