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Should I get a dog?

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badmedicine posted 7/7/2014 23:00 PM

Ok, lots of emotions and loneliness have been going on for the past year (well, really the past 4). I have never had a pet before. No, not even a fish or a hamster. I've never really wanted one for more than a few hours before but for the past month I can't stop thinking about a puppy dog! I want a tiny fur ball to come home to. I have a busy job with horrible hours and I don't want to be selfish. But, I can't shake this idea. I know puppies are a lot of work but I just can't stop thinking about this. Plus it can't be worse than having a WH Anyone else make crazy decisions like this? My WH loves dogs...is that why I'm considering trading him for one?

fireproof posted 7/7/2014 23:11 PM

If you work long hours I would be hesitant for the dog's sake to get a dog. The people I know run home during lunch and right after work to let out their dog.

If you want a puppy it is also hard because they don't stay a puppy- depending on the dog they could become quite big.

Cats are much easier but if you are set on a dog I would either watch a friends pet for a week and see if it works for you - I knew someone who use to keep her dog with her so she could go out but she could also let her out.

It can work and there are options I know people who hire sitters and walkers so it is possible but it is both a time commitment and financial one and I see a lot people who want pets who just don't have the time to spend with their pet. It is sad for the pet.

Guinness23 posted 7/8/2014 01:35 AM

I hear ya....

Here is my advice: if you want a dog...get two. Brothers/sisters of the same age. They keep each other company and will BOTH love you.

When I was married, I had a family of 3 Lhasa Apso dogs. They couldn't of cared less if we (my exh and I) were gone during the day so long as they could play with each other. When we came home, they all were loyal to us and fulfilled our need.

Now, after that wonderful family of Lhasa's died due to old age and my divorce, I could only afford one dog 2 years ago. I now have 1 dog and he is lonesome when I leave. He spends too much time alone and I WISH I could give him a playmate.

My advice to you wholeheartedly is if you want a dog and you work, get TWO. Get two of the same litter. That way, they keep each other company and there IS no territorial competition as seen by dogs that come into a house after the number one dog is there ( like my boy now).

If you want a dog. Get two at the same time.

If you want a small dog that doesn't shed, a Lhasa Apso is the PERFECT companion. It is ALL you need.

[This message edited by Guinness23 at 1:51 AM, July 8th (Tuesday)]

Amazonia posted 7/8/2014 06:50 AM

I bet there are shelters or rescues in your area looking for foster parents, if you want a trial run!

Lucky2HaveMe posted 7/8/2014 06:54 AM

Ama has a great idea!

I think if you have to ask "Should I get a dog", then you probably shouldn't. They are a lot of work and tie you down.

I'm lucky in that my dd has 2 dogs. We often dog sit - we had them for 10 days while they were on their honeymoon - at it was enough! Kinda like grandkids - they went home... eventually!

Sad in AZ posted 7/8/2014 07:24 AM

Frankly, I think it's a terrible idea to get a dog in your state of mind. They are not throw-away accessories. You've never had one; you've never wanted one. You're just lonely.

Wait 6 months; see if you still want one. Then, if you have friends with dogs, try dog sitting for them. THEN if you still want one, try fostering--if a foster organization will allow you to do it with your schedule.

Dogs are a serious commitment. They are a lot of work and need companionship. You need to be the leader of their pack; if you get a pair now and leave them alone for long periods, they won't be trained, they won't be socialized and they won't want you.

Deeply Scared posted 7/8/2014 07:25 AM

ETA: ^^^Amen Sad^^^


badmedicine...

Please don't get a dog until you do a lot of research. Dogs...especially puppies are a lot of work and require proper training.

We are a foster home to our Pomeranian Rescue and because people make uneducated decisions and then get frustrated too many puppies and dogs are abandoned and/or dumped at shelters.

I suggest you do what Amazonia offered. Be a foster home first to see if your lifestyle and patience level will fit with a dog's life

[This message edited by SI Staff at 7:26 AM, July 8th (Tuesday)]

tushnurse posted 7/8/2014 07:30 AM

I am an animal nut when it comes to having and loving them. I can tell you that dogs are a lot of work and require training that has to be done a specific way, they require exercise and they can be expensive to keep.
Cats can be a much easier first pet. They are self sufficient when provided food water and a box. If you get stuck at work no big deal if you want to.go on a weekend trip no big deal. With dogs these are things you have to consider.

