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Furry pets/kids. Do I want to finally allow a pet?


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I do not want a pet. I don't want poop. I don't want fur. I don't want the expense. I don't want forced walks. I don't want to smell a pet in the house. I have carpets and no way to secure a dog during the day to keep him/her in a contained area if it has toileting/destructive issues (no laundry room/mud room etc).I don't want to have to worry about a dog sitter every time we leave for a day/week.  Our back yard is probably 40x100, so while it is big enough for a bit of running room for a medium size dog, it isn't much more than that....and then we are back to poop. :0(

 

 

I have a dd16 who has passionately wanted a pet for her entire life.  She has done everything she can to talk me into a pet, preferably a dog since she was able to talk.  Once when she was about 8yo, her pet fish got ate by her sea anemone.  She was devastated and cried off and on for 3 days.  I can't imagine what losing a furry pet would do to her. 

 

DD8 is on the spectrum.  She doesn't play with toys.  She will sit outside and wait for her friends to play and otherwise do nothing most of the day.  

 

DS20 will never have a pet. He is like I am, and has no mental connection to pets.

 

DH was raised with many, many pets and was forced to take care of them against his will.  Horse, pig, fox, dogs, cats etc. His mom would rescue them all and then make the kids take care of them.

 

Me. I like dogs, just don't have a connection to one. I was raised with a dog that was indoor at the dogs will but otherwise outdoor on a long chain since our yard wasn't fenced.  I hated that.  My mom has always had a dog but then forced us kids to take care of it. I resented that so much, that this is why I only think of the negatives when it comes to pets.

 

 

 

As dd16 got older the idea of me being left with her pet as she left for college also got added to the list. But due to a recent conversation with her, I am reviewing my pet-free home reasons again.  This was one of my biggest reasons. but then I remembered dd8.  I had a conversation with my mom recently in which I said that I think DD8 would make a great farm kid.  I had said that I can see her having a dog hanging out with her all day as her buddy and off doing chores or toddling around a farm.  DD8 has never asked for a pet, but when she talks about going to visit family she is always telling me about the animals there. I know she likes animals. She would be able to help care for a dog, but is she refused to do something like feed it/ clean up after it/take it for a walk, I would have to.  

 

Thoughts?  WWYD? We can afford a dog so that isn't really a factor.  DH doesn't really care either way but leans towards not wanting a pet because I don't want one. If I bought a dog, it would be a medium size dog. If I lived on a farm it would be a pair of Big dogs as those are the ones that I actually like, but since we don't have running room for a big dog, the idea is out.

 

If I did consider letting dd16 have a pet what breed would you consider?  It would most likely be a rescue but I would like to lean toward a certain breed for traits, instead of a 'who knows what it is-mutt'.  If not a rescue then a reputable bred dog even if I have to travel to get it.  

 

What I would require to even consider this: (any suggestions on breeds?)

 

Medium dog up to the size of a Golden/ Lab (absolutely not a small dog!)

Not a terrrier ( I can't stand dogs that jump and yap all the time)

Not long hair. (We had a husky growing up....enough said LOL)

Must be very intelligent 

Must be potty trainable (no breads that are know for incontinence or training issues)

Can not be a breed know to be aggressive for no reason (I personally know kids who have been bit by pits and other aggressive breeds for no foreseen reason)

Must not be known to bark constantly. I know individual dogs vary, but some breeds seem to be prolific barkers.

 

 

Any suggestions within that small window of options?

 

 

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Pets can be hugely therapeutic for special needs kids....hence the bearded dragon, snake, cat, dog, ducks, and 3 horses we have here....and 10 chickens.

 

That said, reality is that MOM (or dad) needs to take a lead role in their care and training. If you and dh don't want a pet then it likely won't work out.

 

I do most of the care for the dog, cat, chickens, ducks, and horses. The girls are now old enough to handle the care of the bearded dragon and snake.

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I wouldn't get a pet under your circumstances. Maybe your older dd and younger dd could volunteer together at a rescue?

 

If you really wanted to try it out, perhaps you could foster a dog - rescues are often looking for fostering help.

 

Maybe your dds could consider a dog walking/dog sitting business.

