What's best for a family dog if you work?

(77 Posts)
PatTheHammer Sun 22-Sep-13 20:29:58

Just curious I suppose what everyone does when clearly lots of people who work also own a dog.

I've wanted a dog for a while, bought up with labs as hugely loved family pets and love other people's dogs. However, work and then babies came first when I was younger. I never felt it was fair to own a dog when I worked full-time and so did DH.
Since I had the DC I've worked part-time but I still work part of everyday. Now the DC are a bit older (7 and 4) and my youngest has just started school. At the same time I have taken a decision to cut my working hours significantly as I was stressed and DH was promoted so we were not under so much financial pressure.
The DC are desperate for a dog too (not that I'm silly enough to think that they would help at all.....they are far too little) but I really remember my dogs as a child being such a fundamental part of my childhood.

Anyway, cutting to the chase. My working days basically start early but I finish at 1pm. I then have 2 hours till I have to do the school run. These last few weeks I have been thinking that would be an ideal time to walk the dog, if we had one. DH had a back op last year and he is keen to incorporate walking in the evening into his exercise plan so he would be up for taking the dog out later too. We spend a lot of the weekends walking as a family too and it does feel as though we are missing a dog!

Is 8am till 1pm ish too long to leave a dog most days? Not sure we would have much time to do anything other than give a quick walk round the block in the morning so dog would have to wait till afternoon for main exercise. Is this healthy?

There are other practical issues, small garden, need a larger car (which we are getting in December), not really sure what we would do if we went on holiday (our in-laws who are local hate dogs and all my friends and neighbours have their own dogs to look after or small children).

Basically............talk me out of it, it's a bad idea isn't it!

P.s: I have got time to commit to training and I don't really want a puppy or a pedigree dog. All dogs considered except overly large ones due to garden size!

moosemama Tue 01-Oct-13 17:34:08

Fantastic news Pat! grin

Enjoy shopping for your hairy friend. smile

mistlethrush Tue 01-Oct-13 21:58:02

I have a scruffy. A zoom groom is really good for coats - mine really enjoys it.

moosemama Tue 01-Oct-13 22:01:37

We use a zoom groom for Lurcherboy too. He loves it, it's like a full body massage for dogs! grin

PatTheHammer Tue 01-Oct-13 22:33:20

....adds zoom groom to the list.

Do I need to feed him with an elevated bowl? The guy that did the homecheck said that is what they do at the centre. He suggested putting his bowl on an upturned bucket.

I'm going to go to pets at home tomorrow and get him some nice cosy blankets. I think he is bringing his bed and stuff with him for the trial but figured blankets and a few chewy toys wouldn't be that expensive.

Been looking at coats online, they look so cosy. Will have to wait till he is here to measure him up!

moosemama Tue 01-Oct-13 22:40:05

Elevated bowls are a good idea for the longer legged variety of pointy dog, yes, but a bowl placed on a footstool or upturned bucket would work just as well to begin with and the raised bowls can be a bit pricey.

That said, Lurcherboy doesn't have a raised bowl, as he's mostly raw fed, so lies in the middle of the lawn to eat his dinner! grin

PareyMortas Tue 01-Oct-13 22:45:20

Am so excited for you. I feed mine on an upturned washing basket, you can get elevated bowls but they cost mucho £. What colour is he? I'm very envious of him having a scruffy coat, mine are short haired the scruffies look cute, which isn't the first word most people think when they see a lurcher.

mistlethrush Tue 01-Oct-13 23:03:28

Cheap bucket with hole cut in top to hold bowl would be fine.

I got my lurcher coat from someone on LL who does made to measure coats - either 'tough' or just waterproof (slightly smarter) - and fleece lined. It did last winter very happily and doesn't really look used at all.

PatTheHammer Sat 05-Oct-13 13:45:53

He's here! Currently curled up on the sofa next to me having cuddles :-)

Bit of an exciting morning, claimed the garden with lots of wees. Did one little spray inside ......simple solutions to the rescue, thanks moose!
Had a big walk round the field and met some new friends, desperate to get off the lead but not yet!
Came back and trying to chill out now but still a bit nervous.

We are going to leave him for half an hour or so in a bit and see what happens. Hopefully I'll come back to an intact kitchen!

moosemama Sat 05-Oct-13 14:55:54

Congratulations! grin

Hope all goes well and he settles in really quickly - and glad the simple solution helped!

We neeeeed photos y'know! wink

PatTheHammer Sat 05-Oct-13 16:17:34

Gutted moose, we've had to take him back. He was distraught at being left :-(

They agreed at the rescue centre that it would be too stressful for him to have him the whole weekend. We've just got back and the house still smells of dog, except there is no dog :-(

He is going to need to be homed with another dog. He's so affectionate and lovely that we are all gutted, the DC and DH are heartbroken but in the end we could see it wasn't fair. He would not be in a room in his own and he barked and howled when we went out non-stop.

The rescue are gutted too, but they have told us to phone the greyhound rescue straight away to get on their list. They think a greyhound may be more suited and won't have separation anxiety.

DameDeepRedBetty Sat 05-Oct-13 16:23:15

sad

It was all looking so brilliant wasn't it?! That sounds really bad separation anxiety, many months of intensive work to even start to make a dent in it. Hope he finds a good forever home soon with a friend to keep him company, he seems lovely.

moosemama Sat 05-Oct-13 18:25:37

Oh I'm so sorry Pat, what a terrible shame. sad I have been there myself many years ago. We took on a gorgeous collie from the Dogs' Trust and had to take him back the same day, as he kept attacking me. I was devastated, as he was lovely, had been fine with me at the rescue centre and I really wanted to give him a home and work with him, but I was bitten quite badly several times in the first couple of hours and I was going to be the one at home with him all day every day. He was fine with my dh and his best friend and I hadn't done anything to provoke the bites.

