October 3, 2011

Ok, We Have Made Our Decision

A little over a month ago I had a post titled, We Just Can't Decide. Not surprisingly, it generated a lot of comments. Most of them urged my wife and me to decide our question in the affirmmative. I thought it only fair to let you know what we are going to do.

I had mentioned in the earlier post we are dog people and have at at least one, often two, during most of our married life. But, for the last few years our home has been dogless. The reasons we did not replace the last dog were valid at the time and fit our needs and lifestyle. We continued to struggle with the limitations, responsibilities, and costs, of getting another pet. While that logical debate was winning, our emotional side was missing all the love and fun a dog can add to one's life.

As I write this we are on the island of Maui. This particular vacation provides us a much-needed, extended break, at one of our favorite places on the planet. All the stress and daily worries have been replaced by beach time, sunrises over the mountains and sunsets over the ocean. The dog subject has come up again. All the pros and cons have been re-examined and re-visited.

Since I needed a fresh post, Betty suggested we make a decision, I write a about it, and we move on. I agreed and last night we shook hands on our decision. We are going to add a puppy to the Lowry household.

Betty is allergic to many breeds so our choices are rather limited. I leaned toward getting a dog from an animal shelter, but it is rare for the breeds we must choose from to find their way into a rescue facility. We will not buy from a puppy mill or a pet store that deals with a mass breeder. We have no interest in a dog being AKC registered or any rare and over-priced animal. In all liklihood we will choose a cocker spaniel. This would be our third one and they fit our family well.

After we arrive home in another week, the search will start in earnest. I will also figure out where in the budget to squeeze in the monthly cost of a pet. The unconditional love and companionship we will gain makes it a worthwhile expense. It a dog means one less meal out and one less trip to the movie theater each month, we know it will be worth it.

By the way, a word to the wise. If you are wondering about getting a dog do not watch the TV series, Dogtown. There is no way you'll be able say "No"  after seeing this show. Filmed at an incredible animal rescue facility in Kanab, Utah, you will be rendered defensiveless. You will want a dog, or two, or three. This show became a major factor in our reaching the decision we did.

Getting a dog will change our daily lives in many ways. It will change vacation plans. It will change when we put in new carpeting.

I can't wait.

17 comments:

  1. I think you should look at a shelter. Phoenix metro is overflowing and has many pure bred dogs given up by people who are forced by foreclosure. Try it. If there isn't one available...I know you will find one from a home breeeder.

    I am so happy for you. Having a relative nearby really helps the answer!

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  2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is also a very nice breed, sweet, friendly and a bit smaller than a cocker.

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  3. Janette,

    Good idea about the shelters. We hadn't considered the foreclosure/extra dog angle. I'd prefer to find one that way so we'll give it a try.

    Morrison,

    Thanks! How's DH doing with his surgery recovery?

    Anonymous,

    Actually, the King Charles is a strong possibility, though they tend to be rather pricey, at least in our area.

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  4. Congratulations! Do try the shelters and breed specific rescue groups. I bet there is a cocker spaniel rescue group in your area. Often puppies as well as adult dogs are put up for adoption. We got our dog late last year as a rescue 1 1/2 year old. It has taken time to help her become a more confident and happy dog but it is a joy.

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  5. Juhi,

    Yes, there is a cocker organization that we will check. I wouldn't mind a puppy that has some of the basics already learned, but we do have a doggie door and a fenced in side yard for training as needed.

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  6. Yay! Companion animals add so much to life. I think my loneliest years were the ones in which I didn't have a cat in my life. Also, there are specialized breed rescues for dogs and cats. If you're willing to wait a little, most breeds turn up eventually.

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  7. Hi!
    Why not a dog and a cat. They compliment each other nicely, make different demands and contributions, and they keep each other in check, sometimes.
    Yep! The shelter. Me, I find that as one animal leaves my life due to old age another just turns up on the doorstep.
    -k @FitOldDog

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  8. Jennifer,

    We are looking forward to another live body in the house, to romp with in the backyard, and to take to the park near our house. Our grand kids will get a huge kick out of our dog and it will help teach them some lessons on responsibility.

    FOD,

    Betty is even more allergic to cats, so we'll stick with the dog even though a cat is easier to care for. We will certainly check out shelters and rescue organizations for the breeds we can accept.

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  9. You may wish to consider a soft coated wheaton terrier; although I know once you have a breed you enjoy there doesn't seem to be much reason to look elsewhere.

    This breed is great for families with allergies (like ours). Very smart and very affectionate. We loved Tucker until his death at age 18 (yes, 18), and now enjoying 4 year old Jack .... and I'm not even a "dog person." Great not only for our emotional health, but physical too, as they enjoy exercise .... off now for the morning walk with Jack!

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  10. Rick,

    I was unaware of that particular breed, but will certainly do more investigation. Our selections are quite limited, but I'm sure we'll find something that works with my wife's allergies.

    18 years..that was quite a life for Tucker.

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  11. Oh yay! I'm always in favor of decisions that involve puppies! I was reminded recently of one of my favorite prayers for self-directed compassion. Oh, Lord, please help me see myself like my dog sees me. Can't wait to see the puppy pics. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your vacation!

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  12. Galen,

    There will be puppy pictures! Our target is by the end of October or early November.

    The Maui time is going well. Just passed the halfway point. We will be ready to rejoin the real world by the end of next week.

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  13. Don't discount finding a cocker at the pound - lots of people are turning in dogs - also check and see if there is a "cocker rescue" - seems that there are rescue groups for lots of breeds - so maybe there is one for cockers. And I suggest getting a dog that is already housebroken - save your sanity!!!!
    Pat

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  14. Hi Pat,

    I would certainly opt for a housebroken dog. My patience level is better than it was, but still....

    One decision that does follow the puppy one: no new carpeting until the dog is trained.

    Yes, we will check the rescue organization for cockers. I know there is one in the area.

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  15. Your blog the other day about getting a dog has generated much conversation for me among friends who have dogs – or who don’t have dogs. And the consensus seems to be – it would be better to get a dog that has been housebroken and has some training – maybe about a year old or more. For us “older folks”, the puppy stage seems to be much more difficult that it was when we had kids still at home.

    One friend is actually thinking of “taking the puppy back” - as cute as she is, and as much as they love her – the puppy has totally disrupted their lives. It has been a few years since they had a dog, and really thought this was what they wanted – but maybe not.

    So – just think seriously about all the pros and cons before you leap.

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  16. Anonymous,

    Very good points. Do we go for cute and work, or established and probably past the cute stage? My choice would be the latter, but there are other votes on this issue.

    We had to return one male puppy. Personally, I think he was possessed, but others convinced me he was better suited to a multiple puppy household.

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