Long story (skip to the end if you like): My wife and I walked out of our apt. 2 weeks ago and found a miniature poodle trying to cross a busy 4 lane avenue. The little guy nearly got hit a few times and we felt that we needed to grab him before he hurt himself. We grabbed him and brought him inside. No colar, no ID, no chip. He was unkempt (matted hair on his underbelly, fleas) but very docile and domesticated. He was so small and nervous we figured there was no way he could have been on the street for long. We called local shelters and animal control and left a description with our name. No one called. Then we got him his shots and a flea treatment.
Then we fell in love.
Fast forward two weeks- we're out walking him, when a car pulls up and a couple gets out and asks us where we found the dog. He's theirs. They breed purebred poodles. He has a pregnant lady about to have a litter at home. My wife, despite falling hard for this dog, gives him up without hesitation. She knows that he should be with his people and his lady. The owners are so grateful that they offer us the pick of the litter.
We're still grieving, but seriously considering taking them up on a puppy. Here's the problem:
My wife is pregnant and due in mid March. The puppies are due this week, but we would have to wait another 8 weeks to take one, which leaves us taking the pup home mid December. After that we have about 3 months until our baby is born, at which time the pup will be 5 months old.
Is this fair to do to the puppy? The baby? As I said, were still grieving the loss of the poodle (yes I realize it was only a couple of weeks, but the first couple of weeks are usually very intense when you fall in love), so we're not exactly thinking straight. We have a couple months to figure this out, so I'd figured I solicit peoples experiences with puppies and babies.
Some specific concerns:
Positive mitigating factors:
- Poodles are reported to take longer to house train than other breeds. Will trying to house train a poodle (or any other breed) be significantly more difficult in the cold and snow of a northeast winter?
- Puppy will be 5 months old when wife delivers -- this is when puppy adolescence begins. Is this bad timing to have a baby when the puppy is entering a difficult behavioral time?
- The breeders are nice people, but, as mentioned above, the sire was not well kept. What do we need to do to ensure that they are adequately socializing/taking care of the puppy in its 1st 8 weeks of life so that we have a dog that will be ready to fit in well with a family?
- Is it just too much to have a new baby and a puppy at the same time?
- My parents and my in laws will be here after baby is born to help take care of wife, baby & puppy (and me).
- Wife is much happier with a dog in her life.
- We can be home with the pup &/or take him with us most places we go.(Wife is also a grad student with very flexible schedule.)
- Wife is very much looking forward to training the new pup, even with all the work and time that entails.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, especially regarding any potential problems and/or benefits we haven't thought of yet. Thanks.