Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Should we get a dog?

Current (old) opinion: No, we shouldn't get a dog, because we are too busy and would have to find someone to take care of him while we are on vacation

Years ago, my wife and son said they wanted to get a dog. But my wife and I agreed that we were too busy. We usually had something going on most week days and every weekend. So a dog would 'cramp our style', preventing us from doing things we like to do. And it wouldn't be fair to the dog. We wouldn't be able to spend as much time with the dog and would have to leave it at a kennel while we were on vacation.

So, surpringly, I decided to get a dog for my wife on her birthday. I would go to the pound, select a dog, and bring it home on or about her birthday. What I didn't know, is that you don't just 'get a dog' and take it home. They ask lots of questions and insist that everyone who lives in tthe house must meet the dog! They want to make sure everyone gets along. And that we would be able to take good care of the dog. They didn't want the dog coming back. There were plenty of dogs to find homes for.

My wife and son were quite surprised when we went to the pound and picked up Maddie. She was a scrawny little girl and had some kind of skin condition or had thinned out the hair near her tail by scratching and biting. She needed some serious love and care.

So did our predictions of 'cramp our style' and 'can't give the dog enough attention' come true? Not even close.

Maddie is a treat. I walk her once or twice a day around the neighborhood. I've never seen the neighborhood like this before. I used to drive thru, not really noticing anything around. Now, I get to see what my neighbors have done to their houses and yards. I also meet many of them. Some of them have dogs and we meet once in a while during our walks and talk a bit about our dogs and other things. Some of them don't have dogs and we talk about lots of different things (including the weather!).

And while I have been active and exercise regularly over the past few years, I am taking many more walks and it just feels wonderful to be outside walking our little girl.

We also take her on most of our trips and vacations. Whether we are going to see our relatives (near or far) or going to a National Park or even to a Hotel/Casino (yes, there are dog-friendly Hotel/Casinos!), we really enjoy having her along. We can't do EVERYthing while on vacation with her, of course. For example, while at the Hotel/Casino, we weren't allowed to take her into any of the restaurants (of course). But we also couldn't leave her in the room. So we took her with us, picked up some food, and had lunch at the park. Then had dinner in our room with food we had picked up on the way back from sightseeing.

Having her for over 2 years now, we can't imagine life without her. As my wife puts it, "She's my best birthday present, ever!"

New opinion: (changed) Dogs are great! We deal easily with all 'doggie issues'

Nice article on the advantages of having a dog:  Why Owning a Dog Makes Me a Better Blogger (BloggingPro)

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