I finally gave in and let the boys get a dog. She is an almost 2 years old, spayed, springer spaniel mix. She really is a great dog. She is THEIR dog and are 100% responsible for her care. The good: No complaints about having to take her out on a regular basis, even in the rain. difficult child 1 comes home when he's playing for his "turn" without any problems. When difficult child 1 got into trouble the other day, he layed by dog and calmly petted her while whispering "shhh, it's okay" (the dog was only laying there to begin with). difficult child 2 has a reason to get off his tush and go for a walk. He's trying to lose his "beer belly" and doing a great job with the eating healthier part and now he's getting more exercise too. The bad: Rule is the first one up in the morning takes her out RIGHT AWAY. difficult child 1 is usually up first but is in such a routine of getting something to eat then laying on the couch watching TV until I get up that he OFTEN doesn't take her out until I get up and remind him. Result, two poop piles and 3 urine spots so far. They are both VERY rigid in their "fairness" and heaven forbid they take her out twice in a row if the other one has a legitimit excuse. difficult child 2 is the only one that thinks to brush her and gets mad that difficult child 1 doesn't do it, not to mention I wouldn't trust difficult child 1 to do even a decent job at this chore. They compete for her attention. One will call for her when the other one is already playing with her. Heaven forbid they play with her TOGETHER. All in all, she's been a good addition to our house. Now, to get difficult child 1's "morning routine" changed.