Should I get a puppy?

(7 Posts)
Pizdets Mon 08-Oct-12 17:08:10

Reasons to get a puppy:

- I have just quit my job and will be working for myself from home - I'd finally have time for a dog and it would be nice to have company and a reason to get out of the house each day
- we have a good-sized house with a garden and live next to a huge park for walks
- we have 2 gorgeous cats and so have an idea about the carnage a new pet can cause and clearing up mess/poo/seeing our stuff be destroyed would be fine
- we can easily afford to keep and care for one
- I lost my baby this summer 18 weeks into the pregnancy and I think it will be good for me to have something to care for!

Reasons not to get a puppy:

- is it foolish to get a puppy when grieving? (although I've wanted a dog for much longer than ttc!)
- am I going to limit weekends away and spontaneity because we have to worry about the dog the whole time?
- if we crate train and work out a proper plan for introducing a puppy to the cats, are they going to get on? (if it helps the cats are hefty shorthairs and I'm planning to get a toy poodle)
- if we do manage to have a baby later next year or the year after, is it going to be horrible caring for a new baby and a dog? (the pregnancy this summer was my first so just us and the cats right now)

I suppose I'm worried that I want a puppy so much, but after everything we went through this summer getting what I want seems too easy. On the other hand I don't want to rush into it without planning properly.

What do you think? What haven't I thought about? Or am I dithering? Would really appreciate your advice, questions or thoughts!

Piz

sooperdooper Mon 08-Oct-12 17:09:56

Is there any reason in particular you want a puppy, would a rehomed dog be easier? You don't have to worry about training quite so much then smile

Pizdets Mon 08-Oct-12 17:20:06

Hi sooperdooper, we had thought about a re-homed dog, but generally the ones I've found are rescues, which in my experience (ie friends who have them) can be quite hard to train. I'm actually looking forward to training a dog most of all so ideally I want to get one young so I can train from scratch. But if you think I'm wrong then I'm very open to different opinions!

hellymelly Mon 08-Oct-12 17:30:30

Well you might get a rescue puppy, but often young dogs in rescue are no harder to train than any other dog, sometimes they can be very well trained already, as there are many social reasons why a dog ends up in rescue.
I think you should get a dog, your situation sounds perfect, choose a breed or crossbreed that is known to be good around children, (and cats!) -I see you like poodles, I can't comment as don't know any- and try and spend time with the puppy or dog around small children and babies to help ease the transition when you get pregnant again.
The weekend away thing never bothered me, we just went to dog-friendly places, cottages, that kind of thing.
I have never done crates so have so no experience of that, but I have introduced a puppy to cats, and it was all fine after a few bashes on the nose (from cat to puppy).

Pizdets Mon 08-Oct-12 17:52:02

Yey! Hellymelly thinks I should get a dog!

Both dh and I feel we would like a rescue dog, but I think we feel a bit nervous about it. Had a look at what our local rescue centres have online the other day and they're all staffie types (might be worse round here as we're in London) and I can't bring myself to want one. Any recommendations about where to look?

Good idea about exposing the dog to kids if we get pregnant again, should be a problem as everyone else we know seems to be sailing through pregnancies at the moment envy. And my uncle has a sprawling farm full of cats and dogs and his poodles and cats all get on fine so not too worried there.

Thanks both for your advice!

gymmummy64 Mon 08-Oct-12 19:19:18

Hi Pizdets, we got our gorgeous rescue dog from Dogs Trust Harefield (W london) nearly 3 weeks ago. We thought we wanted a puppy (DDs definitely knew they wanted a puppy), but he is around a year/18 months old. We just fell immediately in love and after the second visit it was a real wrench to leave him. After the third I was in bits! He's had some training but it's been fine giving him more - we're learning together. To be honest we couldn't love him any more and he couldn't be any better suited to us, so I'm actually quite relieved to have avoided the whole puppy thing for the moment.

I also didn't want a staffy (absolutely no offence whatsoever to staffies or staffy lovers) and yes, there were a fair few, but there were also other dogs many of which weren't on the website. Really all shapes, sizes, pedigrees and ages. In fact we were back there at the weekend for a class and couldn't resist having a quick look and there were some lovely dogs. We left quickly as I knew I was in trouble!

Harefield was a bit of a revelation to me first time I went - you can look round as many times as you like, just have to sign in when you arrive. We found our gorgeous hound on only our second visit but I can imagine many people keep going back until they spot 'the one'. Yes it's sad in places, but there is a very upbeat feel about the place, the staff are clearly very committed and if a dog has to be in rescue I can't think of a better place.

So my advice would be keep an open mind and maybe try a visit if you're in west london? or somewhere similar if you're elsewhere. Lots of luck!

hellymelly Mon 08-Oct-12 23:37:08

Yes I do! (And I've just told someone on another thread that they shouldn't have a dog at all.....) Anyway,individual breed rescues can be good . Or the Dogs Trust? Battersea? Small rescue centres just out of London? You could google "poodle, or poodle cross, rescue, and see what comes up?
I don't think it is foolish at all to get a puppy when grieving. My Dad has just died and I am really feeling bereft of lovely easy dog company, the type that lets you sob into their fur and just looks at you comfortingly. (Our Dog died a few months ago). I would love to have a new chum to focus on but we are waiting until we have been on a visit to Sweden to see a friend's new baby. A dog gets you out of the house, gives routine to days, and adds anarchy and entertainment- all good when you are sad and low.

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