We loved the cats and they were a part of our family. Then Toby died, and 6 months later Pooka died as well, while in quarantine just before our move to Sweden. After only 2 months in Sweden, we adopted 2 kittens, Kita and Sasha, but over the course of the following year, it turned out that Anders had developed asthma due to allergic reactions to the cats. It got to the point where, about a year after we had adopted them, we were forced to give them away to friends of friends, because asthma is just not something you can mess with.
My allergies, which could be easily treated with antihistamines, come on in the form of itchy eyes and sneezing. Not being able to breathe is obviously much more serious.
So, anyway, when the kids got to the age where we were starting to think about getting a pet, cats were out of the question, sadly (unless someday we find a Siberian in the neighborhood to borrow for a couple of weeks to see if either of us reacts, since they are rumored to lack the protein in their blood that causes allergic reactions). A dog, however, would be PERFECT! So we spent a lot of time discussing breeds and our lifestyle and what would work best for us, and then we met with a breeder and saw some puppies and fell in love, but thought we'd be smart and find out first if there were any chance either of us were allergic to dogs because we did NOT want to:
1) make Anders' asthma worse, when it's under control right now
2) get a dog only to have to give it away again, thus devastating everyone involved
When the test results came back, I, who actually HAVE reacted around dogs, turned out not to be allergic. Anders, who has NEVER reacted around dogs (he also had one when he was a teenager), WAS. Especially Karin, who wants a dog with her whole heart. Fish and potential turtles somehow just don't cut the mustard.
So, that is why we are all very sad, still and forever, about not being able to get a dog.