If you got that puppy want thing going on find a local no kill shelter and volunteer. They people to anything g from loving them to walking them to bathing, brushing, and cleaning kennels. This will give you your fix give you an idea of breeds that are good, ones you may not care for, and learn how to train and command a dog.

We are currently down to one lab and I was not up for the whole puppy thing again so we are participating in a program called Dogs on Deployment. It's cool. We have a lab/beagle mutual that we are keeping while his dad is deployed. When he gets home in February he will have a fog that has been loved and cares for trained a bit more and exposed to kids, cats, and dogs.
I get the benefit of having a buddy for my lab to play with.
Fostering is great because you don't have that commitment to a whole lifetime with a dog. Plus you are helping out.

Anyway my thoughts

tushnurse posted 7/8/2014 07:30 AM

I am an animal nut when it comes to having and loving them. I can tell you that dogs are a lot of work and require training that has to be done a specific way, they require exercise and they can be expensive to keep.
Cats can be a much easier first pet. They are self sufficient when provided food water and a box. If you get stuck at work no big deal if you want to.go on a weekend trip no big deal. With dogs these are things you have to consider.

If you got that puppy want thing going on find a local no kill shelter and volunteer. They people to anything g from loving them to walking them to bathing, brushing, and cleaning kennels. This will give you your fix give you an idea of breeds that are good, ones you may not care for, and learn how to train and command a dog.

We are currently down to one lab and I was not up for the whole puppy thing again so we are participating in a program called Dogs on Deployment. It's cool. We have a lab/beagle mutual that we are keeping while his dad is deployed. When he gets home in February he will have a fog that has been loved and cares for trained a bit more and exposed to kids, cats, and dogs.
I get the benefit of having a buddy for my lab to play with.
Fostering is great because you don't have that commitment to a whole lifetime with a dog. Plus you are helping out.

Anyway my thoughts

IrishGirlVA posted 7/8/2014 08:05 AM

I vote for the cat, too. Contrary to popular belief, cats can be just as happy to see their humans as dogs are. Every day when I return home from work my Monty is there to greet me. He follows me around, chats me up and snuggles with me at night. He spends the day sleeping and eating while I'm at work. Plus, they truly are self sufficient enough to where I can go on a weekend camping trip and not worry about how he is doing.

Even though I have a regular 8-5 job, I think it would be unfair of me to have a dog. Especially since I live alone. To be honest, even though there are hundreds of homeless dogs at the shelter who need home, they may not see me as a good fit.

lynnm1947 posted 7/8/2014 09:37 AM

The answer to "Should I get a dog?" should always be "YES!!!!!" Get two.

Edited to add: Just bear in mind that there is work and responsibility attached.

[This message edited by lynnm1947 at 9:40 AM, July 8th (Tuesday)]

Kalleigh posted 7/8/2014 09:40 AM

Yes i also vote for a Cat if this is your 1st time pet. Dogs are work, we just got a new puppy and uffda you have to be vigliant about letting them out.
and they are ALWAYS into things, Well maybe its because she is a hound

Tammy1 posted 7/8/2014 09:58 AM

If you work long hours I would not get a dog. (I have two dogs and two cats.) Cats are soooo much easier to care for and give lots of love too.

cayc posted 7/8/2014 10:05 AM

Well there's such a thing as cat people and dog people, so telling a dog person to get a cat because they are "easier" is not really addressing the type of companionship that each animal provides. I would find cat ownership to be a burden while I don't consider dog ownership to be so partly because of that dichotomy.

Setting aside the *should* you, dogs are great companions. They like people and will always want to be with you.

There is something to be said for getting two so they are never lonely if you will be away a lot.

But the biggest thing is matching breed to lifestyle. For example, if you live in an apartment, don't get an australian cattle dog that needs lots of outdoor and herding exercise.