 

Anne

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I would say no dog too. My medium sized dog is 16! That's a long committment for you if she is going off to college in a couple years.

 

Do you know people with dogs? Maybe someone needs a dog walker or sitter and your daughter could volunteer for that job. When I wasn't home full time if a teenager had wanted to walk my dog midday it would have been a big blessing.

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Please do not get a pet.  I hope that your dd can have a pet once she is launched.  

 

I love my pets, but I mostly agree with this.  The problem is that your daughter may not be in a position to have a dog for ten or twelve years without some sort of back-up plan.  I got my first dog in college, but that worked only because, over the next five or six years as I was finishing college and grad school, my parents could keep my dog if I absolutely could not find a suitable place to rent.  The longest they kept her was a semester, but there were numerous shorter stints in between.  As a compromise, perhaps you could offer this as a back-up to your 16 yo:  she gets a dog as soon as she has a place suitable for a dog (plenty of college students have dogs), and you agree to cheerfully provide care when she has trips or study-abroad or whatever.

 

As for your objections, I get the hair (boy, do I get the hair) and the walks and vacation, but:  

1.  The smell--I have had a single 100% inside dog for years (as of yesterday, I have two!), and you can not smell a pet in my home.  I know it's my house, but I have the nose of a bloodhound, and my house does not smell.  

2.  The poop:  there is actually not that much of it.  Many types of dog food are now designed to produce small poops.  The bigger the dog, of course, the bigger the poop, but my 50 pound dog doesn't produce massive quantities of it.  Older-style dog foods probably do not have this amazing feature. 

3.  Your floors--if you get an adult dog who has been well kept, your floors are safe.  The only time my dog has made a mess on the floor has been when she got a really nasty tummy bug that produced bloody diarrhea.  Even then, she tried desperately to wake my daughter in the middle of the night and, when that didn't work, retreated as far from our living areas as possible, to a far corner of the basement.  Otherwise, she can be left inside for 8 or 9 hours without a drop.

 

As for your 8 yo, I am finding that my 11 yo has to be taught how to play with a pet.  He loves our new puppy and is doing a great job of caring for him, but he needs some instruction on how to play with a dog.  I am working on teaching him how to train Hank, our Aussie puppy, and he loves having the little guy respond to him.

 

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer for you, but I think it's great that you're even wiling to reconsider.

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I agree with the others, please don't get a pet.  You and your husband are not really on board with a pet at all.  The child that is will be leaving home in a few years.  Pets are wonderful.  We have MANY.  But even though both DH and I love animals a LOT and our kids do, too, there are days when it is too much work, too much stress and we get frustrated.  I can't imagine how unhappy I would be if I didn't absolutely adore animals and love having them around at least most of the time.

 

Hopefully, your DD can get her own pet as an adult.  As for your child with special circumstances, if you and your husband were animal lovers, yes, getting a pet might be a GREAT thing for that child.  But not if it is going to cause stress and strain in the home and certainly not if it is going to put the animal in the position of not being loved as much as it should.  Plus, there are NO guarantees that an animal will bond with any particular child, either.  My son loves our dog.  Technically it is his dog.  The dog follows me around the house.  The dog sleeps on my feet when I am watching TV.  The dog wants to sleep with me, not my son.  Don't get me wrong, the dog loves DS.  She will play with him to some extent (she's never been very playful, though) and she will come when he calls and she will sleep in his room if we put her there.  She just prefers me.  DS was pretty hurt by that at first.  He has come to accept it, but it was a bit painful.

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You kids need something to tell their therapist, and a reason to eventually move out.  :lol:

 

You do not like pets, and that is perfectly ok.   It is a perfectly acceptable lifestyle choice.  Stop feeling guilty!!!!   It's great you are so in touch with your own wants and needs that you know you don't want to live with pets.   Yay for you!

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I think  I agree with the others.

 

My brother got his daughter a dog in 9th/10th grade. Then she went away to college.

 

Her younger siblings at home have no interest in the dog. No one seems to have an interest in the dog.

 

Its about 7 years old  now with many more years to come. My niece has long lost interest in the dog.

