Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Thinking of doing the unthinkable...

Anyone who knows me knows that I have never been a dog person. I have never had a dog and never wanted one before either. I have always liked cats, rabbits, rats (not so much hamsters), mice, snakes, fish etc. Heck even frogs... but not DOGS. (I was bitten by my grandfathers horrible temperamental dog when I was very little, and we had a huge Collie when I was a baby, and my other grandfather had a Border Collie - some of my earliest memories are of being TERRIFIED of these dogs as they jumped up at me while I cowered in my mother's arms)

Dogs generally just annoy me. I hate the stink and mess of the poo. I hate being drooled on, I hate the crotch sniffing, and jumping up, the holes scratched through doors, the digging in the garden, the barking, the chewing stuff up, the smell of dirty dog... you get the picture! Wink I have always said I'd never get a dog... Also, I can't stand little fluffy lap dogs. I believe a dog should be a dog, not a teddy bear. But there is no way I want a BIG dog either.

Added to that we have NO (as in not one blade) of grass at our house. We have a fairly small plot, and the 'garden' is mostly paved, with a biggish pool, and then a rambling plant garden at the back with stepping stones through it. I like it, it is pretty and low maintenance.

Anyway Quinn has really taken to dogs, and just this week-end I found him lying on top of our friend's Labrador, hugging him around the neck and watching a movie with him, and then he was bounding around with our other friend's pit-bull puppy and a stick for about an hour. He was really expressing himself and being affectionate and interactive... so now I am thinking he actually NEEDS a dog.

The boys have had pets for the past few years already.
I hardly (if ever) feed the cats - or the rats when we had them. They are very responsible pet owners.

I am not saying I hate dogs... but it is rare that I find one that I like for more than a few minutes. But think it's like an 'other people's children' thing...?

Our neighbours across the road had 2 stunning Jack Russells and I REALLY liked them, a lot. Another neighbours has the cutest looking Beagle. Really cute. And I like the ones on duty in Montreal airport...

So I seem to have gone from 'never', to 'maybe', to 'one day when' in the past year.

The boys have asked me a few times over the years for a dog, but I don't think they were ready until recently.

So what do you think?

Breeds I like but can't won't get are:
- Rottweiler
- Boxer
- Golden Retriever
- Great Dane
- Weimaraner

Breeds I don't like (for various reasons):
- Anything smaller than a cat! (Yorkie, Chiuaua, Toy Pom etc)
- Poodles
- Cocker Spaniels
- Daschund
- Chows
- Whippets etc
- Bulldogs
- Fox Terriers
- Boerbulls
- St Bernards
- German Shepard
- Dalmatians
- Ridgebacks

Breeds I like (in order of preference):
- Jack Russells (I LOVE these)
- Beagles
- Staffies

So my question is: Is it a good or bad time to get a dog now?

1) I don't want a dog that goes bos, because my kids are not totally settled and they sometimes fight etc kwim? I think home situation can affect a pet's temperament quite a bit... but our household is mostly settled, and I think I dog might even HELP the boys. But then it's extra responsibility for me, and something else to nag about etc...?

2) Is it more of a help or hindrance? A dog ties you down to home a bit more, and we won't have the flexibility to sleep over at friends on the spur of the moment as we can with cats/rats... or could we? Dog's are self self sufficient and bark/whine when left alone no? I don't want hassles with neighbours complaining... But on the plus side at least a dog will alert me to intruders in the yard etc etc. Also I think it might be good for the boys to have a pet to love and cuddle and run with etc...

3) We have 2 cats already. But they mostly live outside and are not very friendly, they just eat at home.

4) Much as I LOVE Jack Russells, they have so much character, and are small, but act like bigger dogs, but most people seem to say DON'T GO THERE Sad

Any advice or warnings at all?


This morning I told my boys that maybe maybe we can think of getting a doggie... Q basically squealed with excitement at the thought...

But I went on to say that we'd need to make sure that we have a really loving, supportive and stable home where we all work together and co-operate first - because pets' personalities are formed by the vibes of the home they live in. I think we are well on track for that already, but it's good to reinforce it and for them to have an incentive for it. I also spoke about how they'd need to love, care for, walk and feed a doggie... and that it would need to be for at least 10 years.

As I said they have had several pets now - a bunny and a rat each and they fed and cared for the rats. They are now baby-sitting a hamster, and we have the 2 cats which they feed too.

Then I had a meeting with Q's teacher this morning... I met with her at the very beginning of the term and we discussed the need to get Q some counselling and support, and she was concerned that he was not going to be ready for grade 4 by the end of the year... so him repeating Grade 3 was a real possibility.

Well the good news is she thinks he is settled enough now and performing almost back to his potential and she thinks it best to let him proceed to Grade 4 next year - because although some of his work LOOKS shoddy he is too bright to repeat the year, and she doesn't want more emotional strain on him by being 'held back'. Smile She said he is really responsive again and said she was reading the class an involved WW2 story the other day about the Gestapo, and a soldier hiding away etc and she said there were some subtle nuances in it and when she asked comprehension questions he was the only one in the class who was following the story properley and able to extrapolate various things and work out reasons for certain things in the story.

So that's great news... although it means I'll need to push him a bit for the fourth term to make sure he really is applying himself, but I am very proud of the progress he has made. She said she can tell things are much more settled at home now and he is doing well Smile

So now I am wondering if I should let him get a puppy as a reward for trying so hard and really dealing with so much in the past 6 months...? At nearly 9 (in 3 months) I think he is mature enough and I think he is able to be more emotionally open with animals than humans, as he doesn't have to worry about being judged or looking silly with an animal. Know what I mean?

Does this sound like a good idea?

I found out there is someone a 10 min drive from us who has a 9 week old JR puppy... seems it is puppy season NOW. He said I can come see it tonight... Shocked I am not sure I want to move that fast, but maybe we can go take a look... and then decide if it is something we should do.

(I must say I like the intruder-alert aspect to having a dog in the house too... I did not sleep well last night. I kept hearing noises Confused )

Ag moeder the guy has just mailed me a pic of him...

All together now.... awwwwww!!!

Ok now's your chance, should I do the unthinkable and get a D.O.G??
Talk some sense into me. QUICK!


  1. When you get a dog, go take the dog for training. It will be fun for you, the children and the dog, and your dog will learn not to do all those things that annoy you. Also, don't get one of those annoying dogs that bark too much. Since you listed them already on the list of dogs you don't like, I think you'll be ok :)

  2. Don't say they don't have personality! Tommie has a Jack Russel and while I really didn't 'like' those type of dogs in the past, this one has totally won me over. He is the sweetest thing. Very protective of Bella *the new Pekingese* The boys love him too as he loves playing with them.