Wow, you certainly do have your hands full! I know I had much less, but I did have health issues that made life harder when my h decided he wanted a dog. Our relationship wasn't that great. I let him get the dog. That dog is still, to me, "his dog." I have two others, one I got in high school, and then we just got a new one, and these are "my dogs." I clean the yard after all of them, I deal with them and the kids, I (usually) feed them, put them outside, train them, etc. Most of it's up to me. I decided when he wanted one though, that I wouldn't let him have it as a reason to complain or be unhappy. At that point I thought, "ugh...another dog?" But we got him. And our relationship did get better. (My hubby had also wanted one when he was younger and didn't have one.) And, from my experience, taking one in from a puppy vs. taking them in around 2 yrs (usually they're still considered puppies until 2-3 yrs), makes a HUGE difference. It would be a lot, but after a month or two, it gets amazingly easy, just another part of life, and you said you wanted to work on your relationship-this could be a great start. Dogs make great companions and studies have shown that they can improve morale in all ages, in fact, many people take them to hospitals to help improve morale there, and soldiers have found they help morale even overseas; if you email me I can get you the actual info on this. The big thing is that you can't get a dog and then complain about it, b/c that will take away the joy the dog brings, and make you look even worse, thus worsening your relationship instead of helping it. If you know you'll complain about it a little, go ahead and say soemthing like, "I understand you want a dog, and honestly there's a chance that I'm going to not always be the happiest about it, so I need you to try to have patience with my attitude, and I'll try to have patience with the dog." If you know you're going to be miserable with a dog, be honest about it and stand your ground, but then you might want to get rid of some of the other pets b/c there's a good chance he's going to say you get all the pets you want, but then you can't handle the ONE he wants. (If he's anything like some other men I know, all the other animals could be his and that won't matter! lol) Also, if he really wants it and you say no, realize this will definately have a negative impact on your relationship. The way this will work is that getting a dog may or may not make it better, but probably wont' make it worse. Not getting the dog will make it worse. This is what happens with any "dream" that one spouse feels another kills. You may be able to say something like, "Take me on 5 dates, and then we'll keep the dog." or "Lets go to two counselling sessions to get communication in our relationship open again, and we can keep the dog." Or, "If you'll promise me one movie night with conversation for about 30 mins every two weeks, we can keep the dog." Little steps like this can help both sides by giving him what he wants, and working towards helping your relationship grow. Good luck, with whatever you decide!