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Puppy Dog Blues

Josh and I talk a lot about getting a dog.  It would be my first dog ever, and Josh’s first dog in a loooooong time.  We pause at adoption events to pet the dogs, and we peruse a local shelter’s website from time to time.  We’re in that should-we-or-shouldn’t-we stage.

Every once in a while, we fall in love with a dog.  I fell in love with one a few months ago.  His name was Frodo.  He was adorable.  He was staring at me from the shelter’s site, begging me to take him home.  Josh pointed out that the dog has “severe emotional issues” and cannot be left alone even for a few minutes during the day.  “What will you do when you want to go to the grocery store?” he asked.  Fair point, sir, but did you see those big, brown eyes?

Josh fell in love with a black lab at an adoption event.  I was at home, so he sent me multiple pictures.  He was the perfect size, gorgeous, and came with a tragic story that screamed, “take me home and love meeeeee!”  Josh carried around the card for the shelter all day, and we spoke about it a few times.  He admitted that the dog was a little frantic, probably not the best match for our chill children.  By night time, the dog had been adopted by another family, which put an end to those thoughts.

If I sat down and built the perfect dog, it would be a small breed, preferably one that lives long.  As in, a dog that lives forever, like a vampire.  On the more sane side, I like short coats: the sort that looks like velvet when you’re running your hands over the dog’s back.

I want a dog that is always going to want to be with me.  Like if I’m in the living room, he’s in the living room, too.  And if I go into the kitchen to cook dinner, he stands beside me, keeping me company in exchange for bits of food.  I want a dog who is going to want to be stroked while I’m reading a book.  A dog who is going to watch me play video games.  A dog who is going to love car rides and beach trips and outings to the dog park.  And if I’m really honest, I want a dog that is small enough for me to carry around the house in my arms.

I want a dog who is going to be my baby.

I am probably not the best candidate for dog parenthood.  I clearly want a furry human more than I want a dachshund.  And a furry human who defies time and lives forever.  But I’m trying to get myself there.


1 Charlotte { 10.28.15 at 7:35 am }

Well. I can absolutely relate to this, with all the shelter pets I have.
The first dog we had as a family was a small little white dog I found by luck on the first day I went looking. She was all those things you mentioned wanting. I called her my Baby Dog. She tolerated almost anything. She slept curled up with me every night. I still miss her.
My best advice is to keep checking out local shelter’s websites. I am a huge advocate for people having dogs, because they are some of the very best relationships and fun you will ever have, and they are so completely unconditional, no matter what. As your kids get older and need you less, you would have a furry friend who will always be there. I am pretty convinced my dogs don’t realize they aren’t my human children.
Hope you come around to the canine side. If you have any questions or advice, you can email me. : )

2 a { 10.28.15 at 9:31 am }

I think you are the best candidate for dog parenthood, actually. Just make sure you find one who doesn’t want to eat Guinea pigs.

3 Justine { 10.28.15 at 9:59 am }

Truman would be deeply jealous. Isn’t he your furry human? 😉

4 Chickenpig { 10.28.15 at 10:15 am }

The dog you want sounds like my dog, although she is a scooch big to carry. However, I want my big, wooly, dog back because he didn’t follow me around all the time. The dog neediness drives me CRAZY.

5 Turia { 10.28.15 at 10:58 am }

Q. and I occasionally talk about getting a dog (although our two elderly cats would be horrified). The sticking point for us is always the idea of having to walk it when it’s -30 outside. We mostly talk about getting a dog in the summer…

I think you are a great candidate for dog ownership, because you are home during the day and you don’t travel overseas frequently. Keep looking!

6 Rachel { 10.28.15 at 11:01 am }

You can usually train your dog to do those things – be comfortable in the car, good in public, etc.

I think wanting pets to be a certain way is like wanting spouses and/or children to fit your bill. You have the list of what you want in a spouse, or what you hope your children will end up being, but in the end – when it’s right, none of that stuff matters anyway. The right dog is the same! 🙂 I hope you find your right dog!! I’m a bad influence, because I have two huge dogs and today I’m bringing home a third (but at least he’s a small size not big!)….but dogs are the best! Good luck…I think when/if you find YOUR dog, you’ll just know. 🙂

7 mijk { 10.28.15 at 12:38 pm }

I had that dog You want and it is nog ok. It couldn’t be alone it hurt itself and barked for hours… I know have a dog that wants to be with me about half as much which is enough and makes for a much more stable dog. She is not my baby she is my best friend.. Which is better. An other adult to talk to with big Brown understanding eyes!

8 Sharon { 10.28.15 at 6:48 pm }

I think Rachel (above) makes a good point: pets are like people in that they have their own personalities, and sometimes they end up being a perfect fit for you even if their characteristics don’t exactly tick all your boxes.

I know lots of people who consider their dog(s) their baby(ies), so I don’t see anything wrong with that. 🙂

9 Mali { 10.28.15 at 8:47 pm }

But what would Truman think???? (Yes, I know Justine said this too, but I figured it was worth repeating.)

I grew up with dogs – farm dogs, so whilst we loved them and they were affectionate, they weren’t indoor dogs. I’m more of a cat person myself. We haven’t replaced our two that died five and six years ago, after long lives – 17 and 18 years respectively. I do miss them though – the way Cleo would follow me from room to room, sit behind me in a box (of course) when I was at the computer, or on the same seat if I moved forward to read something interesting. She’d wait on the welcome mat for us to come home from work. Affectionate like a dog, but less work.

10 Northern Star { 10.29.15 at 12:26 am }

In my early days of infertility, we got a wiener dog. Best surrogate baby ever.

11 Cristy { 10.29.15 at 6:38 am }

Mel, you need to come to my work. My advisor brings in her beagle mixes almost every day and they both embody some of the traits you’re thinking of. On the one hand, we’re constantly on alert for any strangers who enter the office as they are highly protective of their space. On the other, there’s nothing more calming than having a dog in your lap.

It’s always hard deciding whether to adopt. I agree with everyone above about how every animal has their own personality and decisions need to be based on how they will fit into the family, but remember that families are also malleable. Good luck with the decision.

12 Donna { 10.29.15 at 9:14 am }

Get a Boston Terrier. I’ve had 3 and a friend of mine has 2. They are all that you describe.

13 Davidah { 10.29.15 at 2:49 pm }

We adopted a shelter dog three years ago. He was my first dog ever. He’s a Welsh terrier mix, about 35 pounds and looks like Benji. He was 4 and should live a long time. He can’t go off leash, but otherwise I think terrier mixes are great. Good luck!

14 Lori Lavender Luz { 10.29.15 at 5:03 pm }

Sorry. Dexter is taken.

15 mijk { 10.30.15 at 12:52 am }

I have a working gundog who accepts our Guinea Pig as part of the pach. Ron is allowed t climb all over the dog and when Ron squicks hard dog obediently goed over to lick him it’s too good.

16 Rebecca { 10.30.15 at 9:35 am }

You want a Beagle! Mine are exactly like that (admittedly with lots of shedding!)

17 luna { 11.01.15 at 2:45 am }

They really are the best friends. So loyal. You will love having a puppybaby. Just keep holding out for the right one. We’ve been looking for awhile now. I’ve been known to be addicted to petfinder. We visit foster families and rescue farms and go to the events. Hard to leave without one, just haven’t found the perfect fit yet. Small breeds do tend to live longer than larger breeds. They can also yip and nip though. We’re trying to wait for just the right mix.

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