How To Choose A Dog For Your Child 

Bringing a dog into your family can be a hugely rewarding thing to do, not just for your children, but for you as a parent too. Dogs are incredibly loyal companions, and they can help teach your children all kinds of important life lessons, like responsibility, empathy, and compassion. 

However, it’s not usually just a case of picking a dog out of the air and hoping for the best – it’s far wiser to work out exactly which dog (or at least which kind of dog) would be best for your child so you can be sure they’ll get on well and enjoy their lives together. With that in mind, here are some things to consider before you get a dog for your child. 

Photo by Matheus Bertelli

Is Your Child Ready? 

Before you take the plunge and get a dog, it’s best to think about whether or not your child is really ready to take on the task of dog ownership. Owning a dog needs a lot of effort, time commitment, and resources, so it’s a good idea to think this through, otherwise you might be the one left having to take care of the dog, or you might even have to give the dog away because no one can really look after it. 

The first thing to think about is your child’s age and maturity levels (which can be entirely different things). Younger children might be enthusiastic about the idea of having a dog, but they might not really understand the commitment that’s involved. Older children (perhaps eight or older) might have a better grasp of what’s needed, so they’ll be able to do more to care for their pet. 

You should also think about the level of responsibility they show in day-to-day life. Are they good at doing their chores, homework, and other tasks without having to be constantly reminded? If so, they’ll be more likely to be able to handle having a dog. 

Plus, don’t forget that caring for a dog takes a lot of empathy so their needs and feelings can be understood. Is your child able to do that? If so, they’ll form stronger bonds with their pet that will lead them to take better care of it overall. Once you are sure that your child is ready for a pet, you can move on to the next stage – choosing the dog itself. 

Think About Your Family’s Lifestyle

Choosing a dog that fits well with your family’s lifestyle is crucial if you want to have a pet you can look after in the right way, and that will be happy in your home. Different breeds of dogs have different energy levels and needs (physical, social, and mental), so finding a breed that works with your family’s daily routine is vital. Think about how active your family is on a regular basis – if you like to do a lot of outdoor activities, exercise, and so on, an active dog breed is a great idea. Alternatively, if you prefer a more relaxed lifestyle, a calmer breed will fit better. 

You’ll also need to think about how much space you have, both inside and out. Larger dogs or high-energy breeds are going to need plenty more space to move around in than smaller dogs or those that aren’t so active. Plus, there’s the time commitment to think about. Some breeds need more attention, especially if they have to be groomed regularly or need extra healthcare, but there are some types of dogs that are very low maintenance – if you don’t have a lot of time, one of these would be the best bet. 

Other things to consider include whether you’re at home a lot or you go out regularly, how many holidays you might take, or even if you have any other pets. Understanding all of this and thinking carefully about getting a dog might mean that you realise it’s not such a great idea after all, and although that might be disappointing, it’s far better to know it before you make a commitment to a new pet than after you bring one home. 

Research Dog Breeds 

Once you know exactly what your lifestyle is like, you’ll be able to gauge what breed of dog will suit you best, and then it’s time to do your research so you can work out the differences between each breed. Although all dogs come under one umbrella, the fact is that there are some huge differences between dogs of different types. 

Firstly, you’ll want a breed that’s known for having a friendly, patient, and gentle nature, especially when they’re with children – this could include breeds like golden retrievers, beagles, collies, or labradors, like the ones at Lucky Labs

Size is another massively important factor to think about, particularly when you think about how big your child is. If they’re little and you get a big dog, your child won’t be able to control it. Alternatively, a very small dig could be injured accidentally by a child – you’ll have to work out the ideal middle ground. 

Don’t forget to consider the dog’s energy levels when you’re going through the potential breeds that might work for your family; although every dog will have its own personality and own energy levels, understanding what the breed as a whole is like will definitely help you narrow things down, depending on whether you want something more or less energetic. 

And of course, there are grooming needs. A long-haired dog is sure to need more care and attention in that department than a short-haired dog (or even a dog with no hair) would. Will your child be happy to deal with that? Or can you afford the extra funds needed to send them to a professional? It might not seem like that big of a deal, but a long-haired dog that isn’t groomed can get skin infections and become unwell (costing you more at the vet) and will shed a lot more in your home. 