I volunteered for DT a couple of years later and found out that he'd gone on to be rehomed 3 more times and the same thing happened in each new home - always biting the lady of the house. Apparently he was rehomed to a farm eventually and was very happy there.

There's no guarantee that a Grey won't have separation anxiety either, I do know of a couple that have developed it, but a good rescue will make sure they have assessed every dog and only let you home one that is ok with being left.

It's always such a gamble with rescues. It could well be that SA was the reason he ended up in rescue in the first place. It's a very tough nut to crack - and I know because I have just been through it with Lurcherboy after we lost Oldgirl. It took a good couple of months of me doing nothing but work on it and practically being kept prisoner in the house - and that was with a dog I knew well, that didn't have SA already entrenched.

I would recommend getting a homecheck done by Lurcher Link as they are very, very thorough and would only home a dog with you that had been in foster and they were sure didn't have SA. Lurcherboy came from there and there are a couple of other pointy dogs on MN that have also come through them.

The other good one to approach would be Evesham Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue. They're another one that is really careful to match the right dog to the right people and have dogs in foster homes for assessment.

It's worth keeping up with their FB page to see new dogs as they come in as well.

I'm so sorry it didn't work out, but I'm sure the right dog is out there waiting for you and your family to give him his forever home and you will find him.

mistlethrush Sat 05-Oct-13 18:26:29

Pat, some of the lurchers that LL have are down as suitable as only dogs...

mistlethrush Sat 05-Oct-13 18:27:23

Cross post with Moose then...

CMOTDibbler Sat 05-Oct-13 18:43:57

We had a failed greyhound adoption as he had terrible SA which took a week or so to develop (as well as other issues). As racers grow up in kennels, they always have dog company, so being on their own can be v scary. Broke our hearts to take him back, but neither he or we were happy, and he rehomed to a home with other dogs very happily.

Your chances of success are much higher with a dog thats been in foster as they get to know them much better than in kennels - and expose them to much more of life so see them in lots of situations

PatTheHammer Sat 05-Oct-13 19:10:20

Thanks guys. We are all still gutted here. It doesn't help that 'helpful' people keep saying that we didn't give it long enough.
We could tell he would be inconsolable whatever we did, the police would have been swiftly called by the neighbours the amount of racket he was making. I think it would have been selfish of us to put him through it for longer hmm

He will deffo get rehomed and now the rescue are updating him as 'needs another dog for company'. He will make such a great pet for a family with dogs, he was so gentle with the kids bless him.

Moose, I spoke to the woman at Evesham earlier and she said they had nothing suitable at present but they took my details. She was very helpful and gave me contact details for 2 other places, one in Bristol who foster lots of their greyhounds and also west of England rescue?
I've given my details to both, spoke to GRWE on the phone and they sounded hopeful that they might have a suitable dog but they will do a homecheck and come and have a chat with us first.

They also have Lurchers and whippets so I told her we were not fussy but we wanted what was best for the dog really and one who had been in a foster home, preferably with children would be a better bet.

Having a glass on wine now, trying not to think about missing hairy cuddleshmm

PatTheHammer Sat 05-Oct-13 19:11:59

Mistle, I will have a look on Lurcher Link later. Do I just email them?

moosemama Sat 05-Oct-13 20:51:47

Pat, go on the LL website and read this and contact them to explain your circumstances and requirements and ask for a homecheck. Then have a look at the LL Homeless Hounds and finally Other Homeless Hounds.

PatTheHammer Sat 05-Oct-13 20:55:10

I've done it Moose! I have already been emailed the questionnaire and I have filled it in and sent it back. Speedy service over on LL grin

moosemama Sat 05-Oct-13 20:57:07

That's great.

Yep it's a fantastic charity, lovely people and they really know their stuff. smile

PatTheHammer Sat 05-Oct-13 20:57:12

Ooops, just realise I posted on my phone earlier and the faces came out as hmm when I meant sad.

God, I must come across as a right stroppy mare when really I'm feeling sorry for myself and the kids, and the poor dog sad

moosemama Sat 05-Oct-13 20:58:08

I didn't notice Pat. Your sadness was clear through your words anyway. sad

mistlethrush Sat 05-Oct-13 21:55:14

Pat - moose's older hound is from there as is mine.

We only got shown 2 dogs from there - mind you, they had had at least one essay from me on what we were looking for and what we could offer...

I don't know whereabouts you are based - but LL are visiting Peterborough in force next weekend and there will be lots of lurchers to meet, and possibly some fostered LL lurchers there too. We went last year when we were dogless and it was good to see all the different lurchers around.

PatTheHammer Tue 15-Oct-13 22:17:15

Bumping my own thread to say that we have been going through GRWe and have been matched with a 4yr old Brindle Greyhound who is currently residing in Somerset. She looks beautiful and apparently is a gentle, easy-going girl who is used to being left for periods of time in her crate.
Just waiting to here back from the homing officer about when I can go down and meet her and if all goes well and she's not scared to death by the DCs then it's looking like we can collect her in half term.

So we are getting there eventually!
Excitinggrin

PatTheHammer Tue 15-Oct-13 22:19:45

Oh, LL have also been in touch and I'm going to ring them and let them know how it went. If it doesn't work out then they might have something lined up. The lady from LL was lovely and she wanted to be kept informed as she said it was lovely to hear about dogs being rehomed even if it wasn't through them:-)

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