Friday, October 24, 2008

To Dog or Not to Dog

I got my first dog when I was six, and was completely hooked! Since then I've always had a dog, - who was a huge part of the family - until our last, most beloved dog Samson died in 2002. We decided to take a break from dog ownership for awhile, I just couldn't face trying to replace Sam. So here we are, years later and I'm wanting a dog big time. Problem is - DH doesn't! He was never a dog person really, but did love Samson as much as I did. Confounding this is the fact that he really is allergic to dander and hair and we do have to be careful about diseases in this house (immunosupression is a tough life to live).

So I'm to make up a list of Pro's and Con's for having a dog. Problem is it looks something like this

I want a dog
I need a dog
Get to go outside and take it for a walk


Have to come home to take it out
Go for a walk on your own
his responsibility when I am at work

and it goes on and on. The reasons for having a dog are all emotional. The reasons for not having a dog are all practical. On paper it just doesn't add up.

How do you write down doggie love????


soulbrush said...

god, this is one of the hardest decisions to make...i really had to 'push' hubby to get snuffles, at a time when i so badly needed her. we have had 7 years of fun and laughter and joy, but lots of hassles too. this is really a hard one mim....why is it always so bloody complicated?...i can see both sides ...shit!

soulbrush said...

the word verification for that comment was:

I swear it was!!!!!

this one is:

ksklein said...

this is very difficult to decide, as it seems a dog is really what you need and want.
i´m not a dog person either and i´m happy dh doesn´t want a dog. the facts which would be most important for me would be the emotional need and not to cause any diseases.
so personally i would not get the dog. but i guess this is easy to say - not being a dog-person.

sukipoet said...

Well as an unmarried person, I spent a lot of years having whatever I wanted without debate and I ended up not very good at compromise. Thats why I may stay unmarried, as who would want me? Also I am not a dog person, so much work.

On the other hand, to me the emotional reasons for doing something are far higher on importance scale than practical reasons for not doing. I have two cats and they are beloved to me and wonderful companions and I would be hard put not to have them around.

How do married couples manage?? I also of course empathize with your DH and if he is bound to do some of the dog work and sneeze and get stuffed up etc etc well, that weighs heavy in the no direction.

It will be interesting to hear how you decide and what evolves. What could be a compromise here??

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

I grew up with dogs, but most of my married life we only had cats. The dog walking bit in a city with no yard was the reason.
but when we moved here we had enough room and the time. but DH didnt want one. We sort if fell into getting one because I fell in love with one of our neighbors puppies big time and they gave her to us.
After a week of no sleep we almost gave her back. Geesh they are worse then babies to house break. lol
But we stuck to it and now we would be a big hole in our lives without her. Con thinks she is HIS dog now, and he didnt want her. They do add lots of joy and they do add lots of work. But the joy overcomes the work for us.
On top of it we have THREE CATS. arrgh
There are dogs that wont bother people with allergies. Like Poodles, who are very smart dogs and I am sure other kinds.
So how do I write down doggy love?
Our Annie.

Lynn said...

I'm the anti dog person in our household. When I met DH he had a dog, and that dog had to like me before he'd partner up with me! Really. Luckily I passed the test with the dog. I guess we put up with each other. But when he died I did not want him replaced. DH still talks about when he retires he'll get a dog...We'll see.
Probably be good for him.
My con list is long though. Longer than yours.
No easy solution here.

studio lolo said...

Okay, as one who's allergic to both dogs and cats but have worked with them for 36 years, there are answers out there. There are actually hypo-allergenic breeds! And you wouldn't have to support breeders or puppy mills to find one. There are specific breed rescues all over the place. (But with all due respect, there ARE reputable breeders out there. I just like the idea of rescuing.)

DH will end up falling in love with whatever four-legged child you bring home. It's proven that pets are healthy for out emotional well-being, they lower blood pressure and they get us out walking. I know you guys are already pretty active outdoors though!

The downside for me since rescuing Emma is getting her out for her needs when it's not convenient for me. Compare that to all the other things she brings to my life...I couldn't part with her.

And lastly Mim, you wouldn't ever be REPLACING Sampson.(Lose the guilt.) We get into bad habits of comparing every pet to the last one and it's not fair to them. They bring their own magic. We have to stop assuming they have "big paws to fill."
I think Sampson would want you to give another dog a home.
Just saying :P

Maybe you'd better get a horse. My word varification is filly!! LOL.

Teri C said...

