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Am I being unreasonable to not want to get another dog?

(18 Posts)
KiwiJude Fri 18-Jul-14 04:34:18

Our dog died December last year. He was a huge part of our life and we miss him a lot but I don't miss not having a dog, if that makes sense. My horse has gone out on a long term/forever (hopefully) lease and I'm really enjoying the freedom having only a cat (I'm a shredded mess if he sees this!! haha) On a breed specific FB forum I saw a breeder was looking to rehome a retired show bitch. I asked her for more info on the forum and I asked DH whether he would be interested in possibly taking on an older dog. The breeders of our dog who died saw my message to the breeder and they then sent me a message saying they have two litters and if we were interested we were most welcome to view them.

Chatted with DH, he would prefer a puppy even though our current house really doesn't lend itself to a puppy. Anyway, we went and looked at the puppies last Sunday and we're going back this Sunday for another look. There were three quite nice puppies that we identified as possibles but none of them made me want to scoop him up and bring him home.

So now, having had five days to think about it I've come to the conclusion that I really don't want another dog at this stage. I know part of the reason DH wants us to get one is he wants me to have company during the day (I work from home and he worries that I don't see enough people, is always encouraging me to go out with GFs etc).

We talk about our dog that died all the time, we miss him, we cry about him still and I worry that if we get another puppy we will unconsciously be trying to make him like our dog that died. Plus because I work at home a lot of the care and training will fall to me, as DH does travel for his work a bit.

Ooops, this is turning into a novel. Will stop now otherwise it will go on for pages. Interested to see what others who have been in this situation think smile

moosemama Fri 18-Jul-14 09:48:48

I think if you don't feel it's the right time you should trust your gut feeling, especially as it's you that will be doing the lion's share of the care and training.

There is no right time to get another dog and I totally understand you enjoying your freedom. I adore my dogs, but find myself occasionally dreaming about just being able to just go for a day out without having to organise their care and being able to go out of the front door for school runs etc without having to organise, kongs, treat toys etc first.

In a year we've gone from having two mature dogs that were happy and relaxed enough to sleep when left, without the aid of treat toys etc, to having two with some degree of separation issues and it's really restrictive.

MitchellMummy Fri 18-Jul-14 09:57:46

Go by your gut instinct! It sounds as if you're quite happy in your own company. You'll know when the time is right.

KiwiJude Fri 18-Jul-14 20:37:50

Thanks for your comments. DH and I are heading out for breakfast and a lake walk tomorrow so it will be a good chance to discuss the puppy/dog situation. We are meant to be going back to look at the puppies again on Sunday so I guess I need to get it sorted before then.

We loved our dog and arranged a lot of our life around him, especially when he got older and a bit frail. I don't begrudge any of that because we did love him so, and to be honest I was probably happier snuggled up on the couch with him watching rubbish on the tel than going out smile. He was everything we wanted him to be and more, and they are pretty big boots for a puppy or another dog to fill.

ARightOldPickle Sat 19-Jul-14 07:07:20

We also had dog that was everything to us - our once in a lifetime dog. When he died I didn't want another one, I only wanted him and in time kinda got used to not having the restrictions and extra cleaning that a dog brings ... But gradually we came round to thinking of getting another, four and a half years later we now have a four month old that we already wouldn't be without!
If you feel you aren't ready then wait, everyone is different - some need to get another almost straight away and others need more time. Do what you feel is right for you, as said before you will will know when the time is right.

KiwiJude Mon 21-Jul-14 20:37:19

We had a good talk on Saturday morning and decided that we would go and look at the puppies on Sunday. Sunday night was horrid, I cried over missing our other dog so much and the more tired I get the more I cry so this morning wasn't so flash either. However, we've decided on a little man to join our family and I'm really excited about it smile Making lots of plans already and in fact, we might do something really silly and get two puppies! Not sure if that will happen or not, our small house doesn't lend itself to two dogs but we're visiting again this coming weekend and will do each weekend until we bring our little man home so plenty of time for things to change. Will post piccies when he (or they! haha) are home smile

moosemama Mon 21-Jul-14 20:57:10

Well done. It really helps to open up and let the emotions out - I think it's the only way we can properly get in touch with how we're really feeling.

So pleased you are able to open your heart and home to another dog shaped companion. smile Also a touch jealous, as my cute puppy from last summer is now a galumphing 28" to the shoulder and going through the teenage stage grin

What breed?

I would strongly advise against two littermates though, they are likely to bond more strongly with each other than to you and it really is double the work and double the trouble. It's a well known cause of lots of problems and is generally something almost every trainer/behaviourist would also advise against. A good breeder shouldn't/wouldn't let you do it anyway.

soddinghormones Mon 21-Jul-14 20:57:41

Before you commit to getting two, read up on littermate syndrome.

