Cat person needs help considering a puppy
September 25, 2012 8:09 AM Subscribe
I've been a cat person all my life. I don't like dogs in general--most strike me as bothersome. I've come across the occasional dog I like, but I've never had to care for one longer than four days, at its own house. Now I'm in the unexpected position of considering getting a dog.
posted by Yoshimi Battles to Pets & Animals (55 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm in the midst of a divorce, have two exuberant kids under 8yo, will be moving to a neighboring town, and would like a loving companion for them, and someone other than an adult human with whom I can have a rapport of trust, companionship, and dependability. I know I don't have to get a dog. And above all, I don't want to get a token puppy as a happy distraction for the kids, but which I end up resenting as its main caregiver. The part of me that is a mother to two young kids buckles at the thought of much more responsibility. The part of me that wants a dog is surprised and exploring the idea slowly. It's a dog I can love and be committed to, or none at all. After a lot of breed research, I'm considering one that sounds like a good fit for my family's needs, practical considerations, and (especially) my personality. My plan is to meet a couple of litters and adult dogs of the breed over the next year with a local breeder, and continue feeling out the idea and reality of puppy ownership.
Part of this is that I need Dogs 101- How do I get up to speed on basics like training, where I can and can't bring dogs, how much ownership really costs, the time commitment, what to do if we're traveling, etc. That is, what sort of lifestyle changes and demands will any dog bring with it? I want a good picture of that and don't know how to get it. Things seem so particular to breed that I'm not sure what I can assume about general dog ownership.
But the rest of it is how to figure out if I'm daydreaming about being able to get over the hump of caring for another creature. I considered offering to take care of some friends' dogs, but I already know I don't care about those dogs. I'm skeptical of my motivations. This divorce has shaken my belief in basic human decency. If I go all out on this dog and it's a creature that doesn't care for me back, it may knock the stuffing out of me all over again. Am I setting this dog up for failure? How can I test that?