The children bug me about new animals all the time. Right now we are exploring rabbits. Recently they were suffering from a severe eques-complex, nightmares for me until we got through that one. But the on going request, kind of a perpetual background whine, is for a puppy. I've been really good at saying NO to that one. Last week C joined the effort. A puppy would be a great birthday present. (The last puppy we bought was just about 9 years ago, when we were feeling really depressed about not having another baby. #2 child turned 8 this past May. I get really nervous when C starts asking for a puppy.) So, birthday pressure added to the general whine, I agreed to take a visit to the shelter. That usually cools the whine for a while. We can't take home all the dogs, and most of them won't fit with the rest of the critters on the farm. They almost never have a puppy that would work for us. Besides, I can always say NO!