Mom isn’t a killjoy – having pets is nerve wracking.

My mother teaches dog obedience courses for a living. She’s very, very good at it. I had chickens, horses, cats, dogs and even a deer when I was growing up. If there is an injured animal nearby, I am always happy to help. I could even see myself having a farm and caring for many, many animals at one time, at some point in the future. 

Why am I throwing all of these random and seemingly insignificant facts at you? Because I need you to remember them when you probably start thinking that I am a lunatic.

I am sick of having pets. So. Sick. Of having. The pets.

There, I said it. And it’s like a weight was taken off of my shoulders. 

I love animals. I love dogs. I love MY dogs. But there are times when I would ship them to Iceland and not be remiss in the slightest. 

I recently had an epiphany. I have finally figured out after all of my wayward years on this Earth WHY it’s moms who always the naysayers when it comes to getting a pet.

Isn’t it like that on television and in the movies? The moms are the first ones to put their foot down and say “NO!!” when their children bring home buckets of frogs or a lost puppy or one of those ET alien looking thingies. Mom always looks like the killjoy in that scenario, doesn’t she? It must be that we never want anybody to have any fun.


I have decided that I AM a killjoy despite all of my love for things furry and four-legged. I may even be slightly gleeful about this fact. Dare I say even proud. I’ve come round to the fact that I am ok with being ok with it.

I realize now that I would happily take a home without animals in it for a year or two, (or twelve) and not feel even the slightest bit guilty. 

When my hubby and I got married, we adopted a dog within weeks of moving in together. We just could not fathom having a home without also having a four-legged and fuzzy creature running around.

At first, our new doggie was the apple of our eye. She was walked regularly, encouraged to jump on the bed and sleep with us and given food right at the dinner table. Oh, how stupid we were.

Flash forward to now, only add one more dog, plus three children. I feel happily content with my new human pets – they make plenty of messes to go around. And while my dogs have been wonderful to my children, there are times where that just isn’t enough for me.

There is a reason for mom’s madness. Many, many reasons. Here, I’ll show you.

How can I say such things?

Because I have to vacuum up the copious amount of hairballs that find their way into every nook and cranny of my house. It literally looks like Christmas around here when tufts of golden dog fur billow in front of a cooling vent. They take off into the air and land like a gentle, January snow on my kitchen counters. On my dish towels. On the top of my freaking refrigerator.


Because dog hair is everywhere, even when I pull CLEAN clothes out of the dryer, (you know, that appliance with a freaking lint trap?) or change the bed sheets. There is always hair to be found.

And finding loose hair everywhere kind of makes me want to die a little on the inside. Hair in my food? Don’t even get me started.

How could I say such things?

Because they bark incessantly. At ridiculous things that don’t need to be barked at. I’m saying this even though I know that they’re dogs and they’re, like, programmed to bark. 

It’s always before 8 a.m., or after 10 p.m. when they do it. Sometimes, they get it right and it’s legitimate. Someone is at the door. Someone is in the yard. Someone is pilfering and looting the house. Whatever. It’s okay.

That is, unless your kids are sleeping and you’re trying to enjoy your coffee before they wake up and demand things of you. Unless you have a newborn who is reluctant to sleep, and the dogs decide to bark at your husband who is standing on the side porch. Even though they can LOOK out the window and CLEARLY see who is standing there.

How can I say such things?

Because when they need a bath, to be brushed, to have their nails clipped, to be given flea medicine, to be wrestled to the ground, put in a chokehold and given their heart worm pills, to be drug to the vet – MOM does it. 

The worst of these is the vet office. And it’s mom who winds up visiting it most. Because the vet office is open during the day, and who is home during the day?


So what’s left is for her to either find a sitter (never mind that she wanted to ask someone to keep the kids so that she could escape to the hair salon for an overdue haircut, going to the vet will be just as fun, lololol. Maybe next month…), or to drag the human children along with the canine children to the vets office together.

I think I would rather have a root canal than take my children and my animals into the vet office at the same time.


How can I say such things?

Because at the end of the day, the moment that my children are down for the night and I am thisclose to sitting down on the couch with a bowl of ice cream, and breathing a well-earned sigh of relief….the dogs need something. To go out. Dinner. Attention. The puke cleaned up.

