Would you sign a dog contract to get a puppy?
As adults, the concept of signing paperwork to own a pet may not seem very far-fetched at all. In most cases, when purchasing a puppy from a breeder or pet store, there is always some sort of paperwork involved. However, what if the person signing the dog contract was a child? In addition, what if the person who made the contract was the child’s father?
That is apparently what took place in one particular family where the father made each of his children sign a family dog contract before agreeing to bring a puppy into the home. The dog contract, which was posted on Reddit on Wednesday, consists of 13 terms that the kids were required to agree to in order for the father to approve the addition of a canine companion to their family home.
A quick glance at some of the terms and conditions outlined within this family dog contract make two things very clear: (1) This father didn’t want any responsibility (aka “doggy duty”) when it came to taking care of the puppy, but (2) he still wanted creative control and the power to make executive decisions whenever he saw fit.
This now-viral list of 13 conditions outlined within the dog contract does not have any separated groups or headings. However, after further review, the conditions can essentially be classified within five different categories.
According to the list, “Dad never has to pick up dog poop ever.” The collection of the dog’s feces three times a week “to Dad’s satisfaction” was also mandated.
“The dog is well-trained to poop in the side yard (rocks against Barbara’s fence). All family members agree that dog poop does not belong / will not be tolerated on either the front or real lawn.”
According to Love That Pet, the average dog is expected to defecate between one and five times on a daily basis.
They call cat people crazy but they didn’t have to go outside at 5AM every morning this week putting fresh dog poop into tiny baggies.
— Wes Bergmann (@WestonBergmann) July 24, 2016
The report further states if that is not the case, the dog may actually be constipated or suffering from a health condition that may need medical assistance — one of the few topics that were not addressed within the family dog contract.
The father did not specify the exact type or breed of dog that his children were allowed to choose. However, he did express specific details about the type of dog that he would allow under the terms of the family dog contract. Based on the contract, the dog was not allowed to shed, slobber, have a runny nose or be any larger than 15 pounds. As seen on the contract, the original weight limitation was 10 pounds. However, the father must have offered a little lenience in that particular — which is why another five pounds was added on to that term.
He even maintained creative control when it came to the dog’s name, according to the “unrestricted veto power” provided by the family contract.
Perhaps one of the most extreme details within the family dog contract were in reference to the dog’s behavior in general. As most dog owners will agree, dogs have both teeth and claws and usually find “creative” ways to use them all. However, according to the contract, this father wanted to make sure the dog was not able to scratch his floor ever — even if that required the kids to take drastic preventative measures.
“The dog does not scratch the floor. Dad does not care how this is prevented – clip nails closely, walking boots, surgically remove feet, etc. All parties agree that the dog may not scratch the floor.”
If the dog made “any sort of mess inside the house” that could not be cleaned with “new-age cleaning treatments,” the contract mandated the allowance of “harmful chemicals” to get the job done.
DOGGY DUTY & DIET
While freeing himself from every having to bathe the dog, the father retains the power to decide when the dog needs a bath. Based on the contract, if he “decides the dog smells, a kid gives the dog a bath within 24 hours.” According to the ASPCA, it is recommended to bath your dog at least once every three months (or a minimum of four times a year). Based on the family dog contract, those kids should expect to clean and bathe their dog a lot more than four times a year — especially if they plan on playing with the dog outdoors.
Not even the diet was safe in the family dog contract. If the children even thought about buying their dog “organic, gourmet or special diet dog food,” the contract forbade them from doing so. On the contrary, everyone in the family would have to settle for feeding the pet “plain old dog food” instead.
Another area that was addressed within the terms of the family dog contract was that of boundaries — making sure that the family put them in place. Many of the classic stereotypes of attached pet owners (such as pet family photos and children references) are forbidden within the contract. They can never refer to the dog “as a child or sibling.” If the dog is included in any family photos or Christmas cards, “it shall be merely incidental.” Essentially, the dog will never be able to use those photo opportunities as its own personal photo shoot.
Perhaps the most important detail outlined within the family dog contract was the final condition.
“The kids promise to never fall out of love with the dog or get bored of it. All parties agree that the dog is primarily the kids’ responsibility for its entire life.”
As most parents know, children may be very excited about something today and lose all interest in the same thing the very next day. The same principle unfortunately applies to pet ownership as well, according to Parenthood. However, this father made sure that he addressed and resolved that particular issue right away within the terms of the contract.
— 93.1 Jack FM (@931JACKFM) July 29, 2016
Some people may argue that this type of family dog contract is extreme, unrealistic, and unnecessary. When taking such a big step as pet ownership within a family home, though, it is of the utmost importance to make sure that everyone is on the same page. By getting his kids to sign a family dog contract, this father literally got his family on the same page — and perhaps it will ensure that his kids work hard to give their new dog the life and love that it deserves.
[Image by Maksym Dykha/Shutterstock]