This is one of my frequent inane posts that probably belongs in one of my smaller "groups". But then, my readership would be less (not that it's that much larger here).

My dilemma is "to dog or not to dog", that is the question. I went to the Humane Society yesterday to check out the available dogs. I've been considering getting a pet again. My experience with dogs is mixed. I haven't been particularly good at training them. I don't like barking dogs, nor penning them up. And I've never had them in the house. However, I'm re-thinking my position.

On the plus side, I'd like a "companion" (I live alone out in the country). Maybe a dog would keep the rabbits and coons away from my yard and garden. Voles and moles, too. Depends on the dog. When gone, my daughter offered to take my dog.

Lots of pit bulls at the pound. No way. Except for one little pup, just in, no dog swept me away. Like a woman, I think I could quickly recognize the right one for me. (The "right" woman hasn't popped into my life, either. Is there a "humane society" for females?) 

When questioned as to how I would house the dog--leash, fence, house--I balked. Oops, hadn't considered that! Previous dogs roamed free. That's verboten to Humane Society folks. And they have to do a background check on me! No preves (previouses). 

Hence the dilemma. Opinions and ideas welcomed.

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Comment by Dogly on April 14, 2013 at 8:58am

Randall, as a dog myself. let me give an opinion.  Don't get a dog!  We are not weapons against other creatures.  We are not your property.  You are not our master.  If you want to have a new friend, why would you not invite him to share your home?  There are shelters for abused women, too.  I'm told that they don't like to be locked out of the house, either.

Comment by Luara on April 14, 2013 at 6:20am

I got my first dog from a shelter, I didn't have a fenced yard.  I found a shelter that didn't have that requirement. 

He was a wonderful dog!  Very mellow, friendly German shepherd/Golden retriever mix. 

Comment by roland707 on April 14, 2013 at 12:12am

Had one great dog. Border Collie. Smart, good company, and protective. Mine lived indoors mostly.

Comment by jay H on April 11, 2013 at 5:20pm

My dog (as previous ones) lives in the house. She is ill behaved but all sweetheart.

There are multiple ways of having a dog, including providing separate quarters (kennel) for the dog, or, as in my case, fully letting the dog into your personal life. That's your choice, dogs can thrive on either arrangement.

The agencies don't like to hear that you'll tie the dog out, I said I would walk her (well I do) but she has a pulley type dog run. Goes out for 10 or 15 minutes at a time to take care of business (except in summer when she wants to stay out all day).

Nothing she likes better than doing things with me...

Comment by Regina M on April 11, 2013 at 1:25pm

I'm too lazy to post pictures of my adorbs (2 dogs, 5 cats-please don't judge), but I will tell you that the companionship and unconditional love adoration is just beyond words. One dog was a pup when I bought her from a friend who's a breeder. The other one came from a shelter when she was about 9 months old. Both got some schooling at a local dog trainer (and I include myself-I definitely needed the training as well), but they are neither one perfect. And yes, they're a bit of a pain when you want to go on vacation but need to figure out dog care, and yes, sometimes it's like having a two year old in the house, and yes, you have to contend with hair on the furniture and poop in the yard. BUT as far as I'm concerned it is so worth it!

You might want to check out Hearts United for Animals which is a no-kill shelter in Nebraska. They do very good things like take in animals from irresponsible puppy mill breeders. I know they fly dogs all over the place or I wonder if they have used those trucker people who will help get dogs to their destination. I don't think they take/have pit bulls at their shelter.

Another option might be to foster a dog for a while from your local shelter. It would be a way to test out having a dog, but you wouldn't know how long you'd have it (could be a week, could be years...).

Good luck on your decision!

Comment by Ted Foureagles on April 11, 2013 at 1:03pm

Let's see if I can figure out the picture thing..

My darlin' 3-1/2 year-old Abbey -- Chow/Lab/Husky/Whatever in an early picture:

[URL=http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Foureagles/media/Critters/Abbeyat4months.jpg.html][IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v636/Foureagles/Critters/Abbeyat4...[/IMG][/URL]

Her latest picture:

[URL=http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Foureagles/media/Abbey4-10-2013a_zps1c4a7f1e.jpg.html][IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v636/Foureagles/Abbey4-10-2013a_z...[/IMG][/URL]

I've never 'owned' a dog on purpose -- they just seem to end up with me and we deal with it.  For the most part, those relationships have been overwhelmingly good, punctuated by very bad times, like now.  Abbey and I don't live where we do by choice, but by circumstance.  We both 'grew up' where freedom is a given, and she, even more than I, values it above anything.  She simply will not be restrained.  Though we have thousands of acres of woods here, we also have a few neighbors, and one of them hit her with a load of shot 5 days ago.  I don't expect her to make through today, but I've been wrong about these things before.

The culture here just is what it is, and we're the outsiders with no legitimate ability to change it.  If I were given a choice to 'own' another dog, I'd refuse it, at least as long as we'd be living here where the dog would have to live a 'Liberty or Death' existence.  Hey, maybe if I do somehow end up with another dog I'll name him Patrick Henry.

 

}}}}

Comment by Buzz Avery on April 11, 2013 at 12:57pm

You're a little behind the times.  Catch up with the dog whisperer, Cesar Millan, who just finished a 12 season run on TV and shows everything about working well with dogs, and why he believes the pit bull is the best and most misunderstood dog to own.  http://www.cesarsway.com

Comment by Daniel W on April 11, 2013 at 9:07am

Randy,

I have 2 dogs and a cat.  The dogs are 12 and 11 years old, the cat is who-knows how old but has been here for 9 years.

They give me great companionship.  The older dog, Charlie, is my constant companion.  The younger, Baigou, is more into doing his own thing.

My experience with the humane society is they are a bit too overbearing, but I suppose they have a role.  My dogs were from private local owners.

I agree no pit bulls.  Too much bred-in aggression.  

I like having them in the house.  Nothing like having Charlie by my side as I read or work on the computer.  He likes to lay by the chair on an old comforter, and follows me around the kitchen.

Good luck.  Some people are "dog people" and others are not.  If you find one that strikes your fancy, maybe you are a dog person, or at least a one-dog person.

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