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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The normal kind, you all. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
We moved to a house with a yard last summer, and there are lots of families in the neighborhood with dogs. And I've always liked dogs, but I have never lived with one except for a year in college when I lived with three but none were my responsibility. So other than learning the hard way to keep my door closed or forfeit my shoes, I don't have much experience.<br><br>
Possible cons:<br>
~ our yard isn't fenced. We could fence it if necessary, and are considering it for the kids.<br>
~ ds is little and although he loves dogs from afar we haven't spent time with any close up.<br>
~ we have an 8 yo cat who has been an Only Pet since we adopted her at 8 months. She started out very shy but is now quite social, and well-behaved aside from very occasional anger peeing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> She has never been around a dog, AFAIK.<br>
~ did I mention I know nothing about dogs?<br><br>
Possible pros:<br>
~ the love of a good dog, of course.<br>
~ dh travels and I would like the added feeling of security.<br>
~ we're outdoors a lot anyway, so I think walking the dog wouldn't require drastic lifestyle changes.<br>
~ I think the kids would enjoy a dog, although I understand that pet care (walking, feeding, training, vet responsibilities) would be my job.<br>
~sometime in the next three years I will (hopefully) begin WOH full-time. Must finish school first.<br><br>
Am I crazy? Should I wait until ds (who is Baby Last) is older? My heart yearns after an adult rescue beagle.<br><br>
Advice?
 

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We got our dog when dd was 1 and we had two cats, then ages 14 and 4. I love the dog to pieces and would never give him up now, but I kind of wish we had waited. We do have a fenced yard but he does not use that for exercise unless we are throwing the ball or frisbee for him. Otherwise, he digs and/or barks so we cannot leave him out there unattended. As for security, he barks mostly at birds, squirrels, dogs being walked by, and any person who drives or walks by, whether they stop at our house or not. He barks most ferociously at our 83 year old neighbor who probably weighs less than him. He is a low shedding dog but there is still hair everywhere and I cannot get used the smell of dogs. I have to wash his bedding weekly and him at least once a month (or more on the days he rolls in something dead on one of our off leash walks - in off leash parks only). Having grown up with dogs, I would not expect a child younger than elementary school age to help at all with dogs. My dd, age 3, loves to feed ours but makes more of a mess than actually helping. Plus, there is the issue of poop. And, injuries! Don't even get me started on ear infections and anal glands! He is a total love bug and loads of fun. Super gentle and loving and I would not trade his love for anything. I just kind of wish we had waited until our old kitty had passed away. Right now, he hides upstairs all day and almost never comes down. He is not well and I miss him. But, we kind of created a cats-only zone upstairs, so he has all he needs up there.<br><br>
Seriously, I would wait until the kids are older. In the meantime, you might build the fence and consider fostering a rescue dog until it gets itself a permanent home. That is a necessary job and you would get experience with dogs. Or, try dog sitting for a neighbor.
 

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Fostering a rescue is a great idea, it would give you a chance to see what its like living with a dog. DO you have time for daily walks (at least twice a day?) Even with a yard, dogs need to walk or they become bored and destructive.<br><br>
FWIW, I would wait a bit, at least until you/your kids get some good dog experience in. Maybe spend time with a friends dog?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmmm, food for thought. I hadn't considered fostering - maybe I'll look into that! Thanks.
 
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