Going to look at a "Used" dog tomorrow, don't know if I'm ready again but would like some pointers. (On preview... wow am I long winded, sorry)
So... it's been about a month since my buddy died. I really appreciated the help you guys gave me WRT picking a photo
for my vet. It's been an extraordinarily difficult month without him. I'm working from home every day this summer since May and lasting until September so I was with him 24/7, literally every room in my house has some awesome memory of him and I. This has severely impacted my ability to "get over it" so to speak, the loss still feels overwhelmingly raw a lot of the time and I spend a disproportionate amount of time being really upset. My wife is working outside the home 5 days a week so she gets to step away from it all which has really helped her.
To the point... We've talked about another dog previously (usually when prompted by well-meaning relatives and friends who say "You should get another dog") but both decided it was too soon. That said, last weekend I started "just looking" at online classifieds of dogs for sale, one thing led to another and I found this girl
. I pointed her out to my wife who instantly suggested we go have a look.
I called the owner and asked a few questions. The dog is being given up because she has two small children and is just finding it all to be overwhelming. She's spayed and up-to-date on shots. Housetrained and Kennel trained with lots of time at the leash free park so good with other dogs and kids.
After a lot of discussion tonight we've decided we're going to have a look tomorrow and see how it goes. Mrs Inbound is very certain that she is ready to think about another dog, and that it would be really good for me since I'm home by myself for the next 6 weeks.
On one hand... I'm not so sure, I REALLY miss my old buddy and part of me feels like I haven't had time to mourn him properly and that a new dog so soon would be callous and disrespectful to his memory. We still haven't decided what to do with his ashes.
On the other hand, I also miss just having a canine presence in the house. As Mrs. Inbound pointed out, a new to us dog could bring some much needed joy into our home and maybe help me finally say goodbye to Snip. Taking emotions out of it, right now is probably the best time for a dog like this to join our lives. With 6 weeks of being at home she could settle in quite nicely while I'm there to keep an eye on her, the weather is nice so we can get out and walk, hike, and bike lots. My hanging on to memories of Snip are really the biggest argument against this dog.
So, my questions are:
1) The touchy-feely one... is it realistic or foolish to go tomorrow and just think that once I spend some time with this dog I'll know whether I'm ready or not? I'm having a very hard time reconciling a desire to have a dog in the house with my feelings of guilt over "replacing" Snip so quickly.
2) More practically... IF I decide to to take this dog, is there anything special to look for and ask about in a 10 month old that I wouldn't consider looking for in a puppy? I know there COULD be behavioural issues, but at only 10 months I think the risk is quite small. Obviously we will insist on a veterinary inspection and all her medical records to date. I was going to insist on my veterinarian in my city, but It's a 2 hour drive to go see this dog so I think I'll ask them to book an appointment with their vet (my expense) next week and meet them there. That way if Shelby passes I can take her home directly.
3) Cats: My wife (and I) have two indoor only cats. I broached this with the dogs current owner and was told that Shelby has never had any real contact with cats so she has no idea how she would react. I know that the only way to really tell is to put them together (carefully) and see what happens. To that end, I was considering asking for a "trial" of one week with Shelby to see how it goes (providing we decide we're interested). Is this something that's done? I know breeders and shelters will give you a trial period, but this is just a regular person. Any tips on how to ask? Any tips on how to introduce them (they adored Snip)?
4) What am I missing/not asking that I should be?