Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To Puppy or Not to Puppy?

It's the great puppy debate of 2009 over here!! Some neighbors down the street accidentally ended up with a big litter of puppies (that problem has since been "fixed" heh...). Sierra saw them last weekend and wants a puppy. Josh and I are on the fence.

The facts:
  • We already have one dog. She's a lab/red heeler mix and just turned 11 years old. She's not super friendly to other grown dogs, but has good maternal instincts and I think she would take on a puppy as her own (we would introduce her and see how it went before making a final decision)
  • Sierra isn't very interested in the dog we have, though she was mine before I even met Josh, so in all fairness to Sierra, it's not really HER dog. Angel doesn't obey commands from Sierra and while she guards the girl's room at night, she stays away from them during the day.
  • The puppies are 1/2 britney spaniel, 1/4 border collie and 1/4 aussie and were born Sept. 25, so they're just about 7 weeks old.
  • We have priced out all of the puppy shots, spaying and "puppy education" classes and can handle the expense, though if it's going to be the girl's dog, they will have to contribute to the costs from their savings.
  • We will be moving next year, which is hard enough with ONE dog.
  • Maybe having her own dog to take along will ease the transition for Sierra (she's not thrilled to move, to put it mildly).
  • My biggest hesitation is not the daily house breaking, poop cleaning, letting the dog out in the night stuff, it's the difficulty of traveling when you have dogs---expensive (and depending on the time, mean) to leave them, very hard to take them with you.
  • The one we would take is a little girl with a freckly nose and calm disposition. The other pups would nip at my fingers and all that. This one played just fine with her litter-mates, but when I picked her up and held her, she sat there (not shaking-scared, just sat there) and snuggled down and let Sierra pet her. Even when I tried to get her to, she wouldn't bite me. Like every puppy, she's very very cute ;-)
But the question puppy or not to puppy?? One Acre Homestead---maybe you can weigh in!!


veronica said...

there's nothing cuter than a new puppy or kitten! And if it helps Sierra with her transition, that's definately a plus. But overall, I'd probably be hesitant. Probably not a popular answer. :(

The main reason being you have indicated a desire to travel a lot with the girls once you move to Montana, and that will be difficult with a puppy. I know you could leave her with Josh when you travel with the girls alone, but if he's working long hours and it's Sierra's dog, is that a good idea? Also, when you travel as a family, you'll have two dogs to board or make arrangements for. (Although if you still have Angel, you'll have to make arrangements for her anyway.)

It's probably a bad day for me to chime in. Buster had surgery yesterday (I've asked James NOT to tell me what the total was) and he's miserable, wearing the biggest cone thing you've ever seen to keep him from messing with his foot. :( And I picked up massive amounts of poop in our backyard this weekend ...

The Hills said...

Yup, all very valid points and my biggest hesitation! We're still thinking about the RV idea too and we did consider the possibility of traveling WITH the dogs. It'd be added security, they get to stay with us easier than finding pet-friendly hotels, and while the lack of space isn't super ideal, if you've gotta stop and let kids run around anyway, the dogs would have time to get out and play too.

The travel thing worries me mostly because it's taking on many many years of making arrangements whenever you go anywhere. In the short term (i.e. while we're in Montana), no travel plans are set in stone and we've always been hesitant to turn down things for "maybe's" down the road--we're more inclined to do what we want today and then do what we need to in the future.

Making arrangements anytime we want to go somewhere overnight (every camping trip, every overnight to grandma's, etc, etc, etc...) is most definitely my LEAST favorite part of having a dog. It's a big hassle, but then, I've had a dog around my entire life, so it is doable....

Of course, I've actually held these puppies now, so there's a lot of "cute puppy!" behind my reasonings today ;-P

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