Thursday, 30 September 2010

A Doggedly Difficult Decision.

My wife is hankering after another dog. I too miss not having a dog but have thought we are too old. Now I'm not sure. (As if I'm ever sure of anything!) Just to remind ourselves of the joy of 'dog ownership' I have just re-read my diary dated September 1985. (Buster the dog in question was an English Bull Terrier.)
'We bought Sax-Stonebroom, now christened Buster, three years ago today. He has proved a liability, a worry, destructive, almost neurotic and often unpredictable. He is unreliable, untrainable, unmanageable and undeniably lovable. He dominates our lives, costs us money and wears us out. Without him life would be far less complicated, frenzied, frantic. It would be far less fun. His exploits over three years are almost endless.
He has caught birds in the garden, bringing their flattened forms with wagging tail to the accompaniment of childish screams of horror. He has chewed pine tables, bunk beds, books, toys rocking chairs, fans, shoes, boots, balls and, to date at least eight gear knobs. He has chewed the car handbrake, allowing the car to roll down a drive and through the closed garage doors. He has brought football matches to a standstill, refusing to part with the ball whilst twenty three men stand around, inactive, fearful and nonplussed. He has returned home from an illegal foray in the district covered in blood and beer, the latter evidently delivered in an attempt to end his assault on his unfortunate and no doubt unwilling protagonist.
He treats tradesmen, fizzy pop salesmen and window cleaners as life long friends on the few occasions he is aware or awake to their presence. More often than not he is likely to be asleep on or in the nearest bed, blissfully unaware of their presence. his insatiable love of food, fun, life in general has to be seen to be believed. Life with Buster is often stressful, sometimes trying, always tiring but never dull.'
Fast forward twenty five years. Should a doddery geriatric and wife even remotely be considering owning another dog. And if so, any suggested breed or types?


the fly in the web said...

He sounds...and looks..a wonderful dog!
My worry always is what happens to the dog if I pop my clogs?

Expat mum said...

Yes, yes and yes - but not a pup. If you've read any of my recent blogs, we got a mutt from the pound. I stipulated not a teeny pup - she was 10mths but might as well have been newborn as she wasn't house-trained, chewed everything and generally, couldn't be left alone for a second. (I had to make her sit in the bathroom while I had a shower...)
It was (and still is) a lot of work, but she is settling down into the dream dog very nicely.
Do an older dog a favour and adopt something that needs friends and a loving home.
Oh, I'm getting all teary-eyed.
Just do it. It's good for the heart too.

Jennytc said...

I agree. Look for a dog from a rescue centre. Many of them are in there purely because of changes in family circumstances, rather than because of behaviour problems. As for being too old, a dog keeps you young and energetic (daily walks) and having an animal has been proved to be beneficial healthwise - particularly in lowering the owner's blood pressure. (Given your previous experiences, though, maybe that's not always true!) ;)

'Cross the Pond said...

I agree with Expat Mum and Jennyta - do a rescure dog. They'll be a little more mellow and will adore you for welcoming him/her into your home.

Unknown said...

Definitely never too old to give love to a dog and do rescue one... but I'd highly recommend you NOT getting one that is high spirited like my little toy poodle, who runs me ragged at almost 69.
She's only 3, and rescued, and I've already made arrangements for one of my daughters to take her because she'll greatly outlive me!
Go for it and good luck Ken.

Valerie said...

Forgetting the many misdemeanours Buster sounds like the perfect dog. I still miss my labrador best friend but the decision to take on a new dog has been made... it wouldn't be fair on the dog if we left this earth before him and we don't have anyone we can leave him to if the worst came to the worst. Then there's the necessary daily walking ... that in itself put hubby off the idea of taking on another best mate, the old limbs not being what they were.

Sueann said...

I suggest no dog! I keep thinking about all the care and worry that comes with dog ownership. Big responsibility and expense. And they make it difficult to travel far from home. So vacations are not as exciting as they could be.
So we voted here for no new dogs and so far...though missed...we are surviving nicely. Good luck

Freda said...

How about a small dog?! It's a hard decision, I only know that 4yrs ago when we got our cairn terrier I was exhausted for months. Now I can't imagine life without her. Good luck

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I suppose it depends on how dull your life is right now. If not, then no. Maybe you can get an older dog - one already trained.

Maybe you can babysit one for awhile. See if you are happy for him to go home.

ADDY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ADDY said...

Think of all those walks on cold wet mornings - seriously from one who walks every day on cold wet mornings!!!

If you still want to proceed, then a rescue dog would give a dog on death row a good home. However, a lot of "geriatrics" in our local park seem to have labradors.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Seriously scary - but such a wonderful character, I'll bet...

What about a Bichon, I hear from others (inclu French Fancy) that they're terribly easy to look after with few of the health probs of some pedigrees...)

I hanker after two dachshunds which I shall name Otto and Bismarck (probably Bizzy for short and so as not to bring about European unrest), so I am no guide, Grumpster...

I wish you well whatever you decide, Sir! x

Frogdancer said...

Can't beat Cavaliers. Equable, very trainable and they don't need kilometers of exercise.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't do it Ken, but I get the feeling the only question in your mind now is 'which dog?'

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Rock Chef said...

Probably best to stear clear of bull terriers this time.

We have got a Golden Labrador - a big guy who likes a good walk, a good meal and a good sleep. He is the perfect family dog.

If you don't want the messing around that puppies give you, why not rescue one? A rescued 4-5 year old might be just what you need!

Lane Mathias said...

Buster sounds like he was a wonderful character.

I hope you've been able to come to a decision. Rescue greyhounds are always a good bet.

diney said...

We've also had a rescue dog in the past and she was an absolute angel. When my Mum died she left a much loved Scottie, and we rang the Scottie Rescue people so they could find a loving home for her. They kept in touch with me and told me all about Lucy's new home. Just a suggestion, but often a much loved dog is left by an older person and will be a very loving animal, with none of the potty training and very long walks.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

T0 all who responded to this blog
I have not opted out of individual replies but in this case I find this comment the easiest way to reply. First of all thanks to everyone. I have found all replies invaluable. Good, helpful indiviuals, fantastic. Popping clogs, so to speak, always there but we're hopefully not thinking of going yet! All breeds ,smashing advice but I reckon if we have another dog it will be smallish. Rescue dogs, a good idea and possibly not a pup.
Now what's going to happen. We have a lady coming to 'inspect' us regarding the dog sitting service'Barking Mad'. (A bit like Ofsted for dog people) I reckon! If we 'sit' one or two dogs we'll get the feel or otherwise so to speak.That's the theory anyway! Will keep you informed. Once again, thanks to everyone, friends, for that's what you all are.

Anita said...

As we say here in America, "Go for it!" :)

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