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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
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    5,619

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    your cats will calm down. Awaiting next status report.
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,333
    Well, the little guy (still no-name, and likely to remain so) is quite a nice dog. He has a definite on/off switch. If you want him active and bouncy, he can, and if you want him mellow, he'll just snuggle up on his little bed and doze off. It's quite unbelievable for such a young dog.

    The cat's still hissing away and there were some yelps when I left them alone while I took a bath. The other cat's still in hiding and I'm getting a bit worried.

    All I can say is, if he was about 20lbs heavier and not as cute, I'd keep him. But with him being such a good size and just the cutest little thing around, he won't have any trouble finding a home.

    I'm still dreaming of Larissa, and the boyfriend's actually humming a different tune, showing me travel crates and packs for her to wear when we go hiking/camping.

    I'm not used to having to get up at 5am to get him out for a pee, though. He's not quite ready to hold it all through the night. Not sure if it's something he'll learn to do, but I definitely won't be able to do this for the next 14 years.

    I'll post pics as soon as I get a replacement battery for my camera (just up and died literally overnight).

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,545
    Badger, I thought of you last night when I had the pleasure of spending the evening with a Basenji-JRT mix (oh, and his humans were there too).

    Omigosh, I am in love. He was the funniest little dog; very busy all evening but very polite. Basenji and terrier seem to mix very nicely.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,333
    that's cool!

    We just had another arrival of 8 dogs from Taiwan on Thursday. One was another rubber-band-around-the-neck dog. He has such character and charisma, it's was a joy to see him! And he had the most interesting "bark" (they're all basenji mixes).

    I'm getting closer to finally taking the leap in adopting one. I'm still in love with Larissa, but there are a couple more making things difficult!

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,333
    I just found out that Larissa's been adopted. I have mixed emotions as I think she's such a darling, but I know I'm still not ready so I'm happy she's found a home. I hope she's going to be very happy.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    On The Edge
    Posts
    384
    Badger, thanks for starting this thread, it's very timely for me.
    I'm having a real crisis of conscience between the strong desire to have a dog - and also to get on my bike and ride.

    Both me and my partner desperately want a dog, but we like to ride too and are really torn over what would be the right decision for our potential dog.
    I work from home and if it weren't for the cycling, we'd have the perfect set-up for a little doglet - both of us want one, both of us would be 100% committed, we love being outdoors, etc. etc.

    We adopted a dog last year, a greyhound lurcher called Jasper. To cut a very long story short, it transpired he had a VERY strong kill/chase instinct (we suspect he'd been used for illegal hare coursing as a pup - and he'd been found by a dog warden after being dumped on the street - very common for greyhounds and lurchers in the North of England, when they're no longer useful for racing or hunting). He'd been in the shelter for a year, rehomed once and returned (for being destructive in the house). He was very aggressive towards other dogs (especially small furry ones), but an absolute babe in the house.
    We had him for several months and worked hard with a behaviourist to curb his dog aggression, but we were against an uphill battle against nature, nurture and learned behaviour.
    He had several other issues, which we were ok with - separation anxiety, etc - to be expected in a rescue dog - and we made great headway in lots of respects - but the shelter had told us that he was fine with other dogs, which is something that's really important to me, at least to have something feasible to work on with regards to socialisation, etc.
    After a weekend where he mauled a puppy and body slammed another (on top of a whole catalogue of disasters), we realised that we didn't have the resources to rehabilitate him and we weren't the right owners for him.
    Lurchers and greyhounds are lovely dogs - but if you have one that's been used for hunting, they're not necessarily going to make happy sociable dogs (they usually prefer their own breed, believe it or not). And recall is an arbitrary thing. We spent lots of time walking him with lots of local greyhound groups and came to realise that it's a labour of love owning a lurcher!

    We ended up returning him to the shelter after around 6 months - a heartbreaking decision and one that I'm still trying to come to terms with. It took several weeks to finally admit that we were failing him and that he was just not the right dog for us.
    And we wholeheartedly held our hands up and admitted that we'd screwed up by not fully investigating all the little niggly things that we'd thought of when we adopted him.
    I miss him dreadfully and miss the hole that having a dog has left.

