Sunday, 2 September 2007

How much is that doggy in the window?

Oh how I hate this time of year. September means back to school. It means the nights are starting to draw in. It means grey, drizzly days are just around the corner (and we've already had a summer of them). It means my daughter is planning her birthday party. Or parties.

Daughter is 13 this year, on the 13th of October. That calls for something special, she decided. A limo for some of her friends. Gulp! And a bouncy castle for the other friends. Gulp! I didn't ride in a limo till my 40th birthday, I reminded her. If you have all this now, what do you have to look forward to, I tried to reason with her. And inside I wondered if I've created a monster. Finally, she came up with a compromise. She and another friend would share the limo party. Six of them will go bowling, then come back in the limo to a party hosted at either our or her friend's house. The other mother is on board, the girls have priced the limo and bowling, and it works out cheaper than a lot of other parties I've shelled out for.

Now, onto the presents -- or present. She is forgoing her request for GHD straighteners in order to get -- A PUPPY!

Hubby doesn't want her to have a puppy. He thinks it will stress the cats too much and they'll run away. Hubby is not a natural animal lover so I don't quite believe he's that bothered about the cats. He also doesn't want the mess or damage a puppy can create. I hear him on that.

I'm sort of in limbo on the idea. I like the idea, but the reality, I fear, will be far different. It will be my responsibility ultimately to look after this puppy, I predict. And what kind of puppy to get? I don't want a big dog because they make big messes. I don't want a little dog because they don't seem like real dogs. We (daughter and I) have been on the internet looking for dogs. Purebred or mixed? Breeder or shelter? Some of these purebred dogs cost an absolute fortune. I don't want to pay more than £200. A puppy would be better, I think, for the cats, who will have their noses seriously put out of joint.

I have had dogs before. I have introduced dogs to all-cat households before, with mixed results. I don't want to get the puppy just yet because the cats are still getting over their three weeks at the cattery they've gone to all their lives.

So, what to do? I decided to let you guys help me decide and created a poll. Please help me by voting.


Pixie said...

You are clever getting a poll up, I'm well impressed.
A dog, will be good cause you get to walk it and walking a dog becomes an amazing way of getting rid of stress.Plus they are great for loving you when the rest of the world is against you!
Did like the idea on your poll of hubby running away. Could be a deciding factor????

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Pixie, I would like to keep hubby around for a while. He can be most useful. And since he's away Mon-Thur.or Fri. most weeks, he shouldn't get too stressed over the dog. I think.

laurie said...

oh you know what i think. dogs are wonderful. they're funny, they're loyal, they're always good humored, they're thrilled to see you when you come home--even if you've just been gone 30 seconds, taking out the trash.

they aren't much trouble, but they do need to be walked. we walk our boys twice a day. most people i know walk their dogs once a day.

if you get a puppy, the cats will be fine with it. a full-grown dog might require more ... finesse.

you're not in the u.s, are you? there's a wonderful website called petfinder that shows you all the dogs in the shelters; you can search by size, breed, age, etc.

click here for petfinder

good luck! i wish i could be there to help you!

laurie said...

ps mixed breed, almost certainly.

a) they need homes

b) they're less expensive

c) they're almost always healthier and live longer

Kaycie said...

We brought a miniature schnauzer into our two cat home in December. He was a Christmas present for the kids and just 8 weeks old. The cats alternately play with him, ignore him, and put him in his place. They even seemed concerned about his odd behavior after his neuter surgery. On occasion you'll even catch one of them curled up asleep with him.

He is 17 pounds and large for a miniature schnauzer, some of them are as small as 10 pounds. But they are definitely "real" dogs, not little yippy dogs. You might check them out.

The children love him and he has brought a lot of joy into my daily life. I walk him about three times a day most days, but some days just twice if I am busy or out.

I've never had a dog as an adult before, and I'd definitely recommend it!

Anonymous said...

Tricky question. My answer is, it depends on your circumstances. If you're in the house all day and have someone reliable to look after it when you go on holiday then get a puppy - they're gorgeous creatures, loving and affectionate and always there for you whenever you need them. But they do need lots of looking after as you probably already know.

But on the other hand, if you can't give it the attention is rightly deserves, then get something else like a goldfish. Less expensive, no excercise required and relatively boring. Means you have more time to yourself. Keep us posted!!

Crystal xx

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

I'm the meanie who voted they are worse than a baby!

I'm with you, you'll end up looking after it. It's bad enough looking after my kids goldfish!

IngeniousRose said...

No no no no! This is all wrong! Does she not realise that you cannot survive your teenage years without GHD's. You can survive without a puppy. Straight hair is so important!

laurie said...

ha! show her my picture, coffee. she'll be begging for that hair straightener in no time.

lady macleod said...

I see I am out of the majority saying "NO", but I see the puppy and you becoming fast friends as you lose the affection of the cats, and the teenager has more important things to do than to clean up after a puppy while it is being trained. I've been there...

Whatever you decide, no one dies, so it will work out.

debio said...

Like the poll, wuastc.

Adore dogs but, having had dogs all my life up to the move here, I have now realised what a tie they are and how responsible you have to be - my daughter six months younger than yours and, although she loves animals, I think the onus of puppy rearing would easily revert to me should we have a dog.

