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AIBU to have another dog when I've got an incurable disease? Please be kind!

(80 Posts)
MansBestFriend Thu 16-Feb-17 23:32:42

I'm an experienced dog owner but now I have MS. It makes me very tired and my balance isn't too great which affects mobility at times, but I'm desperate not to live the rest of my life dog-less. My beloved dog died at the ripe old age of 12, and she was the greatest delight I ever had. I've tried to live without another for many years, but keep coming back to this nagging longing.

However people tell me I can't now that I have MS. Yet some dogs are help dogs for disabled and so probably live so close to the owner they are exercised all the time in one sense. I've wondered if it would be enough for me to get us both to a huge field or forest and sit while the dog has a good old explore, then for me to move to another location to sit and do the same. Obviously I'd shift to poop-scoop! I also could pay a dog walker at times, though possibly not every day.

Would that work? Or am I trying to kid myself? I so much want to have a dog again but I also need to be realistic. Any thoughts?

IrregularCommentary Thu 16-Feb-17 23:34:14

How about looking for an older rescue dog? Less likely to be rehomed by the average family, but could be a great companion for you, without needing so much exercise.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 16-Feb-17 23:34:56

I don't know much about dogs but I'd say different breeds vary a lot and you need to find one that suits your needs.

monkeywithacowface Thu 16-Feb-17 23:37:10

Yes I think it's possible. I'm not an experienced dog owner (although hoping to be one day!).

I imagine it will be all about choosing the right breed for your circumstances. I suspect if you posted in the doghouse the faithful greyhound would be a top recommendation! (particularly a retired racing one)

monkeywithacowface Thu 16-Feb-17 23:39:19

Greyhounds are pretty low maintenance, short walks and a good doze on the sofa

FenellaMaxwellsPony Thu 16-Feb-17 23:42:35

It's not impossible - an old dog, for example, could work - but what would your provision be for the dog if a point comes where you can't get yourself to a field or forest, or manage to poop-scoop?

AshesandDust Thu 16-Feb-17 23:42:38

Go for it, OP, there's a dog out there waiting for someone like you.
What about a retired assistance dog?

ph0ebe Thu 16-Feb-17 23:42:40

Yes its possible & don't feel bad, just do your research, you sound like a very loving owner & im sure youd do your best to make the dogs life a happy one 🐶

WorraLiberty Thu 16-Feb-17 23:43:20

Completely agree with Irregular regarding getting an older rescue dog.

Or have a look in your area for dog walkers. I'm sure the vet could recommend one.

BellonaBelladonna Thu 16-Feb-17 23:45:11

Yes. You sound like you'd make a lovely owner for the right dog.
Sorry about your MS. A good friend has it and its tough. She wouldn't be without her dog either.

Cookingongas Thu 16-Feb-17 23:47:11

Do you have enough money for lifetime cover pet insurance? Do you have enough money for food and training? Enough money to invest in a provision for dog should the worst happen? Enough money for a dog walker occasionally?

Yes?

Get a dog then- he will enrich your life and you his.

Ps- regardless of illness or otherwise the above are all questions all potential dog owners should say yes too. As well as can you love and be responsible for a dog?

AshesandDust Thu 16-Feb-17 23:48:07

Have you got a particular breed or size of dog in mind, OP?

gleegeek Thu 16-Feb-17 23:50:39

It sounds like you have loads to offer a dog, not least lots of time, company and love. I think you sound eminently sensible and won't get a young bonkers spaniel who needs lots of exercise or a breed with known poor recall. I'd go for it!

DementedUnicorn Thu 16-Feb-17 23:53:05

I would advise you to think it well through. I have seen another lady with MS do this and it was disastrous. She lived alone and despite her family helping as much as possible it just wasn't enough when she lost her mobility. It resulted in the dog not able to get out to the loo and so defecating and urinating in the bedroom. It's house training regressed from never being able to access outside and was a genuine health hazard.
The dog was super protective of her and regularly aggressive to care staff meaning they physically couldn't give her personal care so she would have to lie wet and soiled as she had no one to put it out for her.
She refused to rehome it even after she became bed bound because it was literally the only company she had for 20 hours of the day. It was very sad.
I know this is the extreme end of the scale but I would have massive reservations if you live alone.

