This dad’s hilarious “family dog contract” is going viral
There comes a moment in every parent’s life when their kids ask them The Question. You know the one I’m talking about — it’s horrifying and awkward, it represents a huge responsibility, and answering it just right is vitally important. No, I’m not talking about, “Where do babies come from?”
The question I’m referring to is, “Can we get a dog?”
In a post on Reddit titled Dog Contract By Reluctant Dad, user rjohnstone13 shared his answer to the dreaded doggy question: a contractual agreement his kids had to sign, with specifications for everything from the size of the dog to where in the yard, specifically, it’s allowed to poop.
“We can get a dog if everyone agrees to all of the following terms,” the contract reads. First up? “Dad never has to pick up dog poop. Ever. The dog’s poop is picked up 3x per week by children to Dad’s satisfaction.”
After that, the dad lays out some specifications for the dog’s size, mannerisms, and bodily functions. The dog has to be smaller than 15 pounds, cannot shed at all (good luck with that), must poop in the side yard (on the rocks against Barbara’s fence — sorry, Barb!), must be bathed by a child whenever Dad decides it stinks, and cannot slobber or have a runny nose. “All parties agree that those kinds of dogs are gross,” the contract says.
Other rules include:
6. 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.
8. If the dog makes any sort of mess in the house and new-age cleaning treatments prove ineffective, harmful chemicals will be allowed in an effort to eliminate stains and/or odors.
9. Dad has unlimited veto power over the dog’s name.
11. The dog is never referred to as a child or sibling. All parties agree that the dog is a dog.
12. The dog is not included by name on the family Christmas card. Also, if there is a picture of the dog on the family Christmas card, it shall be merely incidental — i.e., the dog will not be the primary subject of the photo.
And, most importantly:
13. The kids promise to never to 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.
The dad’s Reddit post was mostly met with laughs and a few assurances that he’ll most definitely end up loving the dog more than he realizes. A few accused him of being cold and unreasonable but, to me, this contract reads like a list of responsibilities for which any person should have to be prepared before they’re allowed to get a dog. Dogs aren’t just for cuddles and love; they’re a huge commitment, and this dad is preparing his kids for that with a solid dose of humor and reality.
In the comments, rjohnstone13 shared that his family did, in fact, end up getting a dog. “Two weeks after contract was signed, we got a ~three year old white fluffy mutt from a shelter that weighs 15 lbs., was already house-trained and doesn’t shed or drool,” he wrote. “We named him Kershaw (veto power not exercised)… Everyone (including Dad) adores the dog, which has been a fantastic addition to (though not member of) our family.”
Looks like a family dog contract isn’t such a bad idea, after all.