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When your DD is launched and ready, after college, in her first suitable home... Maybe you can help her with the initial expenses of getting a first dog.  You could even spring for obedience classes for your DD and new pup, pick up the crate (if she crate trains), do the initial pet visits.  All of that is very expensive for any one, and especially for a newly launched person in her first job.  If you start planning to be supportive of that now, and tell her about it, it might help with the sting of not having a pet now, for DD.  

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If you do not want a pet, don't get one.

Your older DD can get a pet when she lives independently.

Even if you think your DD8 can help with pet care, it is very likely not going to happen. YOU will be the one who has to take the responsibility.

If you feel very strongly that the pet's therapeutic value for your DD would outweigh all your arguments against the pet, then go ahead - with the understanding that you are entering into a committment for another living being that will last for more than a decade.

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My heart breaks for your daughter, because I know how wonderful it is to have a furry companion who truly loves you unconditionally, and I know how empty my life would feel without my dogs. BUT... I don't think you should get a dog or cat unless you are absolutely wild with excitement about it yourself. I don't mind the grooming, the vet visits, the need to vacuum every other day, the occasional chewed item, or cleaning up poop or vomit*, but it sounds like you would not just mind, but hate it. Pets should be loved, not resented. Help your daughter find a volunteer position at a shelter or start a pet sitting business. You just aren't a good fit for a furry friend. (And that's ok! Don't try to pretend you are something you aren't! )

 

 

*except the recycled poop. I do mind that, and try as we might to keep the yard scooped, sometimes we miss one, and, well, that Distaste stuff never seemed to work for us...

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Don't do it! You are like me in how you feel about pets, though I can pass it off as allergies (they are bad), and I win with science to back me up. No feeling bad. My hubby would like pets, but he works weird hours, so even if I could swing it with my allergies, he would not be around for the care at all the right times. 

 

There are animal programs for kids on the spectrum. Equine programs are one type of program. I believe I've heard of alpaca programs and other programs where the kids can go visit the animals on a regular basis and develop a relationship. If your DD on the spectrum is capable of doing some part-time work grooming and such, there are some farms that will take kids starting around age 8 or 9, but I think it often involves showing the animals as well (4H type of thing). We've toyed with this idea for my DS. For now, he just gets to hang around other folks' pets (I am not sure I want to commit to make my summer work around a county fair).

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My only thought as to a way this could work would be to look into a therapy dog program that could match a dog to your younger child. It would be fully trained, you would know what you were getting, wouldn't be dealing with potty issues, etc. And you'd have it as a resource for the child that might really benefit and the other child could enjoy the pet until she goes to college. 

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Gee, Tap.....  I read the entirety of your post and am still trying to understand it.  LOL!  I think you "like" dogs but you don't feel a connection with them, is that right?

 

I'd be very concerned about taking on a dog unless your whole heart was in it.   Or, the majority of it.  

 

My dd, 16, has grown up with pets.  Our first pet entered our family before dd was born.  She passed away and we have our current lab!

 

We granted dd's desire for a cat when she was 8 years old.    My allergies didn't bother me anymore (I was highly allergic to cats) and she wanted one so I found our cat.  Now I have to remind dd everyday to feed cat.  It's not on the top list.  kwim?  Dh and I have to insist she clean out litter box, groom etc.  She will NOT do these things on her own.  So, I've taken up the slack and so has dh.  And, you wonder why our cat is closer to me?!!???  I explained to dd that our cat is her responsibility and how would she like it if I didn't feed her as needed or wash her clothes often.  She's getting better but it has not been what dh and I expected (especially early on).  

 

She LOVES animals.  Even more so if they could take care of themselves.   She's entering her 8th year of horseback riding!  We do not own horses.  Lessons.  

 

I realized (after the fact) about 1-2 years ago that, yeah, the cat will be home with dh and I after dd goes to college.  Our cat is 8.5 years and has many years left.

 

Back to you - have you considered fostering a dog?  There are SO many pets out there that need temporary homes.  It would provide a service for the animal and your dd could enjoy fostering here and there. 

 

Could you dogsit for a friend or family member to watch the dynamics and emotions involved from your family and the pet?  That may be a good barometer.

