Friday, 29 November 2013

Barking? Quite possibly...

 by Roz

So recently I've been thinking more and more about us getting a dog.  Just writing that sentence down makes me excited!  I never had a dog growing up, but B did, and we've always said once we get a proper house with a garden we'll get a dog.  Well I think we've got the proper house now...

My big brother has a dog, I big softie of a German Shepherd called Cujo.  When most people meet him they are a bit wary as he's big (it's all fur, you should see him in the bath!) but I have never met another dog that thinks he's a human as much as Cujo!  Here's a snap of him trying to look mean...usually his crimped ear fluff takes the edge off :)


I love taking him away up to Aberfoyle or Loch Lomond and walking him for hours until I know he'll fall asleep in the car on the way home.  He's also been running with me a few times and is surprisingly good at staying right next to me.  I'd really love a dog of our own to be able to do things like this all the time and also to have company in the house as B works shifts. 

When my brother got Cujo as a pup, I was living down in Wokingham with B.  We were both studying hard at the time and trips back home were few and far between, so we never met Cujo until he was about 8 months old and already pretty big.  It used to make me so sad to see pics of him as a little ball of fluff when I couldn't play with him.





But when is the right time to get a dog?? I know how much love and attention they need and we're lucky that with B working shifts and me working 9-5 (ha! I wish!!) that our four legged friend would only be alone for a few hours on the days we'd be work.  I'd also like to have a dog in the house as it's so big it sometimes freaks me out thinking of being there alone!  Time is against us though...it's unlikely we'll be moving in to the new house even before my due date in May.  I'm guessing it would be crazy to get a new dog when I'm off on maternity??

Putting the issue of when aside for a moment, deciding on which breed of dog we'd like is also going to be a challenge!  If you check out my Pinterest board, you'll see that I love all shapes and sizes of pooch, I'm not even sure I've got a favourite.  Lately I've had a real soft spot for these guys though...


 

French bulldogs.  They snore, they wheeze, they pant excitedly...they pretty much do anything but bark.  B is not so keen!  He'd definitely like a bigger dog, a lab or something similar, I'm sure we'll manage to agree at some point.

I'd love to get some advice regarding when the best time to take the plunge and get a dog might be or is it like most things in life and waiting around for the right time just delays the decision?

Roz xx

10 comments:

M-J said...

We got our puppy (a lab called Alfie) in March this year. He's so much fun but really hard work. If you were thinking of getting a dog, I'd definitely get one before your maternity leave so he's settled in before the baby arrives. Alfie is great, but he is still chewing things (he had to sleep in a dog cage for the first 6 months, and even now I hear him chewing things in the middle of the night!). You don't really want a dog that is chewing/teething with a baby as well! he also goes for about an hour and a half of walks a day (usually three half hour walks) and if he doesn't get these he's hyper (lots of scooting around in the living room and more chewing). He pulls on his lead still too (something I am working hard on but kinda at the stage of giving up!) which I imagine would be a real nightmare if you get a big dog like a lab and you're trying to push a buggy or something as he nearly pulls me off my feet at times. However, it'd also be nice as having a dog makes you go out for walks, and we've had some really lovely walks together - this would be even more lovely with a wee one in tow. He's awesome though, so getting a dog will bring so much joy to your life, but I admit I can't imagine having a puppy whilst doing up a house and looking after a baby. I'd say get a big cage and get him used to being in it (alfie saw his as his wee bed/cave) so that you can put them in there when you need to get on with things and not worry that he's chewing through your cables/eating rubbish etc! Good luck!

Fee said...

We were on the verge (literally waiting for a litter to be born) of getting a dog as we found out that we'd have another new addition to look after come Feb!

We've decided to re-assess when the baby is about 6 months as I have no idea what I'll be up for then!

Kateq said...

I'd personally wait until you've had the baby before making decisions on a dog. We have a cat (an oldish rescue one) that is no real hassle or commitment but since having Ben even he has felt like more work so I know I wouldn't be able to have a dog at the moment (but many people I know do with a baby and it's all fine).

Amanda said...

I think I would wait too. We have a similar dilemma, except we want to get a cat, but with our fertility struggles, I did not want to add any risks to the equation (though I know perfectly well the risks are minimal and pretty much avoidable, I just did not wanted to make the sitation any harder than it already was).
Maybe, like Fee says, when the baby is older?
As for the breed, I am with your husband, get a bigger dog. Or else something medium like a cocker or a setter. French bulldogs, pugs, etc... end up developing cardiac insufficiency as a consequence of their trouble breathing (they do not get enough air, causing , in the long term, the heart to be constantly overworked trying to pump extra to compensante for the lack of oxygen). A possible solution is a (minor ) surgery where they cut a piece of the soft palate to try to ease the situation, but still. (Just my biased opinion)

Kirsty | A Safe Mooring said...

You KNOW I can't pass by a dog post without commenting.

On timing: I think people will have strong views on this either way. On the one hand, getting a dog now would give you a chance to get some training done before the baby comes. On the other, it could be confusing for the dog when the baby arrives, and puppies don't stop being a lot of work for a long time so you would definitely have your hands full. My BFF got a puppy when she was a couple of months pregnant (intentionally) and it has been a lot of work, more than she anticipated I think. We'll see how it goes once the baby comes!

As for the breed, French bulldogs are super cute, but like Amanda says you need to be careful with this "trendy" dogs to make sure they're from a reputable breeder and don't have health problems. The most important thing is to think about the breed characteristics and how they fit with your lifestyle, then think about the cuteness factor after (although your own dog will always be cute to you, even when it's a weird-looking greyhound!). The Kennel Club has a really helpful thing on their website where you can put in things like the size of your house and garden, how much exercise you have time to give it, etc and it tells you which breeds would be suitable.

Lastly, I'd urge you to at least consider getting a rescue dog. An older dog can be much easier to train and you can't beat the warm fuzzies from giving a dog in need a loving home. There are so, so many unwanted dogs just desperate for someone to love.

Dogs are hard work, and they do interfere with your lifestyle a lot (going out for dinner gets tricky) but they also bring you so much joy. I say go for it.

Steff said...

OMG Cujo is the CUTEST thing I've ever seen!!

Our wee pooch isn't well today so he's been packed off to Granny's with H&C under strict No Treat instructions. It's ironic that on the rare night where the girls both sleep through the dog was up half the night puking all over the bedroom...

I'd wait if I were you. G offered to get me a lab puppy for Christmas last year and it took every ounce of self restraint for me to turn him down. Looking back I'm glad I did as it would have been SUCH hard work.

I wouldn't wait long, just long enough to get past the big huge preggo and newborn stages. Think of how excited your little one will be when they start to really interact with the world and you introduce a dog to the household. I wouldn't want to miss that for the world.

xxx

Roz M said...

I'm loving all your comments. I should have said in the original post that we will definitely be looking at a rescue dog :)

hungrysquirrels said...

Personally I would wait until Little Star arrives! I can't imagine having a dog to look after as well as a baby!
Though I have a good friend who had a Border Terrier to look after as well as her new arrival though the dog had been there for 2 years before baby arrived, so relatively easy adjustment…
Another friend got a pup when pregnant, and ended up rehoming the dog within a year of baby arriving.
Good Luck whatever you choose to do. A xx

Lauren Maria said...

I wouldn't get one right away when your on maternity, puppies are like babies Seb got up twice a night to go to toilet at first. But after a few months why not? Get a lab!!!

Susan Barrie said...

We are also thinking of getting a rescue dog, for us we want to have a dog for at least a year before children come onto the scene, so we can train them properly!

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