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Thread: Dogs!

  1. #1
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    Dogs!

    I've had dogs on the brain lately. My husband & I want one but keep putting it off for financial reasons. I think it's time to bite the bullet, I'm dying for a furry canine pal (the wonderful dog I grew up with passed away a couple of years ago and I sure miss having one to dote on).

    My husband finally said he's open to looking for a dog once my car is paid off next month (wahoo!) We'd like to adopt from a shelter.

    I'd love some feedback on:

    1) Shelter adoption stories - have you adopted from a shelter? How did it work out? Was it an adult dog or puppy?

    2) Finances - has dog ownership strapped you financially? I'd be especially interested re: smaller dogs, since I'm allergic to "fur dogs" and would probabnly have to get a "hair dog" like a terrier or poodle.

    3) Dogs -n- young kid stories (b/c we're also planning to start a family soon)

    And anything ele you may want to share about having a dog. Thank you so much!!! - Jen

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  3. #2
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    I recommend petfinder.com! Through petfinder we were able to find some local rescue groups and eventually our little doggie. What I personally like about working with a rescue group is that they take the dogs from kill shelters, have someone work with them to find out the pet's personality (housetrained or not, likes other dogs, cats, children, etc.) which helps make a better fit perhaps. I was head over heels in love with this one little terrier, but she did not do well at all with children, so I knew that adopting her would not be right since my husband and I would like to start a family sometime in the near future. Some people complain about the "adoption fee" that some rescue groups request, but since that money goes to rescuing more friends we gladly paid it.

    What's funny is that there were several friends and family members who told us that getting a shelter dog just meant we were getting someone else's problem: a reject dog. I am happy to say now, after having Molly (who was an adult when we adopted her) for nearly two years, everyone I know agrees she is the sweetest, smartest, most obedient dog they've ever seen. She has no behavior problems, has never once had an accident in the house, and loves to show off how adorable she is. My parents, (who were our biggest opponents for getting a shelter dog) now adore Molly and beg to pet sit her when we go out of town. Most days I have a hard time believing that this little animal who brings so much joy to my life was sitting on doggie death row when thankfully someone at the kill shelter made a call to the rescue group because they believed this dog deserved a second chance.

    Ok, enough gushing, I realize that all shelter dogs aren't like our Molly and that all dogs (and cats) are different, but all shelter animals deserve a second chance. Financially, caring for Molly hasn't left us strapped for cash. We have to pay $10 every three weeks to have her nails clipped (she won't let me do it), every few months she might need a check-up, a shot, heart worm medicine which probably adds up to around $100. After we first got her she got this allergy related illness that we had to keep going to the vet for which probably cost around $400 total after all the visits, testing, and medicine. Plus you have to buy food too, but we have found that she fits our budget fine, and of course if there were ever an emergency we would do everything we could to get extra money for her.

  4. #3
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    we adopted from the humane society and it was the best thing ever! Our Ruby June is so sweet! She was about 6 months when we picked her and has been fun ever since! I scouted for about 3 months and as soon as I saw her, I knew. She was sitting in her cage quietly when all the other dogs were barking like mad - I knwe she wouldn't be a barker and I was right. She was partly crate trained already and she's never had an accident(we continued with the crate training once we got her home). We also did some obedience training, but to be honest, she isn't that great. She knows her name and comes when I call. She's decent on the leash and listens well, which is the most important thing.
    We had a baby when she was about a year old and we didn't have any problems. At first, they both pretty much ignored each other, but now(baby is 3), she's discovered that he is a good source of food and follows him around. She is gentle and protective and that is wonderful. We agreed that if for some reason, she wasn't good with him(I knew she would be) we'd find someone to take her, but fortunately that didn't happen.
    My advice is to trust your instincts & pick the pup that seems right to you. We've had several "shelter dogs" in my family & they've always been very devoted, intelligent animals! Also, I don't think there is anything wrong with selecting an older animal. Just be sure to spend time with them, just as you would a puppy.
    Re: money - we budget her shots(she gets them all in one month) and we groom her ourselves. We purchase good yet inexpensive food. I think it IS possible to have a pet without breaking the bank. She hasn't had any major problems, but if she did, well she is part of the family and I know we'd do what we could. I have found that using a smaller vet is more economical and also you get to know them and their staff so often they'll do some things for free!
    Good luck and congrats on your decision to get a pet - it has been very rewarding for us!

  5. #4
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    my short answer is:

    1) definitely adopt, and adopt an adult dog

    2) if you're worried about money do NOT adopt a pet. pets cost money, initially and then forever after!

    3) i grew up with dogs, from birth onwards, and it was wonderful.

    the long story:

    we adopted our dog Jimmy from a rescue group. he has quite the sob story. he was surrendered to the pound at 4 weeks old (barely old enough to be taken from his mother) and lived there until he was 7 months old. i have no idea why nobody wanted to adopt him, because he had to have been an adorable puppy. at 7 months, a rescue group took him in because he was going to be euthanized. he had one lady adopt him, but she wasn't serious about having a dog and gave him back to the rescue people after a week because he had too much energy. then we adopted him when he was 9 months old. he's an absolutely charming dog. he's very smart, has a sense of humor, and is painfully cute, but he's still a young dog, and young dogs need lots of training! he's incredibly boisterious and energetic, and he has to be monitored at all times when he's in the house.

    i would DEFINITELY adopt an adult dog from a shelter or rescue. they are past all the very frustrating and trying puppy phases, but they are still trainable. adult dogs tend to be calmer, although a lot of their activity level depends on breed and personality. puppies are cute, but they represent a much bigger investment in time and money for training. there is also the fact that adult dogs are the ones that most need to be adopted. everyone wants a puppy, but wonderful adult dogs are euthanized every day because of that.

    most rescue groups charge in the $100-$300 range to cover their costs, for good reason. buying a dog from a breeder will cost much more. it doesn't matter what size they are, all dogs require food, toys, equipment, vaccines, and flea and heartworm treatment as a matter of fact. and then there are always emergencies, and if you are ready to adopt a pet, you need to consider that you may end up needing to have them cared for in an emergency. it also costs money to have a dog boarded if you need to go on vacation, groomed if they need professional grooming, etc.