 

If you're set on adding one to your family then I like your idea of a rescue and would suggest an older dog.  Labs are great.  Goldens.  Mountain dogs (greater swiss). 

 

HTH!

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I do not think you should be getting a pet since you and your dh do not want one.  

 

However, I thought I would note that one our neighbors got into a college where she can have animals with her (I think in off campus housing, not a dorm), and got a puppy during high school at around 16, who then went off to college with her, that is possible for a child like your dd16 who really wants a pet. Though the dog was not the first in our neighbor's life the family has dogs, and this girl could clearly care for them-- it just was her first personal dog who would be living with her away from home.  I think this neighbor is going into an animal related field.  That said, the dog is home with her for the summer now, so it is important that the family accepts it too.

 

If your dd did get a dog that would meet your druthers for time when she was home, or visiting as young adult, or whatever, I agree that a Labradoodle would fit.  Our Labramatian also would fit--it may shed more, but in other ways may have easier and much shorter fur than either a pure Labrador or a Labradoodle.  I am not sure that he is super intelligent, but he is super eager to please which makes up for a lot, and he would put up with the attentions of an 8 year old very happily, He is sized down a bit from a typical pure Labrador due to the Dalmatian in him, and is probably much calmer and matured into being an "adult" earlier than a typical Lab who often stay goofy puppy-like till they are practically geriatric (though his parents were both service dogs, so that may be this particular dog's inheritance and not general to the breed combo).  He is sweet and funny, came to us already crate trained, potty trained easily, rarely barks.  He is very very sociable and needs to be with people, not relegated to yard on his own.

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Don't do it.  I love dogs.  There have always been dogs in my home, even as a kid.  We currently have a dog that is well loved, and is a member of the family.  

 

That said, dogs can be a pain.  A day doesn't do by that I don't threaten to shave my dog because of the shedding.  My couch will never recover from smelling like dog behind due to an issue my dog has.  She has periods of being a needy annoying brat.  

 

I can't imagine how I'd feel if I didn't love her to pieces..lol.  

 

Your daughter will not be ruined for life if she does not have a pet.  

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I am not a pet person, very opposed to them due to many of the same reasons. I don't want hair or poop or even to feed something that will never be able to care for itself. I do not bond to animals and take no joy in their existence.

 

My oldest wanted one forever. My spouse would even like a dog but he isn't home all the time and I would be.

 

Last year a very nice cat showed up and in a moment of insanity, as we had the cat in arms and were headed to the pound, I called DH to ask how crazy it would be to just let the cat stay. It would be an outside cat but I knew when winter came I would not be cruel enough to leave it out.

 

It did come inside that winter (many months after being around) and I do hate the hair. When winter got bad enough we had to get a little box because it wouldn't go out when it needed to, I hate the little box.

 

BUT that cat LOVES my family and it is obvious that she is very, very happy and content in our home and I can appreciate that. My kids LOVE the cat and so does DH. I really enjoy seeing that love.

 

I do not feed the cat, ever (the kids have kept her fed), and the littler box is managed by my oldest (19). The oldest also has to vacuum more too. I did have to deal with the cat when she got sick and needed the vet and really hated that experience mostly because it was "one of those things" I knew having a pet would bring and because I was worried she was going to die and my kids would be devastated.

 

So all that to say - I am an anti-pet person but am glad that my family has a pet to enjoy now. I don't hate the cat but I don't really feel affection for it either. I don't think I could be as open to having a dog because of the extra work they need but it is on the table in a year or two because I know DH really wants one. We may try fostering for a little while just to get a short term dog fix.

 

I am surprised at how much joy I get from seeing that the cat is truly happy with our family.

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No! She's going to go off to college in a few years. Even now, she's really busy with school and activities, right? The dog will be yours. The mess, the trouble, the expense. For possibly 15 years. If you don't want a dog for yourself, absolutely do not get one. (And I say this as someone who loves dogs, has two, and feels overwhelmed by their care on top of everything else on my plate. Even vacations are more expensive because we have to kennel them. Day trips? Nope. Just everything is more!)

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What I'd do is look into fostering a dog first with the knowledge that it's temporary.  You all get a taste and if it works out you can go get your own dog.  