Who cleans up the trash after the dogs have a free for all and shred every bit of refuse in the garbage can? Mom. She cleans it while grits her teeth and daydreams about she might do if she had a pistol handy. 

Because in the middle of the night when they need to go out, who do they wake up? Mom. Because having dogs is like having extra children. Just more bodies, more beings that need things of you. Constantly.

I hope that one day, my fondness for owning animals returns. Maybe when this season of having super small children passes. Maybe when I’m clocking more than 6-7 hours of sleep a night and take than three showers a week and can trust my kids enough to leave them alone upstairs for extended periods of time without worrying if they’re plotting the Earth’s destruction.

Also, it will probably need to be long enough to forget about all of the times that I have had to clean up the dirty diapers that they always insist on getting out of the trash and pulling apart into a million little pieces. Yea, probably need to forget about that.

I remember being that golden-haired girl who always had an animal of some sort in tow. I remember loving that companionship. I remember naming all two dozen of my chickens.

I remember feeling like Snow White with all of those awesome, various animals always clamoring around me. I still kind of am Snow White. 

Now I’m just Snow White after she moved into that castle, married the prince and popped out of a few kids and doesn’t have time for any of it anymore. Maybe I should try singing my requests to my dogs? Do you think they’d bake me a pie and clean the kitchen?


I guess for now, I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. Between thinking that they are adorable and wanting to punch them in the neck when they run off from the yard at night time.

Speaking of which, I guess they need food now.



19 thoughts on “Mom isn’t a killjoy – having pets is nerve wracking.

  1. Sarah says:

    YESSSSSSS! My husband doesn’t understand why I don’t want to have an animal in the house… but he’s not home to deal with the animal OR the mess. Love this post!


    • ashleylecompte says:

      Amen. Now, granted, there are helpful kiddos and hubbies out there. BUT that really does depend on the season of life that you’re in. Animals just unfortunately fall under the parameters of things within the home to be taken care of. It’s a TRICK.


    • ashleylecompte says:

      I know that if mine were gone tomorrow, that I would miss having an animal around. But it will take some serious self discipline to not give in right away. I’ll let the kiddos get bigger, to where they are hopefully helping hands that can assist with a pet’s basic care. And also, I’ll be out of the throes of toddlerdom, so an animal may actually get the attention it needs and deserves without making mom’s brain crack.

      This is what I tell myself will happen. We shall see!!


  2. Christine says:

    I am in the same boat with you sister!! We have 2 big dogs and they were my fur babies until my real baby came around and now they are always in trouble, always in my way and always doing something that makes me just want to throw them outside. And to top it off, one of them ate a sandwich off of the table one day and now my 2 year old tells everyone, “stupid dog ate mommy’s sandwich” and crosses her arms because I was so livid I just couldn’t hold my tongue at them anymore! I love them and hate them at the same time!


    • ashleylecompte says:

      My doggies will totally take food, too! And that drives me insane. Mine will also hang out in the kitchen, tripping me up, just scavenging to see if I dropped anything. Or, when we aren’t home, they’ll climb up on my dining room table to scavenge. Yes, because they don’t get enough food every day. I can’t stand it when dogs take food. It USED to be funny, now not so much!!!

      Glad to know I’m not the only mom out there who struggles with all of this!


  3. sfkeefer says:

    All of this. Perfect. I was the one constantly rescuing wild animals, hauling around a thousand and one stuffed pets, watching dog shows, reading animal stories, insisting that one day Id have two of every kind of animal possible. My husband got me an Irish Wolfhound for companionship when he deployed. For three years Remus has been a wonderful addition to our family. And then I had my son. And now Im about to have son #2, and as much as I hate, hate, HATE to be that person-it’s Remus who gets the short end of the stick. :/ If I had known I was going to have kids (we werent planning on them when we got married) I would not have gotten Remus, he deserves far better attention and care than I can currently give him.


    • ashleylecompte says:

      I am with you!! I feel terrible because I am not the pet owner that I want to be. I don’t have the extra energy and sanity for walks and for playing with and working with our doggies. I feel awful. And when we do interact, half of it is negative because they are driving me insane. Just stinks all the way around!!


  4. threeboysandamom says:

    I laughed the whole time. You’re so funny, and so right! Animals, dogs especially, are amazing but they are just like having more children. I hope they irritate you less and start learning how to pull their own weight… dog food doesn’t buy itself! 😊


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