Should I get a dog ?

    • December 22, 2009 at 7:37 pm

      It’s been three years since our hairy hunk of love had to be put down. My husband and I can finally consider getting another dog without getting teary eyed. But I am really unsure about being up to the effort. (It’s not going to be funny if I tip over picking up poop.)

      I think I need a dog because I have gained 30 pounds and my blood pressure is routinely over 150 since the Husky died. If I get a small “used” dog and not a puppy I think we can have pleasant walkies. I don’t have foot drop but I am unsteady.

      On the con side: We do not have a yard for inclement weather and I can recall some heated debates over whose turn it was to go out in the freezing rain. It’s lovely to be able to plan vacations without the cost of a kennel. I enjoy being able eat without worrying able my food being snatched (ah ha, that must be where the 30 lbs came from). My husband has allergies (only slightly to dog) and it is so much easier to keep a clean house without a fur machine.

      And the very worst problem is that another dog will die eventually and leave us heart broken again. (Of course a shelter dog is going to die a lot sooner if we don’t rescue it.)

      Any thoughts about getting a dog knowing the unpredictable physical problems we have with CIDP? Is it unfair to the dog?

      Thanks for any input,

    • Anonymous
      December 22, 2009 at 9:30 pm

      We adopted our dog almost 2 years ago from the local Humane Society. She was 3 years old at the time. She’s a black lab mix. I thought she would be fairly active – which she is NOT. She is the laziest dog ever.

      It is like having another child at times because I am her “person”. She follows me wherever I go. We can’t leave the house for too long because she has separation anxiety issues.

      My husband swore he would pick up the poop on a regular basis & help walk the dog…he doesn’t really do either unless I get on to him about it.


      She has helped Emily TREMENDOUSLY! Emily has someone to sit with & read to, that unlike the cat, actually enjoys it. Emily has a playmate, someone to cuddle & wrestle with. I think the dog has helped in Emily’s healing somewhat. She’s happier & so am I.

      I would suggest adopting an older dog from a rescue. If the dog is fostered with a family then they will know the dog better than someone working at a shelter. They will be able to find the exact temperment to fit you. I think you should try to get a smaller dog with low energy but one that likes to cuddle & take short walks.

      We have a 14 year old partially blind cat who I absolutely adore. I know it’s only a matter of time before he passes but I try to not think about that. I try to think about how much fun he is now & about how much joy he has brought to me.

      Animals are good for us. I say get one.

    • Anonymous
      December 22, 2009 at 9:33 pm

      [I]Your four-footed friend will soon realize what limitations you might be dealing with. A puppy might take advantage. An older dog will empathize and, once deciding you deserve his/her love and affection, will be your nurse and comforter.

      I have just such a best friend. My 4-footed soul mate.[/I]

    • Anonymous
      December 22, 2009 at 11:12 pm

      Hi Flossie,

      I know exactly what you are going through! I don’t know what to do either. My dog passed away this year (he was nearly 12 yrs old) and it was just so upsetting. When I got him as a puppy I was a lot fitter than I am now. I am also on a pension now, so I have the cost of buying a dog plus food/vet bills etc to consider as well. He was quite a lazy dog – quite content with just sleeping and eating even though he was an Australian cattle dog (which was originally bred for working with cattle) He was also scared of cattle which everyone always thought was strange (I don’t know why as he never had a bad experience with a cow!).
      Yes, I think if I were to get another one – I probably would choose an older dog too like Kelly did.

      Good Luck with deciding.


    • Anonymous
      December 23, 2009 at 12:17 am

      As the owner of four horses, one dog and one barn cat, my vote is no. I am a total animal lover and can’t imagine life without them, but I think that perhaps volunteering to walk dogs at an animal shelter or even one of your neighbor’s dogs might be the best option. I say this because of your illness and the exacerbations that come with it.

      We lost our lovely Lab Libby and our little ancient Pom X Al last winter–both within a month of one another. We very quickly adopted Tinker from a dog rescue. She is a wee lovely little girl who is five years old , but has tremendous separation anxiety if left alone. Hubby has CIDP and the up’s and down’s that come with it. When I was really sick awhile back with flu, Tinker didn’t get her walks and the attention due to him being under the weather too. I don’t regret for a minute getting Tinker, but I am being really honest and I would say if I had it to do over that I would have chosen a different route after Al and Libby died. I would do the dog walking at the SPCA or walk a friends dog. I know how it is to miss having your furry friend around and realize how hard this is for you. Good luck with whatever you decide. PS Libby was an older dog from a dog rescue and was the best dog we ever had, but she developed cancer of the jaw 2 years after getting her and it broke our hearts. And we adopoted AL at age 16 and lost him at age 19–I would say taking the older ones is good in that they are trained but it wrenches your heart to lose them so soon.