 

 

I was going to suggest something like this.  Or perhaps raising/training a therapy dog -- since it is only for a few years? 

 

We got a dog (an awesome dog!) because dh wanted one for the kids.  But guess who does 99% of the walking (no fenced yard) and cleaning up?  MOM.

 

Now I understand why my mother just laughed when my sibs and I would ask for another pet, promising to "do all the work" -- HA! :001_rolleyes:

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I have to agree with the majority of responses that you do not seem to be the right family for a dog, but that doesn't mean you can't satisfy your daughter's long desire for a furry pet. It doesn't have to be a dog. If you want a furry pet and a short commitment, consider a rodent. We got a Syrian hamster for our son two Christmases ago and we recently got our second after the death of the first. They only live about two years so it's not a long commitment, but they can be quite sweet and they have satisfied our son's desire for a living furry friend with a minimum of work and commitment on our part. We also have a sixteen year old cat but she's only now starting to warm up to him and still hates his four year old sister. She hates all other cats, so getting another cat right now is out of the question let alone a dog. Someday, after the cat has lived out her long life, we'll consider another long term pet, but for now a hamster is a great fit as far as additional pets go.

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I think you should not get any pet at all.  Your daughter is sixteen.  She will not be living at home for the duration of a dog's lifespan.  When she goes away to college, she cannot take the dog with her.  Unless you and rest of family truly desire a dog (and you have said you did not), then it would not be fair to the potential dog or other pet.

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In your situation I would not think the suggestions to train a therapy dog or service animal are a good idea.  They take more dedication than just having a family pet because you have to be diligent and purposeful about socialization and obedience training to a higher degree than normal.  

 

I totally agree.

 

And likewise I don't think fostering would be a good idea.  The role of a foster is generally to assess a dog's behavior and work on socialization and any issues the dog has in order to make him more adoptable.  Also to work on training -- house training, basic obedience commands, walking on a loose leash, etc.  It doesn't sound as if that's exactly the kind of stuff the OP is interested in.

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you and my dh would get along great.  he likes other people's dogs.  but would prefer no pets. ever.

 

 

 

DD8 is on the spectrum.  She doesn't play with toys.  She will sit outside and wait for her friends to play and otherwise do nothing most of the day.  

 

this would really make me consider a larger pet.  furry animals are known for often being able to help asd kids out of their shells. and the dog will want to play with her so she can't just do "nothing" - and other kids will come by and want to play with the dog too. 

 

I have been considering one, for similar reasons.  except dudeling is afraid of dogs, and we're allergic to cats. (he's been begging for one for several years.)  so, impasse. 

 

as for containing - that's what crates are for.  think of them like their wild versions den.

 

I've had german shephards, whom I still love. (the last one was a gem, but it was painful to watch her hips deteriorate.)

 

as far as breeds I would consider:

retrievers

labs

standard poodles (they're smart, don't shed, and calm.  our pediatric OD brings her's into her office a few mornings a week because of how much he can help with high-strung special needs children. I think I've only heard him ever bark once or twice, and I've met him on several occasions.)

spaniels.

 

 

the only smaller dogs I would be willing to consider are:

bichon friese

king Charles spaniel.

my mom had a Papillion who was very calm.  she was a good dog and we almost kept her after mom died, but it didn't work.  (the breeder took her back.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I totally agree.

 

And likewise I don't think fostering would be a good idea.  The role of a foster is generally to assess a dog's behavior and work on socialization and any issues the dog has in order to make him more adoptable.  Also to work on training -- house training, basic obedience commands, walking on a loose leash, etc.  It doesn't sound as if that's exactly the kind of stuff the OP is interested in.

 

Jean and Pawz4me make a good point about not fostering or training a therapy dog.  It might still be a good workable idea though, if the DD was accountable to someone else for the dog's care -- the institution who was responsible for the dog...that way mom wouldn't end up doing the work. 

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Yes, all pets are mom's pets. I'm okay with that. If you're not, don't do it! And tell your daughter frankly why. The suggestion to help her pay for a dog and the startup items as a graduation present is an excellent one, though!

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