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Having a dog as a pet?

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Having a dog as a pet?

Postby Kay » Sat 9 Apr 2016 07:47 GMT

I get really tempted sometimes to have a dog as a companion.

But I don't think it's realistic. Here are the pros and cons.

What do you think about it?

CONs
I can barely manage to walk, never mind having an animal on a lead to look after
If a dog fight happened, I couldn't manage to do anything
If it pooped in the street, it would be difficult for me to deal with it
We like to go away for weekends or even weeks, what would we do then?

PROs
Have a nice big back garden where an area could be set aside for "doing the biz"
I would love to have some company during the day
I like dogs - it doesn't have to be cute, just have a very friendly and non-aggressive personality.

I like labs, and I did love collies before (when I was young and fit and working on a farm - don't think I could handle one now) I like mongrels that are smart. I don't like yappy dogs and the small breeds that need a lot of attention. I suppose I'd like a calm old dog that gives unconditional love and doesn't make too much disruption.

Dave probably won't let me have a dog anyway, and what would we do when we decide to go away for a few days?
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Re: Having a dog as a pet?

Postby ruggie » Sat 9 Apr 2016 08:18 GMT

Check the local PDSA. A middle-aged lab cross could be OK, if he/she is already traffic-wise. But be prepared for it to escape and do the rounds of the neighbourhood from time to time.
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Re: Having a dog as a pet?

Postby Dave » Sat 9 Apr 2016 13:21 GMT

Kay wrote:Have a nice big back garden where an area could be set aside for "doing the biz"


I'd question the "big" - the actual garden bit is only about 15 metres by 6.

I get the "need company", but I'm not convinced that a dog is the best way to go about finding it. It's not fair on the dog if you can't commit to looking after it.
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Re: Having a dog as a pet?

Postby ruggie » Sat 9 Apr 2016 16:29 GMT

My concern is that a dog the size of a lab, even an old one, needs to walk the best part of a mile each day, and you don't currently live within easy walking distance of a field where it could be turned loose. I think a cat would be a better choice, but don't know if Kay enjoys their company.
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Re: Having a dog as a pet?

Postby Kay » Sat 9 Apr 2016 17:37 GMT

I am not having a feckin cat.
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Re: Having a dog as a pet?

Postby Dave » Sat 9 Apr 2016 18:14 GMT

ruggie wrote:I think a cat would be a better choice, but don't know if Kay enjoys their company.

When Kay told me you'd suggested that, my first reaction was to bewail the fact that we don't have a wincing emoticon. So this will have to do:
:hide:
I would say that your suggestion had put the cat among the pigeons, but Kay doesn't like those either. :crackup:
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Re: Having a dog as a pet?

Postby Kay » Sat 9 Apr 2016 18:25 GMT

I would rate pigeons along with house flies and rats on my hate list. :evil:

I like mini-pinis - all dog but just scaled down a bit. Reckon even they'd be too lively and too much of a handful for me.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miniature_Pinscher

Maybe I should just get a pet brick or something.

We do have four goldfish, but only because the previous house owner left them behind. I find them rather dull and not great company. Very occasionally I investigate sashimi recipes including goldfish but don't have the energy to go out and catch them, so they're safe for the time being. Dave feeds them occasionally. We also have a garden gnome type of thing which I just had to buy when I saw it at a farmers' market. Perhaps I should cultivate a friendship with that instead.
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Re: Having a dog as a pet?

Postby ruggie » Sat 9 Apr 2016 18:27 GMT

I withdraw my suggestion. I've just talked to the boss (Phyll) who says that what you need is a border terrier, and I reckon she's right. My younger son's next door neighbour had one, and my grandchildren used to walk it along the riverbank (in Thorpe St Andrew, a Norwich suburb) even when they were very young. On or off the lead, it trotted happily along, and was very good company.
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Re: Having a dog as a pet?

Postby Kay » Sun 10 Apr 2016 13:59 GMT

Hmm. Interesting.

I found this quiz which helps you to choose the pet that's right for you:
https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of- ... sing-a-pet

I had a go and they suggested that a goldfish would be ideal for me. Bah! I knew in my heart anyway that getting a dog would be a bad decision.
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Re: Having a dog as a pet?

Postby ruggie » Sun 10 Apr 2016 19:48 GMT

I've always been in more rural surroundings than you are, when keeping dogs and cats, but still had a couple killed on the roads. How about a mynah bird? You could teach it Doric and Dave could teach it German - confuse the hell out of visitors - welcome or unwelcome.
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Re: Having a dog as a pet?

Postby Kay » Mon 11 Apr 2016 06:47 GMT

LOL. good idea but I wouldn't like cleaning out the bird cage. Maybe I should just get a fluffy toy, then I could have any animal I choose.
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Re: Having a dog as a pet?

Postby ruggie » Mon 11 Apr 2016 19:16 GMT

If you don't like cleaning up around pets, I guess that rules out hamsters. Ferrets are a lot more fun, but even neutered ones have a distinctive odour. How would you feel about snakes?
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Re: Having a dog as a pet?

Postby Kay » Tue 12 Apr 2016 07:02 GMT

I like snakes, and have handled them occasionally - big ones! But I don't think they'd be suitable for many reasons:

- the expensive of buying one and providing a safe and comfortable environment for it
- the amount of space its tank would take up
- feeding it with dead rats and stuff
- and, probably the most important thing, I don't wholly approve of people keeping that type of creature as a domestic pet.

Good thinking, though. At least I wouldn't have to take it for walks! :D

How about a tortoise? But it doesn't fulfil the companionship brief, which is why I wanted a dog in the first place. I wonder if there might be a role for fostering, ie looking after a dog for a short while. But they'd be looking for experienced people and I have no experience whatsoever with handling dogs. Besides, we're spending all our money on trying to make the house more liveable. It's currently a hazardous environment and when it's done I'd be worried about the possibility of a dog spoiling it.

What about grasshoppers? And if I got fed up of them I could cook 'em up - coated in chocolate perhaps.
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Re: Having a dog as a pet?

Postby ruggie » Tue 12 Apr 2016 10:38 GMT

You could have a small pond full of frogs. That might even attract a heron..
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Re: Having a dog as a pet?

Postby Kay » Tue 12 Apr 2016 12:14 GMT

Frogs? How much company would they be for me?

They'd be great companions for butter and garlic but I'm not sure they'd be intellectually challenging enough to provide me with good company unless I kissed them all and found a prince. Nah, whilst I have met Prince Charles - and found him charming - I think I'll just stick with Dave for now on that front.

Herbs - I could talk to them...

Maybe people who have/had kids are better at looking after other creatures. I don't seem to respond well to the task.

I was very good with the sheep dogs (collies) on the farm (about 40 years ago), but you need to be fit and quite strong with them because otherwise they'd like to be the boss (top dog). My biggest weakness (sometimes got a mild telling off for it) was I sometimes treated them as pets and patted them and gave them little foodie treats whereas they were otherwise just treated as some kind of organic farm machinery. Some dogs seem better suited to a full-on working life. I know people who have successfully had collies as pets but I think they're in their element in a working environment.
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