    • Anonymous
      December 23, 2009 at 3:40 am

      Hi, Flossie.

      I may be going against the general consensus, but do seriously consider getting a dog. I have a pair of dachshunds who are small enough to give each other exercise by chasing each other round the house when I’m not able to walk them. Yes, sometimes it’s a hassle having them — having to get someone to care for them when we’re away, clearing up after them, etc. And I have to be careful when on poop patrol: trying to balance, maintain my crutches, control the dogs and pick up their leavings without getting it all over the place isn’t always easy.:eek: But having the beasties is well worth it.

      Regarding losing a beloved pet, it’s hard — they become members of the family. But I remind myself that everyone and everything are going to die — death is God’s way of reminding us who’s in charge. Our previous dog, the stupidest creature to ever walk on four legs and whom we loved dearly, died at thirteen of cancer; one of our doxies is almost eleven and we know she probably only has another three or four years (small dogs tend to die younger than bigger dogs). A new pet won’t replace the one you’ve lost any more than one person can replace another; but the new dog will be a different creature with its own personality and its own ways.

      One friend of mine fought for a couple of years to stay out of a wheelchair and finally gave in and got one. It revolutionised her life. She now says the two best things she’s ever done was getting the wheelchair and replacing her philandering husband with a Bernase Mountain dog!

      Ouch! Magazine (the online disability mag of the BBC) has a discussion on getting a dog at
      in case you’re interested. You’ll see someone called cidper who comments on occasion. Guess who!

      Happy Christmas and a great New Year to all!


    • Anonymous
      December 23, 2009 at 10:18 am

      [QUOTE=eightplusfive]Hi, Flossie.

      One friend of mine fought for a couple of years to stay out of a wheelchair and finally gave in and got one. It revolutionised her life. She now says the two best things she’s ever done was getting the wheelchair and replacing her philandering husband with a Bernase Mountain dog!

      Happy Christmas and a great New Year to all!

      Deb, you reminded me of something. Years ago I volunteered with Handi-Dogs. We took ordinary dogs, pedigreed and mutts, and did the basic training, but then did the extended training necessary for whatever disability their master/mistress was dealing with. So there were folks with one cane, two canes, crutches, in wheelchairs. These animals instinctively knew what kind of day their roommate was facing. They opened doors. They plucked in grocery bags. They picked up dropped items.

      Your friend’s dog is a perfect dog. At least I’m guessing this is one very large 4-foot! And they do position themselves on one’s tilting side so as to provide support for those outside a wheelchair.

      Having said that … do I have a dog? ๐Ÿ˜‰ No, I have two kitty rescues … one is my 23-yr-old Siamese ( kidney problems, high blood pressure, needs kitty-style Metamucil — bless her heart! ) and one now 6-yr-old not at all beautiful, but absolutely adorable Tortoiseshell.

      Can you tell I am besotted? [/I]:D

    • Anonymous
      December 23, 2009 at 11:39 am

      Hello Flossie,
      I miss my four legged babies very much. I still grieve for Cody and Stanley and dream about them. If I could handle it emotionally and physically I would have a dog yesterday.

      But, I believe in giving a pet what it needs rather then getting a dog because I want one. I know I cannot care for a pet any longer emotionally or physically.

      #1. I am dependent on a wheelchair and I could walk a dog, but I cannot manage to pick up after one.
      #2. I live on a pension and with added medical expenses can no longer afford dog food, vet bills, boarding kennels, groomers. etc.
      #3. If a dog broke away from me, darted out the door, got lost, etc, I am physically unable to chase after it and find it.
      #4. If the dog ran away and wasn’t found, the grief would haunt me forever.
      #5 If my pet became sick I could not get it to a vet in an emergency.
      #6 If my pet was sick or died, I am no longer emotionally strong enough to handle that grief because I attach to a pet passionately.

      The best way to decide is to go by our advice and list your FOR’S and AGAINST’S.

    • Anonymous
      December 23, 2009 at 4:27 pm

      You’re the only one who can make that decision, but based on a lifetime of experience as a dog owner and a former Animal Control office (dog-catcher), I’m seconding the vote for a dachshund. Don’t need a lot of land, aren’t high maintenance, and fiercely loyal. My second recommendation would be a Golden Retriever. Very patient, tolerant, and are commonly used as companion dogs for the handicapped.


    • December 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm

      Thanks you for your replies. They all gave me something to think about.

