The truth? (Note to my niece Rachel: I hope you are sitting down.)
I want to get my kids a dog for Christmas.
I've envisioned the scene in my head numerous times; we would open all the presents on Christmas morning and then Cory and I would say, "Oh wait, we forgot one," and then we would walk to the garage, carefully lift the one box with holes in the top, and present it to the kids. They might look confused for a moment and then a tiny bark would escape from within, causing their eyes to bulge out like a balloon in the death grip of a toddler. There would be screaming, hugging, and potentially a few tears as they unwrapped the one gift they never thought they would ever get in their whole life, and right then and there as those dark brown eyes peer at them from under the gift wrap they would receive all their answers to the meaning of life. Most importantly, they would learn once and for all that yes, their mother loves them THAT much. The kids would frolic with the dog in the house for a while, maybe take him for a walk, chattering all the while about OH-MY-GOSH-THE-BEGGING-AND-GUILT-TRIPS-FINALLY-WORKED! and they would want to sleep in the same room as the puppy on that first night so it wouldn't be scared.
And the next morning I would wake up and say, "Well, that was fun!" and take the dog back to the store. Breeder. Pound. Whatever.
Because that's really the only reason I want to get the kids a dog, so I can see the look on their face when we give it to them. After that it's just vet bills and watching them eat their own poop, like urinating off the balcony on your honeymoon. What do you think, can a person survive that kind of psychological damage or should I just stick with plan A and get them iCrap and video games?