By carrying out plenty of research, no matter how long it takes or how excited you might be to get a dog for your child, you’ll be able to make sure that your new pet will easily fit into your home and become a loyal and loveable member of the family. 

Daddio, Don’t Ditch Your Collectibles!

It’s time to dispel the notion that fatherhood means giving up personal interests such as collecting. Becoming a parent can indeed be life-altering but here’s a friendly reminder: this doesn’t have to mean hanging up your collector hat!

Photo by Romain HUNEAU on Unsplash

It’s Not Childish, It’s Child-Like

Remember there’s an important distinction between being childish and being child-like, with collecting being one such hobby which falls into this latter category. Collecting is about maintaining an aspect of yourself that provides joy, curiosity and an uplifting sense of achievement – it shouldn’t disappear just because you joined daddyhood! And perhaps sharing your passion will bring bonding opportunities with your own little one!

Model the Passion 

Collecting is an art, like any other. By teaching your children what makes collecting so enjoyable, you will give them the skills and understanding to enjoy this hobby for life – seeking out unique items and adding to their existing collections while discovering which are rarest finds.

Parenthood Is a Double-Edged Sword 

Being a parent can be a double-edged sword. On one side, society expects you to act like the mature one by providing guidance, nurturing and shaping for your young ones; yet on the other, hobbies once associated with “youthfulness” seem dispensable. But society gets it wrong here; being a mature and responsible father does not require relinquishing your interests that remind people of youthfulness – collecting only gets better with age!

Balance between Fatherhood and Collecting 

Balancing fatherhood with collecting is key. Being a good dad requires time, energy, and dedication – but so does collecting! While both activities may demand your time and energy, investing time in both is absolutely fine; hobbies shouldn’t become casualties of fatherhood! Plus teaching your children something you love like collecting is the perfect way to spend quality time together!

Sharing Your Joy of Collecting

Share the joy of collecting with your little one! It can be an excellent bonding opportunity and serves as a useful lesson in patience, persistence, and appreciating things big and small – who knows, maybe it might even ignite their interest!

The Collecting Father as a Role Model 

Remember, as a father, you are your children’s first hero and role model. By maintaining your collecting hobby as part of your individuality and teaching them about pursuing their interests despite life stages or responsibilities, you are setting an amazing example to them.

The Collector’s Guide for Busy Dads

Time management is of utmost importance for busy dads, as you cannot devote as much time as before to your collection. A well-planned schedule can allow you to pursue your passion without neglecting other duties as a father; plus if your little one is old enough they could join in the fun! Whether searching for rare finds and bargain deals or simply exploring markets and antique shops there’s plenty to keep the whole family busy together!

Never Too Old to Collect

No matter your age or stage in life, collecting should never become something to put aside or abandon. Collectibles such as stamps, comic books, action figures or vintage cars reflect who you are as an individual and serve as testaments of patience and persistence; embrace and celebrate them! They make up part of what defines who you are!

Ways to Display Your Collectibles

Presenting your collectibles creatively and organized is an art in its own. A successful display tells a tale about passion and perseverance. Here are some inventive methods of showcasing your treasures:

  • Display Cases: Using display cases is an elegant way to showcase your collectibles. Not only will they provide protection, but their clear views also bring professionalism to any collection!
  • Wall Shelves: Wall shelves provide an ideal way to show off small collectibles while saving valuable floor space. Arranging shelves creatively is sure to draw interest and generate conversation among viewers.
  • Shadow Boxes: Shadow boxes provide an elegant way of displaying items with sentimental value that are 3-dimensional or collectibles that provide depth and perspective in your display. Each shadow box provides its own depth and perspective to make for a truly customized display experience. 
  • Themed Collections: Your display can become even more captivating with a themed arrangement, grouping similar items together and emphasizing their diversity within your collection.

Display your collectibles creatively – let your collection shine! Displaying collectibles correctly is key to their beauty and can reflect who you are as an individual. So let your imagination run free and bring out its full potential!

Self Storage Units Are Your Treasure House

Don’t let limited space limit your collecting capabilities! Self-storage units provide a clean, safe, and easily accessible place for you to keep all of your cherished collectibles safe from being damaged over time. Be it vinyl records or rare coins, self-storage units offer you plenty of room to store all of them safely. Customize it according to your individual needs by installing shelving, controlling temperature and humidity settings as necessary and upgrading/downgrading as your collection expands/contracts – SecureSpace Self Storage has a range of self-storage units suitable for each one of these needs!

