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I have found since getting our puppy that we make the effort to do things together. We wouldn't have made the effort before to pull on wellies and drive to a wood in the middle of january before the puppy but it is exactly what we will do tomorrow. We will be caked in mud but have a great time.
I was only saying this week that we did all our xmas shopping online and haven't done the sales and I haven't missed it one bit. We (and pup) are regulars at pets at home though!
It will change our holidays and some days out though we like picnics and things so that won't change. We like country show events so will do more of those. We are happy to take turns doing the one in one out thing too.
I am actually enjoying some of the one woman and her dog solitude aspects of dog walking though. Dh thought I was slightly mad when I admitted my favourite thing is to be in the woods in thick fog on my own with the dog and my thoughts, slightly scaring myself about what elae could be lurking in there!
There are a number of websites that list good dog friendly days out, dog friendly beaches etc. In Wales, CADW is the equivalent of English Heritage and they allow dogs (on lead) to lots of their attractions. Consequently, our greyhounds now have an extensive knowledge of medieval Welsh history!
The other thing to think about is that during the summer especially there are lots of dog orientated family days out which are usually very cheap and good fun. I'm thinking of things like charity dog shows, and most dog rescues run all sorts of free or subsidised events in the summer like have a go at agility,walks, picnics, etc. Also worth thinking about things like geocaching that all the family can do, but fit well with dog.
You are definitely NOT being naive and very sensible to think this through.
Thank you for your replies-especially the lovely one that said I wasn't being naive!
We live right next to the beach so I will investigate the restrictions there. I would really like a dog to be part of our family days out not splitting us up into one adult with the dog and the other with the children. I will stalk people over the next few months and see what they do!
We live in a dog friendly small rural town. There are dogs everywhere inside cafes pubs our small independent dept store the 5* indepedent hotel the bank every field/park even one in the butchers the other day! It's easy to forget how lucky we are. Sadly our nearest NT won't allow dogs and the other big problem we've found is beaches many are closed to dogs during ugh season.
National trust and English hertiage properties list on their websites their individual dog policies. Many do welcome dogs top favourites in the South Hurst Castle and The Old Battery. Lots if pubs welcome dogs as long as they sit quietly beneath the table. The mobile mop lives a good day out.
Weekends are a mix of dog-friendly days out i.e. long walks up hills or one of us exercises her in the morning and we go out in the afternoon.
We kennel her if there are days when she will be left alone for more than 5 hrs absolute max (after exercising her and again when we return).
As far as the playpark thing goes - we've done the '1 person in with DC, 1 person walking the dog', but generally one of us will get up earlier and give her a good run so we can both go to a place where dogs aren't allowed.
How much does having a dog/puppy affect the things you do as a family, eg at the weekend? We would love a dog, but I am thinking closely about the practicalities. For example:
-if we went to the local park-dogs aren't allowed in the playpark bit, so although we can all walk/scooter around-if the kids went in the playbit-one of us would have to stay outside with the dog. If I went with the children AND the dog on my own-we couldn't go in the playbit. -If we went out for the day, eg to a National Trust/English Heritage place. If dogs are allowed-that's fine, but if not-they would be walking around outside with one adult, whilst the other adult has all the children. Or the dog stays in the car? Are you even allowed to do that!? -Eating in cafes? Presumably ok but you sit outside? -Shopping-another no no.
I am starting to wonder what people with dogs do!? We love walking-but do other things as well and wouldn't go out with the kids every Saturday and Sunday for a 5 hour walk.
What do you all do. Sorry if I sound hopelessly naive