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Advice/reassurance on getting a dog

(10 Posts)
HolgerDanske Wed 23-Jan-13 09:43:35

Hi everyone smile

I've always known I wanted to have a dog - If i could I'd live in a big rickety old house and run a doggy rescue grin. Have been thinking about getting a dog for a few years now in vague and dreamy terms but finally I have started to feel that the time is right and I've built up the confidence to embark on it. I am a lone parent to two girls aged 14 and 17, so no little kiddies in the house. I do have a partner but we aren't living together yet as it hasn't worked out for either of us to move. He comes over almost every weekend and sometimes for a night or two in the week.

I am a bit of a worrier and can be quite neurotic about getting things 'right' so I am going to have to guard against becoming overwhelmed emotionally by the enormity of taking on another little life. So I thought that if I spend some time here in the doghouse I will build up a foundation of knowledge and understanding that will help me to be prepared.

First, my rationale for thinking it's the right time:

Mainly, it's a feeling, like things are 'right' and I am ready. It almost feels like something I have to do, like there's a piece missing from the puzzle of my family. I'm happy and content in all respects, but it'd be nice to have an extra little ball of energy to love and care for smile

I work part-time three afternoons and one full day during the week, and have one day off. Don't work weekends, so I have a good amount of time to focus on the dog. On part time days would be home with the dog every morning till lunch time, then my daughter gets back from school about half three, so doggy would only be alone for a couple of hours. On full work day I can come home for lunch to see doggy. This seems quite a good set-up to me, what do you all think?

I may at some point be doing the whole baby thing again as my partner doesn't have children and really wants to be a daddy. My instinct is that it would be much better for me and doggy if I have time to focus entirely on him or her for a while without trying to be mummy to a baby or toddler as well. I'm not good with juggling too many demands at once and I would like doggy to be nicely settled into our family long before a possible baby comes into the picture, so I can tackle the two things seperately IYSWIM.

We live in a lovely market town with nice places to walk. I love being out in the fresh air and relish the thought of having a dog to force me to get out every day come rain or shine. My partner and I love to go out for walks anyway, so taking doggy along would be no bother. We are not big holidaying people so won't need to worry about leaving doggy (although I am planning on getting a caravan down the line but of course doggy will come along when we go camping).

I guard against thinking of it all in terms of perfect idyll and cuteness and so on - I know it will be hard work. I know it will take commitment and that things will seem relentless for a while. I do think that i will have what it takes to be a good doggy owner - I have a background in childcare and am very good with toddlers, which I think will translate into an ability to be cuddly but firm with a little puppy/teenager doggy smile

My plan would be to try to get doggy in for the beginning of summer holidays so that the girls will be home every day and doggy would have lots of company even while I'm at work.

Really I don't know what advice I'm looking for, maybe just some words of welcome to the club and any impressions you might have from what I've written here.

The doggy I'm looking to get is a dachshund smile

HolgerDanske Wed 23-Jan-13 09:59:49

Mind you I do realise that a dachsie might not be ideal for an inexperienced owner as I gather they're quite stubborn and not the easiest to train. Dachsies are where my heart wants to go but my head might settle for another breed if it would be wiser. Anyone with experience on dachsies who could advise?

I also haven't decided on puppy vs rescue yet. There is a greyhound rescue place not far from me so that might be an option too.

HolgerDanske Wed 23-Jan-13 10:26:22

Hmmm it seems as if I am the only one who will be commenting on this thread grin.

I have been reading on greyhounds and just looked at the rescue. I think my heart might well be swayed...

Greyhound owners, would a greyhound need lots of room? I live in a little house, not much room - Upstairs: just bedrooms, bathroom, a small landing. Downstairs: a cosy livingroom with a little nook that would be perfect for doggy's bed. Conservatory. Hallway. Small kitchen. As far as i can see, doggy would most likely be happy to laze about for most of the day, so do you think this sounds like it might work?

Floralnomad Wed 23-Jan-13 10:32:08

I don't have a grey but from what I have read they come in quite a variety of sizes and fold up quite well on a setee . Sounds perfect to me .

Wereonourway Wed 23-Jan-13 10:36:30

Hi, I don't have dogs but saw this on active and thought I'd say hi.
Your set up really sounds ideal for a rescue dog, you have no small dc, plenty of time on your hands etc and if you aren't particularly set on a breed why not go along to local rescue centre and have a chat with staff??
Very exciting!

HolgerDanske Wed 23-Jan-13 11:24:59

Thanks :-)

Just had a lovely chat with our local rescue. Very positive.

mistlethrush Wed 23-Jan-13 11:30:54

I would have a tendency towards a Grey rather than a DH as the dh that I know locally yap constantly (really ear splitting - everyone stays on the opposite side of the park when they're out). If you have a Grey, be prepared for the sofa to be used as they'll find it comfortable and good to sprawl on.

Interesting about the summer hols suggestion - I've heard of dogs having problems AFTER the summer hols as they were adopted when everyone was around and they had attention all day long then they suddenly had to go to being left on their own quite a bit of the time, with much less attention.

I've just adopted a lurcher - so I'm only slightly biased grin

HolgerDanske Wed 23-Jan-13 11:35:49

That's what the very nice man at the rescue said as well - I did mean to say, am looking to work over the summer weeks at helping doggy not to suffer with separation anxiety, so that it's not a complete surprise when everyone suddenly goes back to normal.

But it may not be an issue after all, as I am going to start working towards fostering/rehoming now, which means meeting dogs, volunteer walking, etc. With a grey I think it will be possible to bring doggy home regardless of time of year.

So excited. I feel as if my heart is bursting with love to give to a special dog smile

Congratulations on your new doggy, is he or she your first?

mistlethrush Wed 23-Jan-13 11:49:18

No, we've had a dog before - both rescued - this one came with more 'baggage' though as she was thought to be an ex-worker, and was probably not housetrained, and probably didn't have any recall (oh, and is 2ish). We've not had any accidents for a while now (last was when she had an upset tum, so can't complain about that), and have found that she does have a reasonable(ish) recall - so its all good!

I don't think I'd recommend a lurcher as a first dog - but a greyhound should be a bit easier.

HolgerDanske Wed 23-Jan-13 11:51:37

Yes, will work closely with rescue to find the right dog. I'm excited but not too impatient - I would rather wait and make sure it's right

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