    We threw ourselves into biking and have recently joined a bike club and go on a group ride on a Saturday, which usually lasts from around 9am to 2pm.
    And that's the dilemma.

    In terms of dog ownership, I'm very realistic. Whilst I love the idea of an older rescue dog, I think that for me personally, I'm now drawn to the idea of a younger dog, possibly even a puppy. Not that I'm under any illusions that a young dog won't be hard work (quite the opposite, probably twice as much - and then they reach the terrible adolescent stage, but I'm not sure that I want a dog that might be preloaded with baggage). I'd prefer not to get an older dog, as having a very active, playful little guy is also part of the attraction. I'm willing to make huge sacrifices in my life - and to commit to walks at least 2 or 3 times a day.
    But I worry that leaving a dog for the long weekend group ride would be unfair to the dog.

    I managed to work through Jasper's fears about being left alone (not really full-own separation anxiety, he just wasn't used to being on his own - he'd been in the shelter for 2 years) by crating him and gradually increasing the length of time from 5 minutes to over 2 hours - ignoring his bad behaviour and rewarding his good.

    If we did get a younger dog, I would make sure it was through the winter months, so that I'd be riding less and would have more time to acclimatise him to being left. I wouldn't expect any dog, let alone a puppy, to be happy being left for 5-6 hours (and a pup would be incapable of holding his little bladder that long!).

    We're looking into the option of getting professional help for the weekends - a dog walker or dog sitter - to come in and break up the time left for him.
    We don't really have a support network who would be able to offer help, and certainly not on a regular basis.

    I'm absolutely aching to have a dog. I don't have kids and the bell on that maternal body clock is glanging louder than the bells of Notre Dame!
    How do people on here cope with leaving their dogs? Would 9am to 2pm be too long and am I being selfish? It would only be a maximum of 2 days.
    I know that every dog is an individual and it depends on their previous circumstances and how you train your dog to adapt to its routine, but I want to do what's best for the dog, not what's best for me. I know that if I'm with the dog a lot in the week and then leave it at the weekend, it would be hard for any little doglet to understand what's going on, so I'd make sure in the week that he got accustomed to being left crated for a few hours while I pottered and ran errands, etc (and went out on my bike!).

    I look at people with dogs and feel such a pang of sadness, because I've waited so long to have one in my life, the conditions are perfect - and if I didn't ride there'd be absolutely no issue whatsoever.
    I love my bike and have just rediscovered the thrill of being in a club.

    I'm really torn.
    I'd really value another perspective on this - and don't be afraid to be honest as I'm willing to take any constructive criticism or advice on the chin.
    Sorry I've gone on for so long - and I don't mean to hijack your thread Badger.

    Thanks for listening. Again, apologies for the long rambley post.


    ********************************************************

    EDIT.

    Having just re-read the whole thread again, I see that lots of people leave their dogs for around the 4-6 hour mark without too much trouble. Maybe I'm just over-analysing all this because I'm so terrified of doing the wrong thing again, at another dog's expense? I think I still have a lot of guilt over Jasper.
    Sorry for this very public soul-searching.

    I guess that for me, it's a circumstance that I know would be part of the equation from the beginning, rather than something that develops over time as the guy gets older.
    Maybe I'm just thinking about this too much. I see so many people with dogs who are away for far longer and the dogs seem to adapt and seem quite well-adjusted.
    I'm not in a hurry to make the decision.
    Ye Gods, now I'm going round in circles!
    Last edited by SnappyPix; 07-08-2009 at 02:10 AM.
    Life is Good!

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,408
    Snappy, you sound like an extremely dedicated and caring pet owner. Any dog would be lucky to live with you. If you walk the dog before you leave and after you come home, leaving it for 6 hours a couple times a week is no big deal.
    Lisa
    My mountain dulcimer network...FOTMD.com...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    My personal blog:My blog
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  8. #68
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    589
    Jeez Snappy, you really are beating yourself up over this.

