The reason I even made the analogy is because I have felt somewhat judged (certainly not pointing my fingers at anyone, could be my own insecurities) by the fact that we had three dogs that we made the decision not to keep long term. My stance is that dog's are pets, not people, and that if having them creates a dangerous situation for the little people in your home or you are unable to carry out your most important responsibilities due to the presence of the pet, than it is best to find them a suitable home that will be able to care for the animal as well as their other responsibilities.
I do believe this go around that we picked a dog that had the best temperament for a home with five children, we chose a puppy so that she would grow up conditioned to the antics of babies and young children, and we chose a reputable breeder to ensure she indeed carried the characteristics of the breed standard(not to mention bred and raised them with ethics, love and care) . I also believe that having a dog will be very good for my older children. We would like them to be a large part of training Gracie and helping her earn her "Canine Good Citizenship Award". We may even go on to train Gracie to be a service dog.
I've always wanted my boys to be involved with 4-H or something involving animals. I was always thinking farm animals and that we would have to move to do this. I never thought about the fact that we could get a dog and do many rewarding activities with them! I guess this is because I grew up with mutts (loved them!) and we never did any sort of training with them. So I'm very excited about the possibilities!