for a difficult child who has problems making friends? I'm just thinking about difficult child 1 and what a loner he is. He has no social life outside our home, despite my encouraging him to call the one guy he calls a friend. He had a really good friend for three years who he'd spend the night with, go for bike rides with, hang out at the pool with, etc. Pretty much just this one kid. He'd actually call and talk to him. But the kid moved to Australia last year and difficult child 1 hasn't done much to replace him with anyone at the same level of interest. I was wondering if I should get him a dog. A puppy. Something he could train and call his own. I could sign him up for puppy class and later obedience class as a way to get him OUT of the house and meeting other people, even if they're mostly adults. Who knows, he may meet other kids that way. It would certainly foster a sense of responsibility and of course the warm fuzzy connection with a pet that loves you unconditionally. He loves our cats and his favorite he tries to have sleep on his bed -- which it does sometimes. But it's just not the same as a dog. And I know a dog's not the same as a friend, but it might help his self esteem enough to get him to take the next step in reaching out to other people. Thoughts?