I had to make this decision also. I had a dog for 17 years and then we had to put him down as his age just made his life so miserable that I couldn't stand it. DH took him and when he talks about it, I still get tears in my eyes.

Before all this happened we decided that when he was gone there would be no more dogs. Main reason, it tied us down too much and I could n't stand the pain of losing him.

Good luck on your decision.

ElizT said...

This has been my problem for ever. A few years ago I was invited to join my friend in New York and then back with her to Oregon, but I don't fly well and was reluctant. "Go on, we'll get a dog if you go". I went. Then I decided I was over that need, and just enjoy those which come and go. The current cat is a dog in disguise anyhow; has the walks on a lead [can't live outside, gets beaten up] and the expensive vet. care.
word verification: lickern! is there a real person doing them?

Fern said...

can you bring a dog to work with you...train it as a service dog if necessary?

people change when there's dog around.

Fern said...

and I've been meaning to mention how much you look like the midwife that delivered Hannah and Isaac...

not that that means anything, except that I get a good feeling/memory when I see your picture.

marianne said...

Difficult when you don't agree on it....
I couldn't live without my animals (I think).
There are some breads who don't hear out and are better for people with allergies. Loosing an animal is hard, but the joy they bring is so much bigger. Animals do also have a good influence on your health.
When I read your side there would be no stopping me....... emotions win.
Tough decision for you.

Mim said...

thanks all for your comments and thoughts. This is going to be tough...because I don't want to spend the rest of my life dogless. We'll have to negotiate, I'm thinking an older dog, one who is trained at least. I'd miss that puppyhood (which I just love) but compromise is part of marriage isn't it? that. Should have done it - I guess it's too late to retrain.

Debra Kay said...

People pleaser and dog lover at your service.
Get a hypo allergenic dog. Ask your husband to decide what level of involvement he wants-if he truly does not want any involvement-raise the dog as a single person-making arrangements for dog sitters, day care or put in a yard/run with a house if the dog is bigger and can stay outside.

Even when I worked outside the home, I had dogs-I had a pet walker come by and let them out during the week, sometimes they went to daycare, etc. If YOU want a dog, YOU can take care of it all by yourself. (and I mean that in a positive way, just emphasizing that you have the power to do so).

Now, as for hubby, he just needs to compromise on weekend plans etc-planning in advance. You are not asking him to take care of the dog, but he does seem to love you and you love him, so a slight adjustment on his part won't hurt. He's not making the adjustment for the dog (who he doesn't have to love, although he might)...he's making the adjustment for YOU.

Look at a Labradoodle-hypoallergenic and tons available for adoption because most people really don't have the energy level for a lab.

Another thought-consider a "started dog'-breeders often have dogs that have been trained-so that manners aren't as a big an issue as with a puppy.

Consider a smallish, but not tiny dog like Oliver-he's hypo allergenic, usually well mannered, can out walk me, but doesn't take up much space.

My verification work is dobalit do bal it!

OR OR-RESCUE a dog and send him to an in house get the best of all worlds.

ElizT said...

Even with Woosse I use the cattery, never expect the husband to mind this house-cat.
And people have suggested puppy-walking for the guide dogs to me.

soulbrush said...

what a lot of interesting cooments, still a tough decision, but debra's comments are the most important to it for you, not for your hubby, but consider him and make sure he doesn't become resentful.

soulbrush said...

word verification for that one was: evengo

i promise it!

kim said...

What a decision. Sully wonders if you can foster some doggy friends every once in a while so that you and your husband can compromise.

Mim said...

Thank you all - you all give differening views and it's so helpful to hear. I have thought of volunteering at the shelter to get in my "doggie time" but that would break my heart. I am looking into an older dog, and a hypoallergenic one - and have volunteered to go without "something" so that it can go to doggie day care, but we'll have to see how that works out. One interesting this that DH did say recently was "would you mind if it was MY dog and not yours" and you know what...I would! How selfish of me!

This too shall work itself out. There are just times in this crazy world that a good doggy lick would solve alot of problems!

Mary said...

i told my husband before he was my husband that i would always have a dog so it was a case of love me, love my dog. he is not a dog person at all but he has had a certain affection for every dog I've had (we've had 4 throughout our marraigne and a few recovering strays I took in, nursed and trained and found homes for)

i'm allergic to cats, as is he, but we have 2....we vacuum a lot!

what about a dog like a poodle or a scottie that has hair instead of fur? there are other dogs, too, but i just thought of those....

good luck! it's hard to miss a dog and not be able to have one....i don't know what i'd do! there's a drawing of my dog as part of my big draw drawings...