Monday, 19 August 2013

Dog or no dog?

Reasons for and against and what type of dog.

I need to exercise. I feel obliged to take a dog out for a walk, but I don't honour myself the same way. Coming to terms with that might make a difference, one day.

It's hard enough work looking after house plants.
We go on at least two long holidays every year.  One is usually local that could include the dog.  The other is international, travelling with a dog is out of the question.

The children's Mum and Grandparents have agreed that they can keep the dog at their houses when we are away.

Regardless of how much the children want a dog I will end up being it's primary carer. I was aware of this before I planted the seed-

Vet bills, grooming and the necessary accessories are expensive.

We can't securely fence our property.  It snows in Winter here.  Whether it's for toileting or walking, like it or not, the dog will have to be accompanied when it's let out.  (Refer to point 1, this could also be an advantage).

It has to be an older dog. There are plenty that need new homes. It's fun to play with and train a puppy but dogs live a long time.  Small dogs can live for 18 years, ask a child to imagine still taking care of the dog when they are 30 years old. Also older dogs are likely to be toilet trained.  Do you think it's cruel or wise to consider that an older dogs lifespan fits in better with our future plans of possibly moving overseas?

It needs to be a small dog (not to small because the snow can get deep here) but big dogs means big poo, and I will enjoy daily or twice daily short walks, but I couldn't exercise a large dog properly.

We live by a fjord and a forest with great walking paths, but there are no designated leash free play areas in this town (or Denmark in general), this doesn't seem to be a problem to other dog owners I have spoken to, but I think it's mean.

After my last dog died I said I wouldn't get another one- I also said I wanted to be an eccentric old writer that lived in my tiny apartment in a big city, be single forever and never have children.  I have since become engaged to a man with two boys, and moved to a provincial town (on the other side of the world). I'm guessing that I was probably wrong about the dog too.

We met a man the other night who says his friend has a poodle that needs a new home. We should know by the end of the week if we are the right people for that dog.  There is also a 6 year old long haired daschund, named Buster, that has been living in a kennel for over a month because his owner is sick. We will visit him a visit too.

This is not going to be an easy decision. I will weigh up the pros and cons and eventually do what feels right.


  1. A dog is a great companion that becomes a loving family member. Yes they are expensive (Food, vet, training…), but I think they are worth every penny and all the aggravation. Get a small dog, I think they're easier (they eat less, easier to bathe, take up less room and they live longer), but beware of the ones with major attitudes. Pomeranians are gorgeous, but like chihuahuas they can have quite an attitude. I don't mind the attitude (I have a Pom), but some people do mind. A maltese is a sweet, mild mannered dog, also beautiful, but high maintenance. Do your homework. I'm sure you'll find one that's perfect for you. It's definitely worth having a dog. They really bring a lot of joy to your life. Good luck!

  2. Hi, my vote: Dog. I love my furbabies and would not trade anything for them.

  3. I like Labs myself, but it sounds like you need a good amount of research for what works in that area. We don't have snow and in the yard, the dog would be fine -- not be getting away. But absolutely, a dog is great to have around, for so many purposes.

    1. Hi Silvia, funny I can't stop thinking about a lab we saw the other day... I agree they are good for a lot of reasons, but I worry about changing circumstances.

  4. I'm more of a cat person, but I've had dogs before. I like a bigger dog.

    1. I love them equally, if only I could get a cat to take me for walks...

  5. Aloha Mark,
    Buster's body was too big and his legs too short for our tricky staircase, and the poodle owner hasn't got back to us yet. I know I will make the right decision too, right now I'm leaning towards volunteering some time at the local shelter to walk the lonely dogs before they find a new home...

  6. While I adore my dog... I have to say in the four years I have had him I have spent at least double what I spent on my cockatiel of twenty years...but I wouldn't trade either of them for the world...

    1. It's a part of my problem, my last dog was amazing, but I remember the hard work and the heart ache if I left him home alone for more than 8 hours. I have recently found an organisation here in Denmark that is looking for homes for stray dogs they find in Greece, some of them are about 7+ years old, I think that might be the perfect solution.


Feedback and your own stories are welcome.