Collectibles as Investment

Collecting is more than a pastime; it can also become a lucrative endeavor. Many collectibles will appreciate over time, turning your beloved mementos into valuable investments. No matter whether it’s comic books, vinyl records or vintage postcards – an investment-grade collection could deliver significant returns on investment. Researching market trends as well as rarity and condition analysis should precede purchasing any item. Keep patience in mind when investing in collectibles; their value often appreciates over time, making them ideal for long-term investment. Plus, finding something of real worth is not only financially rewarding but emotionally fulfilling too!

Photo by Karen Vardazaryan on Unsplash

Becoming a dad doesn’t mean giving up collecting; rather it means discovering a new partner to share in its joy! Collecting is a wonderful way for fathers and their children to grow closer, learn about each other’s worlds, and hopefully even find some common ground through collecting. Fatherhood and collecting aren’t inherently opposed – both make you who you are as an amazing individual with many facets – so keep collecting!


St. Louis — JULY 25, 2023 — It’s Christmas in July — the time when many people think about the upcoming holidays just five months from today.

In St. Louis, one of the most popular holiday traditions is a family excursion on The Polar Express Train Ride.

If you’d like to be among the first to get tickets for this year’s events, sign up for notifictions today at

The real train rides — a St. Louis holiday tradition — are rolling to the North Pole again to tell the magical story of a boy’s search for the real meaning of Christmas. The train rides begin at St. Louis Union Station on November 17 and continue through December 30, 2023. Early ticket buyers will have the best choice of available dates.

Trains will depart St. Louis Union Station at 4:30, 6:00 and 7:15 p.m. every night during the season except Thanksgiving. Trains also run at 8:30 p.m. on selected dates.

The beloved story of The Polar Express comes to life when the real train departs for a round-trip journey to the North Pole led by a cast of talented characters, including the Boy, the Hobo, the Conductor, dancing chefs and Santa and his elves. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the classic story as they are whisked away for a one-hour trip to meet Santa. It’s an immersive, family-oriented experience that will create lasting holiday memories. 

St. Louis Union Station is located at 201 S. 18th Street, St. Louis, MO 63103. Follow on social media @unionstationstl. Phone inquiries: (314) 942-6942.


St. Louis — July 20, 2023 — Discovery Channel’s wildly popular Shark Week turns America’s attention to the ocean’s most popular predators each summer. The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station is celebrating this pop culture phenomenon, July 23-30 with a variety of shark-related opportunities for guests.

Pop Culture’s Favorite Predators are Celebrated, July 23-30, 2023

“We are excited to help people learn about these apex predators and develop a respect for them,” said Tamil Brown, executive director of the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station. “Once you know more about sharks, you’ll understand they aren’t the crazy attack animals they’re portrayed to be. It’s important to develop a respect for them and their natural behaviors.”


Shark Canyon is the largest habitat at the St. Louis Aquarium. At 250,000 gallons, it is home to a wide variety of shark species as well as stingrays, sea turtles and fish. Visitors can enjoy a Dive Show at Shark Canyon’s large viewing wall every day but Tuesday at 1:15 p.m. Divers wear a special scuba mask that allows them to talk with visitors and answer questions about caring for and diving with the sharks.


At the Touch Pool on the second floor of the St. Louis Aquarium, visitors can reach into the water and touch a Bamboo Shark or a Coral Catshark. the habitat also is home to a variety of stingrays, horseshoe crabs and other marine animals. Guests may even by able to feed the friendly stingrays during their visit.


Young visitors can make their own paper shark hats in the Kids Zone where they also can color a fish and launch it into the virtual water, read boks about fish and play games.


Guests can walk the rope bridge across the top of Shark Canyon behind the scenes — if they dare. Stretching over Shark Canyon, the hand-knotted rope nridge is 15-feet-long and hangs 7.5-feet above the water of the Aquarium’s 250,000-gallon habitat for sharks, rays, sea turtles and thousands of fish. Like all of the best and scariest rope bridges, it shakes as visitors cross the span. The bridge crossing is part of the Aquarium’s behind the scenes tour add-on experience, open daily during normal operating hours. The tour also includes a visit to the Life Services area where salt water is created, monitored and filtered to keep the marine animals healthy; a stop in the veterinary lab; and a look at the kitchen where restaurant-quality food is prepared for the animals.


