Are pets worth the pain??

We have 0 pets at our house right now, unless you count some of the ants I saw this weekend.  So, really, we only have 3,216, 231 pets.  I counted some I saw in the kitchen and then proceeded outside and counted all of the ones I saw in the yard.  I was there for HOURS.  Because all the dadgum things look alike, I had to stop and start over about a hundred times.  I lost about 5 pounds because I never wanted to stop to eat.  At the end of my couting spree, I had to be rushed off to the emergency room due to a severe case of dehydration.  It was worth it, though!  My near-death experience was worth it because I know how many pets I have now!  Well, hold on a minute...  I think one of those ants was pregnant.  Now, I'm stressed...

Speaking of ants, there is a dear older person to me, that will remain unnamed, that had ants in her kitchen once.  She absolutely refused to acknowledge the fact that there were ants at her house.  We'd say, "Hey!  Look at those ants!" to which she'd reply "What ants?" just about every time.  This amused my husband and I a lot.  We walked into her dining room and saw this once:

It was hard to hear their tiny voices, but I gathered that it was someone's birthday, ants love to gamble and their favorite character on Family Ties is Alex P. Keaton.

The ants in my yard don't make great companions, though.  They can't fetch worth crap and when you cuddle with them, they bite you!  So, I am on the search for a different type of pet for my sons.  Aren't all children SUPPOSED to have a pet?  No?  Sometimes I'm afraid to get a pet that will attack my kids.  My grandmother was walking one day a few years ago when a Rottweiler bit her right in the butt and held on for a while until he was knocked away by a stranger.  A friend of mine's daughter recently got attacked in the face by a Dachsund and had to have plastic surgery.  So, I ask...

Are pets worth the risk...and the heartache?  My pet history:
CHARLIE, dog: I think he got hit by a car.
AMOS, dog: He definitely got hit by a car.  We found him on my way to school in the 7th grade.  I still remember crying to my science teacher about him.
RANDOM FISH: When my sister was 2-years-old, she fed them a whole box of Triscuits and they ate themselves to death.
CHARLOTTE: Pretty white cat that ran away.
MARTHA, cat: She was a stray with lots of sores that my sister and I tried to nurse when we were in elementary school.  She mysteriously disappeared one day.
KELSEY, dog: She had to be put to sleep because of cancer.  We had her the longest.  My dad still gets sad when he recalls having to take her to the vet to do that.  She loved to swim in our pool.  Oh, my heart!
PARAKEETS: A friend of ours did a flip-flop, knocked the cage over and gave them all a heart attack.
JACK & DIANE: Goldfish we won at a White Elephant Party that died in less than 72 hours.
THOSE DINGDANG ANTS: Still going strong.

Dagger in the heart!  Dagger in my stinkin' heart!

So, considering that I want to subject my children to likely emotional turmoil, painful memories and sadness down the road, what kind of pet would you suggest?  Actually, what kind of DOG do you suggest?  I don't want a cat, fish, bird, turtles, hamsters, reptiles of any kind, ferrets or sugar gliders.  No, no, no.  Just a dog.  What kind of dog do we get??