I move around a lot so I needed a dog that could travel easily, that would be okay with apartment living. Hence I wound up with a chihuahua (I can even bring him in cabin on flights). Prior to this I was biased against small dogs. But this little guy has completely won me over to small dogs. He's all dog, just pint-sized. Sweet and loving and just a fabulous companion. I don't know how I would have made it since the D without his companionship.

RyeBread posted 7/8/2014 10:08 AM

Sadly I am having to rehome both of my dogs. Since I am divorcing there is no way I can care for them on my own given my work hours and other responsibilities. My WW doesn't want them. My point is it takes a lot of work outside of your day to day stuff. There are less needy breeds but at the end of the day they are still dependant on you for food, shelter, exercise, attention, grooming etc.There is a return of love from them but the more I think about it I wonder if it has more to do with the fact that I feed them
Perhaps a new social hobby might be more appropriate. Find a group that has similar interests and try that out. You will get out and meet people, maybe make some good friendships, and you can go home when you get tired of being around them.

tired girl posted 7/8/2014 10:09 AM

When you say you work crazy hours what do you mean? Is it that they are all over the place, or a lot of them?

Deeply Scared posted 7/8/2014 10:09 AM

Well there's such a thing as cat people and dog people, so telling a dog person to get a cat because they are "easier" is not really addressing the type of companionship that each animal provides

But she admits that she's not a dog person(or animal person)...she never even wanted to be around one more than a few hours until recently.

Dogs and animals are not something you substitute one thing for another. They're work and they require love and direction.

I can already tell I'm going to have to step away from this thread because when people go into getting dogs and then get bored or fed up with all the work...well, it's people like MH and myself that take that dog in and foster it until they're trained and ready for a permanent home. It makes me really mad.

ETA: When I say it makes me mad...I say that in the general term...I'm not mad at anyone here

[This message edited by SI Staff at 10:18 AM, July 8th (Tuesday)]

cayc posted 7/8/2014 10:19 AM

Dogs and animals are not something you substitute one thing for another. They're work and they require love and direction.

Are you upset with me? Because I don't know how I said anything that would lead to the charge of not understanding that pets require attention and care.

Or is it just the idea of someone asking about having a pet in way that makes you think they don't understand the privilege? She's asking because she doesn't know, so telling her that animals provide different sorts of companionship and that there's such a thing as considering breed to lifestyle (which goes a long way to dog abandonment when people don't consider that aspect) seems apt.

I just read the dog bad / cat good as another *should* when there are no shoulds here. Many of us have benefited from being some animals human to weather NB and I would hate to warn someone off of the privilege just because they've never before experienced the pleasure.

DixieD posted 7/8/2014 10:24 AM

I've never really wanted one for more than a few hours before but for the past month I can't stop thinking about a puppy dog! I want a tiny fur ball to come home to. I have a busy job with horrible hours and I don't want to be selfish. But, I can't shake this idea.

That is a concerning statement. Puppies grow up. They don't stay cute puppies forever. So, do you want a puppy or do you want a dog? A double digit year commitment for the life of that animal.

If you get to the point that you can see that you having a dog will benefit and enrich the life of that dog, then I think you are taking a step in the right direction. If it's all about a need you are having in the moment, then probably not.

There is a certain breed I like and I was looking at pictures of them at a local rescue. They are beautiful, but I'm not in the position right now to give a dog what it would need. It wouldn't be fair to the dog. So I just look.

metamorphisis posted 7/8/2014 10:32 AM

We waited for several years to get a dog due to a number of factors (money, time, small children). Once we did we researched the heck out of the breed. He has enriched my life in immeasurable ways, but to be fair, we feel we've enriched his as well and that's more important. He'd be heartbroken if he was alone for extended periods of time. Our maximum is 4 hours. He's a needy breed (lab).

I can't stress to you enough how much WORK training this pup was and we are far from done. It was as encompassing as having a newborn was. Except this one had razor sharp teeth and could walk.

Based on your initial post, I wouldn't recommend it badmedicine. I'd hang onto the thought until you felt circumstances were right and you had more time and revisit it at that point.

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