      The bbc thread that Deb listed had a lot of good suggestions for dealing with a dog from a wheelchair. It sounds like England has a lot of social support for handicapped dog owners.

      Substitute dog walking for my health is a good idea. My husband and I walk the next door dogs when the husband is out of town. They are a large dachshund mix and a pit bull/sheltie. Each of the dogs easily over powers me (and their mom) when they drag on the leash – so I can never take either of them out just for fun by myself. Because I so seldom leave the house I no longer have a car available to drive over to the shelter to walk their dogs. (Besides, I doubt I could leave them to their fate without taking one home.)

      Sigh. I really miss the good parts of having a dog. And any dog would be happier with me if the other option is life in a cage. However, I do remember the hassles and expenses of having a furry dependent. Luckily there is no hurry about making this decision. We are going to question my husband’s allergist next month.

      Thank you all for taking the time to advise me,

    • Anonymous
      December 23, 2009 at 8:56 pm

      You’re welcome Flossie. Do what your heart tells you. I’m the last one in the world to say “no”–as I am very impulsive with animals. If little lost souls stumble onto the property they quickly turn in permanent residents. We feed all the stray cats that people dump here–thinking “aha a farm they will have a good home”. People can be so dumb as the poor cats get eaten by the coyotes within 2 months as they have no country smarts.

    • Anonymous
      December 24, 2009 at 2:35 pm

      Anyone looking for a pedigree dog, please note that there are rescue groups for various pedigrees across the USA. Through no fault of its own, a pedigree animal may be abandoned — including because of the recession and to rid of bitches that have been overused in puppy mills. Look for the rescue groups by googling your favourite breed and ‘rescue’ or try [url][/url].


    • Anonymous
      December 24, 2009 at 3:15 pm

      I agree 100% with Deb…try to find a “rescue”, or at least a reputable breeder that will provide at least three generations of pedigrees. PLEASE don’t EVER buy a dog from someone in front of a Walmart that thinks their dog is a walking ATM! Improper breeding is the most common form of animal abuse!

    • Anonymous
      December 25, 2009 at 4:43 am

      Hi Flossie, I have a 5 year old labrador and I cant imagine getting thru the day without her. She is so clever and considerate. She is by my side all day and is always there for me. She waits for me while we walk and I use her to balance if going up or down stairs. Labradors are the way to go….good luck with your decision. Merry Xmas from Jet

    • December 26, 2009 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks again for the replies. My husband and I are going back and forth about getting a dog.

      However, right now we are having nasty cold weather and I am glad I don’t have to brave the wind waiting for a luvvie to do its business.

      Everything good requires a trade off.

    • Anonymous
      December 27, 2009 at 12:40 am

      Dear Flossie,
      Thanks for posing the question and starting this discussion. I have
      been pondering this same thing for the past 6 months. That is when
      Charlie, our 7 year old Shihtzu was put to rest. Before him we had Chaplin,
      another Shihtzu who was 11 when he got cancer.

      I miss having a dog so much! It was so great to have the companionship.
      This was especially true on days when I stayed in bed a lot. Both Chaplin and
      Charlie would stay by my side and keep me company.

      I have many of the same concerns that you voiced. I live on a limited
      income now. I can’t work outside the home. The cost of a vet, grooming,
      etc became a hardship. I wasn’t physically able to walk them every day
      like they deserve. I have a yard, but it’s not the same. Poop pick-up
      was a real problem. Some times I would come in crying. The few times
      a year that we can go somewhere, the added expense of boarding really

      BUT, I so miss the little guys! Please keep posting and let us know what
      you decide and how you came to that decision. I will do the same.

      I pray that 2010 brings better health and much happiness to all of us!

      Sandila ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Anonymous
      December 27, 2009 at 9:26 am

      I’m on the “get a dog” side. My only suggestions are:

      1. even with an adult dog, it might be good to get a couple of training sessions.

      2. Bulldogs are great non-active dogs, but my friend’s bulls sometimes lay down on the sidewalk and refuse to walk anymore, so you may need to be strong enough to pick them up ๐Ÿ™‚

      3. Curly-coated dogs are great for people with allergies, so maybe a toy poodle or poodle mix would be good for your family. Poodles are also very smart, and could be trained to use a litter box.

    • Anonymous
      December 28, 2009 at 10:04 pm

      Dogs are wonderful. Yes they die and break your heart, but the love they share and so completely give warms the heart to no end.

      I can’t remember a time when we didn’t have a dog, or were planning to get another one. I think there is a time for grief when you have one die, but the next one just tugs at your heart and makes it work.

      I remember all of my dogs fondly and would not trade anything for the chance to share part of my life and love with them.

      Go for it !!