Basically you'd be making life very hard for yourself!

Keep us updated (and photos are obligatory wink)

KaFayOLay Mon 21-Jul-14 21:04:03

I have litter mates, they are now 13, and we have never had a problem.
We did train them separately though as they found it all too distracting with their sibling there.

moosemama Mon 21-Jul-14 22:06:50

I think you're an exception KaFay, the vast majority of people really struggle to raise littermates.

KiwiJude Tue 22-Jul-14 02:37:54

Thanks for the heads up re litter-mate syndrome, which I've just read about about. Thatt explains the tone in the breeder's voice when I spoke on the phone briefly with him about possibly taking two puppies. He said several times that most people come back 12 or 18 months later for a second dog and that we could talk further about it this weekend when we go for our visit.

The breed is boxer smile

KaFayOLay Tue 22-Jul-14 06:25:49

Yes moose, I'm aware we are probably the exception and have been very, very lucky. I wouldn't be put off having siblings again but I wouldn't consciously go and do it again iyswim.
They have been separated over the years due to vet visits and the one staying at home has initially been vocal about it but then settles.
We have 3 dogs now as I was concerned how the remaing sister would be when the other passed away.

KaFayOLay Tue 22-Jul-14 06:27:54

Ooh, meant to say, love Boxers.

My favourite childhood dog was a Boxer. She was a nervous thing, not good in a house with warring parent's but we gave each other comfort. She'd come and hide under the bed clothes with me sad

moosemama Tue 22-Jul-14 09:50:15

Oh, I love Boxers. Never had a purebred one, but had the most gorgeous rescue Boxer x GSD boy that turned out to be my 'forever dog'. I still miss him and we lost him in 2002. sad

Pictures are definitely mandatory! grin

KaFay you sound like you've managed it really well. I wish I was as good at handling my dogs spending time apart. I swore I do it this time around, but it has been really hard to manage, as our rescue pup came with separation anxiety, so separate walks etc weren't so easy to organise. They went to separate training classes and we do individual vet visits, but we really should have done more to make the pup more independent.

Our older boy developed quite severe separation anxiety when we lost our old girl last year. Fortunately, with a lot of hard work, we managed to sort it out before we took on pup and I swore I wouldn't let it happen again, but I have. blush

We're planning on a third dog when our older lad gets to about 11 (he's just coming up for 9 at the moment and fit as a fiddle) as it would be a monumental task to try and get the pup (I say pup - he's 1 now) used to being apart from him. Next dog will be a bitch and we're hoping that will help, as I've found bitches and dogs have always bonded better than those of the same gender. Older boy really only tolerates pup, but is grateful for his company when we go out and loves to run with him - cuddling is strictly off limits though, which is a shame as pup clearly wants to. Hopefully a bitch may be a bit more demonstrative and that will help him transfer at least some of his affiliation over to her.

KiwiJude Tue 22-Jul-14 21:49:21

Decision made, we're taking one puppy. One of our puppy's litter mates is coming to our town as well and we'll be catching up for puppy play dates, and should we decide we want/need two dogs we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. It is great for boxers to be able to play with boxers; a lot of dogs don't like how they play as they're pretty full on and like to throw their paws/legs over other dogs which can be seen as a dominance thing but in boxers it's just how they play.

I hear you on that one moose, one day a cute puppy, the next a hulking 56 kg rottie-x who thought he might still be able to fit through the cat door! smile Thankfully he only poked his head through with a big silly grin on his face as if to say "dare me to", then he'd wander in through the human door and try to sit on my lap like he did when he was tiny.

KaFay glad your childhood boxer was of comfort, they're good like that. Our box thought he was Florence Nightingale, if anyone was sad or sick he would paste himself to them.

KiwiJude Sun 03-Aug-14 23:55:15

We didn't get to visit our puppy this weekend as we've spent the weekend getting our property puppy-proofed. We're picking up our crate on the way to pick puppy up. It is going to be too big to fit in the car set up so we're travelling him home in our cat's carry cage grin Not sure what we'll feed him yet but have picked up some dry and wet food to get us going. So looking forward to seeing him again on Saturday, am sure he'll have grown in the two weeks that we haven't seen him smile

higgle Mon 04-Aug-14 11:23:02

We have been through the "no more dogs" cycle every time we lose one and after a little while we get seduced by some sad story and end up with another ( older rescue dogs suit us best). When I red your post I thought you might not want another straightaway but you would certainly get another at some point. Hope it all goes well with your new best friend.

KiwiJude Mon 04-Aug-14 20:49:41

You're right higgle I didn't really want another dog. I was scared of opening my heart again, and I still am, but we've often said that our boy gave us so much love and fun in the 10+ years he was with us that it has been worth the heartache of losing him so I decided I may as well hop back on the bus smile

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