Floralnomad Thu 16-Feb-17 23:53:07

Do you have or could you get a mobility scooter , several people near me use these to walk their dogs , dogs soon get used to running alongside and you can get some very good off road models now .

monkeyfacegrace Thu 16-Feb-17 23:55:54

To be honest I know a million dog owners who barely walk their hounds at all. Once a week if the dogs lucky.

I'd even go out on a limb and say most dogs aren't getting the exercise and stimulation that they ideally need.

If you have the money, space, time and love, then get a dog. Sometimes we can over analyse things and it's pointless.

If you want a dog, get a lovely retired sighthound that would be happy with a little mooch about then will spend the next 20 hours curled up in a ball like a cat.

6demandingchildren Fri 17-Feb-17 00:02:57

Get in touch with canine partners as they look to re home the dogs that did not pass final training. A dog like this would be ideal for you xx

AtSea1979 Fri 17-Feb-17 00:03:26

Sorry but I disagree with posters here. You can't sit next to a forest really can you. It will probably be raining and wet and slippy. You have to go find the dog and it's poop. Do you have a large garden for it that's secure? You already state you don't ave the income for a daily walker let alone if you need someone to come several times a day. If you want a companion maybe a different pet would be better suited.

starsorwater Fri 17-Feb-17 00:12:13

Do you have people around who would help out? If I lived near you (perhaps I do, I do have forests) I would walk your dog sometimes when I walked mine. Would you mind a little dog, that didn't need so much exercise? The very elderly lady near me has a gorgeous Bichon which is walked by a local teenager. Another I meet out has a mobility scooter and walks her (three!) dogs that way. I can completely understand your desire, but you would need some plans in place as back up I think.

VirtuallyMe Fri 17-Feb-17 00:24:04

Oh go for itop.
Do your research - maybe choose a rescue but not a high maintenance dog grin they really are great company and so long as they have an exercise outlet - dog walker professional or student - then do it. Enjoy and be happy. I do luv dogs.

DementedUnicorn Fri 17-Feb-17 00:25:50

I feel really bad about my comment Mansbestfriend. It was unintentionally blunt and probably quite a scary thing to hear. I very much apologise if it upset you flowers

PenelopeFlintstone Fri 17-Feb-17 00:28:04

Do it. You matter too. Combining a couple of previous suggestions: How about a rescue greyhound? An older one. Ex-racer? Plenty of those couch potatoes about.

RosieMapleLeaf Fri 17-Feb-17 00:40:25

I was diagnosed with MS last year, when I suddenly lost the ability to walk. The ability came back again so at the moment I am more or less back to normal. However, I don't feel capable enough to walk either of our youngish large breed dogs; I think they are too strong for me now and I am not confident enough in my balance and strength (I used to walk them before I became ill).

We adopted a 12 year old rescue dog and that is the dog that I walk. She is so little trouble for me, she walks along next to me, not too fast, doesn't pull, and once she's had her walk she basically sleeps the rest of the day away. She also ensures that I go out for a walk everyday whether I want to or not.

I would strongly urge you to pursue that option!

[As an aside - not to worry about the other two, my husband takes them out every morning and we have a dog walker that takes them out for "adventures" a couple of times a week as well; if I ever lost my mobility this would be our back up option for the older dog too]

gandalf456 Fri 17-Feb-17 00:41:49

Maybe a cat?

starsorwater Fri 17-Feb-17 00:44:10

My mum had a rescue spaniel. It didn't want walks (it hated them actually) it wanted love and company.She did have a garden though. I think there is probably a dog out there for you and I hope you find it soon.

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