  6. #5
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    I was just reading a health type magazine that recommended parents let children grow up with animals so their allergy system will get use to them and they will not have reactions to them later in life.

  7. #6
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    we adopted two mixed chihuahuas a few years back. they have made our family much richer and happier. they are like our second set of kids - and because they are small they are very affordable. i signed up for pet insurance thru my work and it covers all their shots, etc...

    and i like that they have taught our kids responsibility and a whole other kind of love.

    the only thing they live for is affection. they are a great pick me up on a bad day!

    good luck with it!

    p.s. i used to be scared to death of dogs, i got bit by a bassett hound when i was five. now i'm a dog lover!

    p.s.s have you ever heard of bark magazine?

  8. #7
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    Tank....

    Oh I didn't find my dog, she found me. Tank was half dead under a run down truck. I heard her crying and picked her up to take her to the emergency vet. I really thought she'd be dead soon and wanted her to die(if that was the case) in a warm(it was the dead of winter in Ohio, not a good time for a small breed dog to be living outside), loving enviornment and be well fed. To at least enjoy the little time she had left. But it took a few months and she was a normal, happy, energetic puppy.

    Moral of the story....
    I not only didn't get a dog from a breeder or pet store, but adopted her straight from the streets where she was abused and fending for herself and she's more than I could have ever imagined. My best friend in the world. So, I definately reccomend saving a dogs life from a shelter. I truely beleive that they know and are forever grateful. It's unbeleiveably rewarding. They love you unconditionally.

    She is a very small dog, hence, very affordable. Although, $$$ ceases to become an issue. My animals (I also have a rescued from the streets cat) are my babies and many times have eaten when I couldn't. I'd even feed them the last of the human food if I couldn't get dog food. My cat once lived on Ramen noodles right along with me!

    She also is very very shorthaired so poses virtually no cleanup.

    They keep me sane and level headed through the toughest of times. You can tell that I'm very proud(I have a little brag book of my babies in my photo section here). So obviously cheering for you to add a little pup to your family!

    I'm one of those people who beleives that there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. So as long as your pup is socialized with children and other animals from a young age, and raised with love love love....... you'll have no problems.

    My childhood dog was brought into our family around at the same time that my baby sister was born and has been tortured by toddlers, poked in the eye, dressed up in doll clothes, and pushed around in baby doll strollers. She's never even bat an eye. She was also very protective of Sarah. Sleeping in the doorway of her room and barking when she would wake or if anything would potentially disturb her. I beleive that being around children heleped turn her into the nurturing and docile creature that she is. I also think it kept her young. She's a 15 year old puppy and as amazing as ever (despite a little arthritis and her grandma gut).

    Ok..... I'll stop..... I hope no one's eyes are bleeding from reading this novel I have just penned..... hehe
    If you have any questions I would love to help!! Until then.... Rant over....

  9. #8
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    Definitely check out petfinder.com!

    We adopted our Ira four months ago from a rescue group. I highly recommend working with a rescue group.... we were able to communicate the director for several weeks while we started looking and she had a great idea of what kind of dog we wanted. When she did a pick-up from a kill shelter, she called to say she had a dog we should meet.... Ira was a wonderful fit for us! Roughly a year old black lab mix, he's energetic but not neurotic, loves people but isn't overly needy, and is great around kids, cats, other dogs, and generally anybody.

    Financially, we expected to make some changes, and I think that unless you are truly strapped right now, things work out. Like many changes, your life just kind of opens up and makes room. Of course, you have to be prepared for an emergency, but you can't always anticipate what will happen.

    I think the biggest thing to think about is energy level of the dog and matching that with your lifestyle. We both work every day and while we do get him out for walks and to the dog park, we also take him to doggie daycare once a week to really let him wear himself out. Probably not as big of a deal with a small dog, but I've only had bigger dogs so don't know for sure.

    At any rate, thanks for thinking it through and trying to make a responsible decision. It's a commitment, and far too many people take it lightly. Good luck and let us know what you decide!

  10. #9
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    okay, i'm now teary after reading all of these wonderful doggie stories. you must get a dog! shelter dogs are where it's at. our lil mae (okay she is 58 pounds) came from a small animal shelter. she was returned two times before we brought her home two years ago. i guess she was waiting to find us. she was 9 months old when we brought her home. the teen years have been a little trying, but totally worth it.

    she is great with my sister's kids. i think she would be just fine when we decide to have kids. although everyone tells me that the dog will get no attention once a baby comes. the thought of that makes me really sad. i won't allow that to happen!

    she has cost us some money with vet visits (vaccinations and a puncture wound, but we let her run free at a golf course in the winter). she is a short haired dog (whippet/lab mix) and i didn't think she would shed. ooh, but the black hair is everywhere. we have to sweep before swiffing (that rarely happens, we just pick up the fur bunnies).

    i agree with the petfinder suggestions. what a great place to get started. dogster is an awesome site too. i think they have dogs up for adoption there. what is really cool about dogster is that you can show off your lil baby to us. so check out mine:

    http://www.dogster.com/pet_page.php?j=t&i=88171

    dogs are awesome! i never thought i was a dog person, but my mae changed my life! good luck to you.

  11. #10
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    Ooooh, MAE is soooo cute! I loves me some doggie love. Here is Ira's dogster page: http://www.dogster.com/pet_page.php?i=66346


 
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