Picture this…

The year is 1994 (give or take a year, it’s an early memory). I’m a little girl hoping and wishing for a puppy. I put the request in at the top of my Christmas list. I was hopeful. I had done all of the things.

Wrote Santa a letter.


Told him in person at the mall.


Mentioned it nightly in my prayers starting 3 months before Christmas.


I woke on Christmas morning expecting to be licked in the face with a cute little fur ball only to find a letter at my door paired with a small stuffed animal dog. “Too much responsibility” it said. Disappointment sets in.

Santa must not have really understood what I meant when I asked for a puppy. I’ll prove to him that I’m ready.

Fast forward to the next year. Repeat requests and increase my ability to show just how responsible I can be.

Christmas morning comes and I wake to a note that reads, “A puppy isn’t a good fit for the family.” The note is paired with a medium sized gift. Santa must be quite the joker! I ripped open the package expecting to find a live animal on the inside.

It’s a plastic, robotic fish and tank (with real water!)

Disappointed is an understatement.

It wasn’t long after that Christmas that I realized “Santa” wasn’t going to change his mind and I needed to negotiate with the real boss…my mom. After several discussions, we wrote up a contract that stated when I moved out of the house she would purchase any animal of my choosing and provide for the initial shots and vaccines. We amended the contract when I was exposed to how many animals were in need of adoption and included a clause that if adopted, she would also help with the first year of food. The final signing date was 2001. I was still disappointed my childhood dream of becoming a pet owner was over, but I found peace that I could provide this opportunity for my future children.

Fast forward to 2012 when I got married. I had moved out of the house and was ready for the pet. My husband informed me that he never signed this contract and was not ready to be a pet owner quite yet. Disappointed again, but I knew I could change his mind over time.

Now we are sitting at the dinner table reviewing the results of my daughter’s allergy test. Right there next to “dog” are the numbers to indicate she is highly allergic.

And the disappointment continues. (Although I think my husband is feeling okay with these results).

By Kessick



  1. Oh no! You had me so emotionally invested in this story! I am not at all a pet person (in fact, I’m what is standing between my husband and a dog), but I was rooting for you. The timing of how you unfold this story is just perfect.


  2. I so feel for you AND N on this one. Thank goodness for Heidi, right? I love the “circle of life” aspect to this story, even if it does indeed end with continued disappointment.


  3. The journey in this slice feels epic, your resilience heroic. I wonder if there’s still a dog in your future, in a later stage of life…


  4. I thought this was a clever way to follow the story of trying (and failing) to get a dog. I felt each disappointment with you! I also really enjoyed your sense of humor.


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