Oct 29, 2009

Am I a dog person?

So here's the thing. I've never had a pet. I don't know the joy dogs bring you, and while I think they're cute and adorable, I also know they're a lot of work. *Sigh* But I kind of want a puppy!

However, the mister is very allergic to dogs. The common allergy is the dander their fur creates, but he's allergic to the oils in their fur. Everytime we see Dude, Ben will pet him and then immediately has to wash his hands. When we met Maddie, Ben met my brother and sister's dog Reesey for the first time. He is a combination of a yorkie and a poodle (yes, a yorkiepoo!) and Ben had no problems with his allergies whatsoever.

Adorable, right?

Ben and I have talked about this a lot lately (we even bought The Complete Idiot's Guide to Puppies - whatever, I'm a reader!), and while we haven't made a final decision yet (that can't happen until I get your opinion of course!) we have decided on some absolutes we would have to have in a dog:

  • It can't give Ben allergy issues (aka what I like to call a "hybrid" like Reesey - and yes I could refer to those dogs differently, but using the word hybrid to talk about a dog makes me giggle)
  • Not too big (we will probably be in an apartment for awhile longer)
  • No food aggression
  • Good with babies/kids
  • Good with other dogs
I realize if we get a puppy, we teach it to not have food aggression, and train it to be good with kids and other dogs. However, the "hybrid" puppies cost a lot to get from a breeder and I'd rather rescue a dog. But I don't know the chances of finding a puppy "hybrid" at a pound or a rescue.

One of my friends suggested adopting a dog (not a puppy), but considering neither Ben or I have ever had a pet do you think we should start with a puppy? I know puppies are a lot of work, but wouldn't it be better for us to know the history of the dog? My friend then told me that the shelter would do those kind of tests (food aggression, how they are with young kids, dogs, etc). (My friend is very wise).

See? I don't know anything about dogs or having pets. I need your opinions, people! What do you think? I want stories - good, bad, and in between! What do you think?


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am of no help unfortunately. I'm so not an animal person. We did not really have pets growing up so it's just never been something I've wanted.

Plus I can't keep plants alive, so getting a dog or cat would probably be a bad idea.

Nicole said...

You've never had a pet?! Oh my goodness! I've had throughout my life 5 different dogs (one on my own as a "grown up") and 4 cats. At one time there were 3 cats and a dog all in the same house together. So I've had a little experience with pets.

First of all, I'm a huge fan of adopting a dog from a shelter instead of paying a ton of money from a breeder. And if you are really set on adopting, you can get yourself on a waitlist at a local shelter. I also regularly check out petfinder.com where you can search for the breed you want.

If you are going to go to a breeder, please, please, please check them out and make sure they're legitimate and not a puppy mill in any way. Go for someone who loves their dog and the puppies.

If you've never had a dog before, I would recommend getting a dog that's a couple years old instead of a puppy. Puppies can be very frustrating, and if you've never had a pet before you may not know how to handle it. But if you're up for a huge challenge, puppies are awfully cute.

A website I used a lot when looking at dogs was dogbreedinfo.com. It's good to read up on all the breeds that will be in the mix, as they will display traits from all.

OK, well I could go on about this for days. If you have questions, feel free to e-mail me. Good luck on your search!

Amber said...

Hybrid? Does that mean like a mixed breed, because if so, then most of the dogs at a pound/shelter are probably a mixed breed!!

While puppies can be A LOT of work, I think you fall in love with them and become even more attached if you get a pet when it's a baby. I think it's the taking care of another living thing part that makes us get attached to them.

I absolutely think you guys should get one! Pets can bring so much joy!!

AO said...

Whatever you decide to do, just meet the dog first and spend some time with it. I know, duh, you would meet the dog before choosing it, but if you're going with a dog that is a little older spend as much time as you can with it. I think that will give you a chance to get to know the dog's personality. See if you can foster a few dogs, that also might help you make your decision.

Anonymous said...

Aw I love dogs! I always loved animals but my mom was never a dog person... until we got our dog. I've had HORRIBLE allergies since I was little so we had to get a hypoallergenic dog, and settled on a Shih-Tzu. We've had her for 11-years now and not only do I not have any allergy issues (since they have actual hair instead of fur) but she's the cutest thing and a bonafide part of the family! It's funny how fast these little dog's grow on you!

Tracie Nall said...

I have allergy issues with dogs.....my cousin has a shih-tzu that is supposed to be okay for allergies, but just being in the same room with that dog messes me up! My other cousin has a Westie.....and that is one cute dog. Not too big....I can love on it all I want and never have any problems. (he usually sleeps with me when I visit them!)

I would definitely say to get a puppy--a little bit of extra work in the beginning, but you can be sure that he hasn't picked up any bad habits. Good luck!

Mermanda said...

Greyhounds are a bit big but plenty of them thrive in apartment environments because they are very content to be a couch potato all day.

They are also great for people with allergies (me!)

And they are usually very good with kids. Check out your local greyhound rescue group if you want to know more information! They are the sweetest dogs ever.

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