Most of her life, Sojo's pets have been imaginary due to her allergies (minus the pet fish which seriously is the most B-O-R-I-N-G pet on the planet). Well, there was the time we had two cats in the house in Shanghai and didn't know she was allergic, but they mostly ran away from her in sheer terror, so I'm not sure that counts.
Recently, she said to me, "Mama, I'm ready for a real pet, not an imaginary one." So, we went through the list of pets that won't cause an allergic reaction, and I suggested a turtle. With the most hilarious deadpan look, she turned to me and said, "Mama, a turtle won't be able to keep up with me." Very true, oh wise and speedy child, very true.
Much to our delight, the pets gods appear to be on our side because my brother and his wife are headed to Thailand for their honeymoon, and we are dogsitting their Maltese named Matthew. This dog has hair and not fur, so it's hypoallergenic. You cannot imagine the glee this is bringing Sojo to have an actual pet in the house. It is also teaching her the elusive skill of being still and quiet so as not to freak out the dog. An added bonus.
We took Matthew for an early morning walk, and I followed behind chuckling and smiling the whole way. She is taking her job so seriously, even carrying around a big square piece of Lego that is her checklist of things to do. (Step 1, feed the dog. Step 2, Let him go poop, etc.)
So far, her very favorite morning job in Tucson has been to go out and get the newspaper (hmmmm...very dog-like behavior). Combining the dog walk with picking up the newspaper was just golden for her.
Holy smokes! Would someone comb that child's hair!?!