    Thousands of people work 9-5 and leave happy, well adjusted dogs alone (or maybe with another dog buddy) for that long 5+ days a week. Spending a few hours on a bike ride, or even a weekend away (with a good sitter or similar plan) is not going to harm a dog unless they have extreme issues (which unfortunately it seems you have dealt with in a very heartbreaking way in the past).

    This isn't the best for young puppies, but it sounds you have a plenty good plan to raise one with limited away from home time in the early stages if you choose to get a puppy or younger dog.

    Spend some time, do some research and find a few breeds/mixes that will fit well into your lifestyle (I don't think too many will actually be eliminated, but still). Then don't be afraid to spend time with and really think about individual dogs (especially rescues that are mixes or have their own varied history and may have some quarks).

    Maybe consider working with a private rescue instead of an individual or a shelter. They tend to keep their dogs longer and spend more time getting to know their personalities and issues. That will help you know what you are getting into a little more and pick a dog with issues (if any) that you are more prepared to deal with.

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,333
    I agree, if I were only gone a couple of times a week for 4-6 hours I'd have gotten a dog LONG ago. I'm gone 9 hours 5x a week so therein lies MY dilemma. Yours sounds like a godsend for me!

    I wouldn't worry too much about leaving your dog alone for that amount of time. I would imagine you're still not at peace with giving Jasper up the way you did, but you gave him more than what others would have.

    Since I'm still in the same boat of needing a mellow/low-energy dog, I'm starting to look at bigger breeds again.

    I'm sure you'll find a perfect dog for you. Don't fret too much, it will all work out. And really, there's no reason why you can't get a smaller dog and outfit your bike with a basket or a carrier and take him/her with you!!

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    On The Edge
    Posts
    384
    Thank you so much Badger, Lisa and MartianDestiny for your input.
    I know you're right.
    I think I'm beating myself up so badly because at the time of adopting Jasper I became very friendly with his handler (who had lurchers of his own) - who made it quite clear when I returned him that he was disappointed in me and thought I hadn't tried hard enough. That was despite having written to him before returning the dog, explaining in details my reasons for doing so - and completely accepting responsibility for them.
    The guilt isn't appeased by the fact that Jasper's still waiting in the shelter for someone to take him.

    Ironically, at that time I wasn't riding much at all, so the bike wasn't an issue then - but my partner worried that we'd not be able to go for longer rides because I only managed to get Jasper up to about 3 hours being left (admittedly from a starting point of 3 seconds before he'd bark constantly and pee in his crate!).

    I want so much to be a responsible dog owner, but guess that I need to just focus on actually enjoying dog ownership, rather than worrying about how I might be failing. I'm sure that Jasper was much smarter than me and picked up on that a lot of the time!

    I'm thinking about a few breeds - non-shedding (partner has asthma) - which kinda leads me along the poodle/terrier route. I know - smart and bossy! I want a big dog. I previously had an Airedale, whom I adored.
    TBH though the idea of a thoroughbred is a little scary - puppy farming and bad breeders. I do like the idea of a mixed breed, but don't really have any fixed ideas - other than no collies or spaniels as that would definitely be a potential problem with being left.
    I'm just taking my time to get my head around the prospect of having another dog again to begin with!
    I did think of volunteering with the local dog shelter (not the one I got Jasper from), but decided it might be quite a dangerous move!

    Anyway, now I'm rambling again. Thank you for putting things into perspective for me. And apologies again Badger for hijacking your thread.
    I hope you find the little guy of your dreams. It's a shame we don't live around the corner from one another and could co-dogsit!

    I think I'm going to spend the next month or so having an "imaginary doglet" to see how well it would potentially fit into my life. When I start taking it for walks, I'll know I've probably decided!
    Life is Good!

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    492
    Another suggestion for working full-time and getting a dog - consider getting a pair. They'll keep each other company when you're not home with them. Of course, they'll still need exercise, chance to go outside, etc.

    Or - and some people get a good chuckle out of this, but - doggie daycare - ? I've never tried it, but I have a friend who's had a good experience with this.

    As a lot of the other posters have suggested, do your homework on what breed handles the situation best. You'll be a great petowner! (Or human owned by a pet! )

    Deb

 

 

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