13th birthday quite a milestone - enjoy the preparations for celebration!

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I'm voting for a mixed breed shelter dog, but NOT a tiny puppy. Our were about four or five months old, already paper trained and grateful beyond belief to be part of a family.

I can't imagine any of our lives without them. If my kids had to choose between me and the dogs I might be in trouble.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Ah, so far the majority is for having a dog.

Laurie: you being such a dog lover you created a blog about it, I have to listen to your advice.

kaycie: I'll have a look at Schnauzers and see what's available.

CJ: the picture of the dog on your blog is just so adorable. I wish I could have him.

Vi: At least a dog can show affection. I've never been big or fish, vermin, or birds.

ingeniousrose: Welcome. Yes, straight hair can be very important, but hers is naturally straight already so I don't think the straighteners are such a big necessity.

Lady M: Some wise words there. I do have a son who might take to having a dog. But I know ultimately it comes down to do I want a dog.

Debio: Our daughters grow up too quickly, don't they. Yes, dogs are quite a tie. But I already have cats, who require some thought as well.

RC: I like the idea of getting a dog already house trained. A lot. That's the bit I don't like doing. I don't mind the walking, etc.

J said...

I also vote mixed breed shelter dog. One that already is (mostly) house trained and/or crate trained.

We worked with a rescue organization to adopt our mixed breed dog. She was rescued from a kill shelter in Kentucky. I asked the woman who ran the organization to keep her eye out for a very family friendly adult dog. The organization helped make sure this was a true match - and animal that was good around kids and cats, not too rambunctious, etc. It's worked out really well for us.

That said, I would not dream of bringing a puppy into our lives right now. Our lives are too crazy.

Happy (early) birthday to your daughter.

Phil A said...

Practical advice on the dog front. Daughter will promise the earth. “I’ll train it”, “I’ll clear up after it.”, “I’ll walk it daily”. “I’ll bath it”.

The smart money is on you and/or your husband doing most of these.

If you get a dog, get it because you want it and are happy to train it and socialise it properly, put up with 18 months to two years of chewing and walk it regularly in good and bad weather.

And your home will be dusty and hairy and have mud trodden it in the wet weather, no matter what precautions you take ;-)

With a dog you need a house sitter if you are going away, or kennel the dog at some expense. Talking of expense there is the pet insurance and all the injections. They eat a fair bit too.

Dogs do love you and provide endless entertainment. A decent sized one like a Labrador provides company and security and will help keep you fit.

Other things to consider - How big is the garden? Do you have a park, country walks or common land nearby?

Us? We live with two large Golden Retrievers and two Cats.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

J.: Thanks for the advice. I was thinking of going to the vet and seeing if they could offer any advice as well.

phil a.: Welcome. I am under no illusions that she will be the primary caretaker. It'll be me so I have to decide if I want a dog. I used to have a Golden Retriever but had to give her away because I worked all the time. She went to live with a woman who let her sleep on her waterbed and gave her birthday parties every year.

jenny said...

I vote no dog. I know for me, It wouldn't fit well in our household, even though I am home most of the time, what happens when we head out for day-long drives on weekends? We adopted a shelter dog once, beautiful dog it was, but when we left him alone for 7 hours, we came back to a destroyed room. Chewed up some of the girl's stuffed animals, pulled apart the fringe on the rug, chewed the leg on an antique side table. He even chewed through a steel toed boot of Hubby's! Obviously the dog must have had abandonment issues, or something, and after 2 weeks, we took him back to the shelter. He plopped himself between Hubby and I on the bed at night, not by our legs, but on my pillow! He was a mid-sized dog and I was pregnant and I knew in a few months I would have the baby in bed with us to nurse... sorry, he had to go. We are a much happier family without a dog.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Thanks, Jenny, for giving another side of the story. I must admit it's the chewing and mess that are holding me back. I know dogs can be trained, but what if I get one that can't?

Kelly said...

Yes, yes, yes, get a dog. We have one and I totally love it (98.9% of the time). I never had one growing up as my mum knew if we got one she'd end up doing all the work. And we moved country quite a lot.

So I waited until I was married and working from home. She totally rules our lives....we're moving house for her for goodness sake!Now all I have to do is work out whether I can introduce a child to the house!

PS- our dog is a Jack Russell, and is more than enough dog...the one advantage is that she is small enough to scoop up in the event of domestic disaster. She is very bouncy though and loathes cats. Maybe a labrador or spaniel is the way to go....

DJ Kirkby said...

Lol! I've voted.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

kelly: I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter people (my sister for one) told me to get rid of the cats because they would suck the breath out of the baby. How ignorant is that? I bet your dog would be very protective of a little brother or sister.

DJ: I totally stole this poll idea from you and Laurie. But I like it.

Em said...

Please get one from a rescue, a lot of rescues have puppies in. Or an older dog that's already been trained and is good with kids/cats but has been evicted because of allergies - that would be better for your cats than a puppy. The fees from a rescue centre shouldn't exceed £200 and I can point you at a few websites that can help you find one if you like...

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Em: Thank you. Please do tell me a few websites. And welcome, by the way.

Layla said...

We can do everything for our children, though today children wishes and desires become higher and higher. When we were children we couldn't imagine to rent limousine for 13 birthday. But it's because of progress.