Visitors to the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station can see the following species;

— Sandbar/Brown Sharks

— Blacknose Sharks

— Zebra Sharks

— Whitetip Reef Sharks

— Black Tip Sharks

— Nurse Sharks

— Bonnethead Sharks

— Bamboo Sharks

— Cat Sharks


During Shark Week, Aquarium fans can touch replicas of shark teeth and jaws and will get in depth information on shark species living on site. Examples include:

Blacknose Sharks

A lot of guests think these are “baby sharks” but they are getting close to full grown. They’ll grow to about four feet long and weigh between 15 and 24 pounds at maturity. They get their name from the black spot on the tip of their snouts. Blacknose sharks are quick swimmers, so in the wild, they would eat small fish like anchovies or porcupine fish. At the Aquarium, they are fed them sardine, capelin (a schooling fish), squid, herring, or mackerel. All of the sharks are target fed to avoid competition over the food and to train them where to go to seek food when they want it.

Zebra Sharks

Zebra sharks have stripes when they are juvenile and as they grow older, the stripes turn into spots. They can grow to be nearly eight feet long and their tail can be about half of that length, so the Aquarium’s sharks still have some growing to do. Zebra Sharks are one of the few species of sharks that can breathe without swimming, so sometimes guests will see them hanging out on the sandy bottom or even on top of one of the viewing windows. They live in shallow coral reefs in warm tropical water in the Indo-West area of the Pacific Ocean, the Red Sea, East African and Australia. They are nocturnal, which means they are most active at night. In the ocean, they would hunt for small fish, snails, sea urchins and crabs that hide out in the coral reefs. Those “whiskers” or barbels at the front of their snouts help them to locate their prey and they can wriggle into tight spaces where these small fish often hide. They also have strong gill muscles so they can suck up prey. At the Aquarium, they are fed a variety of fish, including capelin, squid (their favorite), mackerel, and salmon.

Nurse Sharks

Nurse sharks grow to 7 to 10 feet and can weigh 200 to 330 pounds so they will definitely be the biggest sharks at the Aquarium. They are nocturnal like the Zebra Sharks. No one is entirely sure how they got their name. It could come from the sucking sound they make when hunting for prey in the sand, which sounds like a nursing baby. Or it could be from an old word that isn’t used anymore “nusse” which means cat shark. But the most likely reason is that it comes from an Old English word for sea-floor shark, “hurse.” They eat off the bottom like Zebra sharks, but they use their strong jaws to crush shellfish and even coral but they prefer small fish, shrimp and squid. At the Aquarium, they eat mackerel, herring, salmon, squid, or bonito. Both the zebra sharks and nurse sharks get clams and mussels to hunt for and crush up along the bottom of the exhibit.

Sandbar or Brown Sharks

They average about 6 feet long and weigh between 110 and 150 pounds when they are full grown. At the Aquarium, the Sandbar sharks eat large fish like mackerel, bonito, and salmon. In the wild, they are what’s called “opportunistic” feeders, which means they aren’t very picky. They prey mostly on small fish, eels, stingrays, octopus, shrimp and crabs. These sharks can be found all over the world. They are a shallow coastal species that likes warm tropical waters and they are bottom-dwelling. They can be found in the western and Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Indo-Pacific, ranging from south and east Africa to the Hawaiian Islands. 


The St. Louis Aquarium is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The attraction is part of the St. Louis Union Station family entertainment destination in downtown St. Louis at 201 S.18th St., St. Louis, MO 63103. Timed admission tickets can be purchased online at Find the Aquarium on social media at: @aquariumstl.

Tickets are available combining Aquarium admission with other attractions at Union Station, including the 200-foot-tall St. Louis Wheel, mini-golf, the St. Louis Carousel, the St. Louis Ropes Course the Mirror Maze and the newly opened Selfie Express. Buy online to take advantage of plan-ahead pricing.

Restaurants on site include the retro-style diner Soda Fountain, Train Shed, The Pitch Athletic Club & Tavern and the 1894 Cafe. Fire and light shows are set to music and play on the Union Station lake throughout the day and evening.

The St. Louis Union Station Hotel, a Curio Collection by Hilton, can be booked with an Aquarium Package at