Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Life With Dogs

Milo (seven month old golden retriever/german shepherd/husky puppy)

Spencer (five? year old pitbull/terrier shelter dog)

I'm putting together a series of posts about how my dogs ruin my life. I know a lot of you out there think you want a dog. Because they're cute and cuddly and friendly and great companions that keep you safe and especially cute with babies. All true. But it's really important to consider how your life as you know it will change, and not necessarily all for the better. I have plenty of cautionary tales testament to this. Tales that explain why I'm so jealous when I read about your cute little (comparably) easy cats.

We have two not-so-well behaved dogs, and you're probably thinking, but I would train mine right. Well, that's what I thought before we got a second puppy. It's not always possible. It depends on the dog's temperament and its past experiences (in the case of a shelter dog), and it's hard to raise a big dog in a small space and be able to give it the attention and exercise it needs, AND it's hard to work with other household members to consistently stick to proper training to keep the dog in check. After all, I'm not the only one struggling to live with their dog. I've written before about my frustration at not being able to have a normal life with dogs like other people, but things have not gotten any better since then. So please bear with my woes, and any words of advice will be much appreciated.


  1. Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear that yours aren't only the source of unending delight. But reservations like the ones I'm sure you will be bringing up are precisely why every time I look at a puppy and swoon, the Boy promptly curbs my enthusiasm. I had a dog as a kid, who was the easiest soul ever, but I do know that they are a lot of responsibility, and not one that we could cope with at this point. Cats are rather easier in many ways. (Though my dreams of a big old house with a big old yard do include a big old dog running around in it...)

  2. ooo-that's rough...are there dog therapists? possible to write to the dog whisperer? keep breathing and don;t lose your sense of humorwhich is the only advice i can think of for everything. oxo.

  3. Holy h*ll, this sounds rough. And it's the kind of story that makes me pause in terror (I might have clicked on the links too), since we ultimately want a dog. I'm NEVER an advocate of abandoning animals or taking them to the pound, but have you thought at all taking your dogs to a midwest open space dog rescue ranch (and not just leaving them but helping the ranch with donations)? Maybe the kind of place that has acres of land to tire out big dogs? I know the first option is always trying to figure out how to make a situation livable, but what if its just not?

  4. hm. while i don't mind hearing you complain *at all*, i do hate seeing you in pain. and if something doesn't change, will you live the REST OF THEIR LIVES without a couch?!? or a dog free living room. hm.

    so what i am wondering, is there really no hope? it sounds like it will take AN EFFING TON of hard work and commitment to train those beasts [read time, money, patience, time, patience] but wouldn't it be worth it?!?!? i don't know, maybe you already have exhausted all possible resources, but i have been around a lot of rescue dogs and usually they are (eventually) trainable. though its hard.

    so sorry in general though. this sounds so tuff!

  5. I'm sorry that your dogs are pains in the ass. That's no fun. I think it's good that you're sharing. The bad stories need to be told with the good.

    I currently reside in a poo-covered home, but G is sick. I can cut him some slack for that.

  6. Hmmm, no dice. I still want one.

    I feel your pain though, I really do. And I second everything Jamie said. Especially the bit about it being expensive and bloody hard work.

  7. i love lab german shepherd mixes- grew up with one- best dog ever. My parents are dog people so I grew up with pups, but my husbands family are cat people- were currently working on a compromise, but after reading your posts, I think I might be compromising for a kitten :)

  8. agirl - i had great docile dogs as a kid too, so i know that life with dogs does not have to be like the one i have now. especially when there's a big house and yard involved.

    Bonbon - thanks for the reminder to laugh. it is hard, but sometimes that's the only thing to do.

    A Los Angeles Love - i didn't know dog rescue ranches existed. thanks for your info. i don't think jesse could ever give the dogs away, although we do joke with my sister about her adopting them, but she's not in a position to do so now either.

    jamie - thanks for your concern. part of our problem is that we aren't the best at the patience and effort that training takes. our next step is to work with a dog trainer privately, and i hope that will help us get on the right track. because it's true, i can deal with these things as they come in the short term, but i don't want to spend the rest of my life in the city with an inhospitable home.

    October12 - hope your dog is feeling better now

    Peonies - as long as you are prepared for the expense and hard work than go for it

    Marisa - i think lab and golden retriever mixes are the cutest dogs. you could always get a kitten now and maybe get a dog in the future if you can make it happen then.

  9. We're prepared for the expense and the hard work but our life isn't, so our dog days will have to wait for now. In the meantime I will just have to keep ogling other peoples.

    Oh, and if you want a dog sitter while we're in NY...