Megan and Logan Wolf, both 34, have been married for 11 years and live in the Bay Area with their two children — and four dogs. Logan works in law enforcement and Megan stays at home to manage the household. Logan lovingly says the two of them juggling it all is like “managing a small business.”

When they moved from the Bay Area to Tucson, Arizona, in 2010, their household started to grow quickly. At the time, Megan worked for an animal rescue and would sometimes take her work home. Before they knew it, foster dogs that were only meant to stay in their home temporarily became permanent residents. 

The costs grew just as quickly as their pack, and when the pair moved to more expensive cities (first Washington, DC, and then back to the Bay Area), they were suddenly paying thousands of dollars a month to manage, at that point, six dogs — a ragtag pack that included labs, pit bulls, Shar-Peis and hound-dog mutts.

And even though the expenses — vet visits, food, supplements, and toys — have added up over the years (they’ve even lost security deposits on apartments), neither Megan nor Logan could have anticipated the tough decision they’d have to make when one of their dogs suffered an emergency vet visit. Both of them say they would never compromise a dog’s health, but how do you decide if and when a dog’s illnesses are worth the emotional and monetary costs? As their story proves, the choice is never easy.