i think i wanna get difficult child a puppy

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Jena, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member

    i know i'm crazy. i have a huge huge dog who is still a pain in the butt yet we love him, all 130 pounds of him. gorgious black dog, part lab part newfoundland. typical marley and me dog.

    yet difficult child saw a puppy today. we had to go out to get milk. and there was that adoption truck with-those cute little puppies. all i could think was wow when i saw her face light up. it's been a while since i've seen that. maybe that's why i got all let's get a puppy.

    i don't know. husband yea he'll freak but he'll go with the flow of whatever i wanna do. granted our two cats now live in the garage. their beds, dishes and soon we're getting them a play thing to climb on it's their new home. dog and them do not get along.

    yet i thought wow maybe a puppy would help all of us, especially her. i feel so down, and grose most of the time. i put a smile on all day for her yet overall i'm getting hopeless. maybe a puppy she could train. i could say drink your shakes than we can go train the puppy??

    i know this is far crazier than a horse movie yet i'm desperate and love dogs anyway.

    thoughts on bringing a puppy into a male dominant two year old dogs home??
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Are you sure that you don't want the puppy for yourself? At 17, your difficult child should be figuring out how to move out of the house. It's hard to find a place that will take a dog. I think it would be find if you want a dog and you get it for yourself, but to get it for your difficult child seems unrealistic. A dog is going to live 10 - 15 years, and your difficult child is at a transition point in her life. It seems unfair to burden her with a dog, or to give her a dog that she has to leave behind because she can't afford it and/or won't have time to take care of it.
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member

    shes' 11 right now and sick. that's why i was thinking a puppy. easy child is 17.
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member

    my signature's wrong wow so sorry my fault
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    We got Mandy for Bubba when he was quite a bit older. He was unimpressed, to say the least. Then we got Oscar as a small puppy for Mandy when it was clear that Bubba wouldn't be with us much longer. I think you have to take the older dog into consideration. They don't get along so well when there's a big age difference. Mandy and Oscar are inseparable and it makes it so much easier on all of us because once the basic training was done with Oscar, they were (and are) happy to keep each other entertained. I had totally forgotten how much work a puppy is, and having a sweet mannered Mandy around to help has been a godsend.

    Bubba was a puppy when M was your difficult child's age. M was not nice to him, and as much as I wanted him to be M's dog, Bubba was soon my dog. Not that I regret it, but I see that my expectations of M were not realistic.
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    When difficult child was very sick - he so much wanted a dog. The SW at the hospital said, "Get him a dog". "No, I don't want that responsibility!" Then easy child got her diva puppy (her responsibility but we all helped out) and I saw how much good it did for difficult child. He took care of it and played with it when Diva wasn't home.

    Diva puppy is perfect for Diva but not quite big enough for a boy who runs the neighborhood. She tries hard to keep up but being a lap dog tires before he does. So, I made the decision to get him his own puppy. He was 13 this summer. My mom says to wait two years when Diva puppy will be moving out with Diva (hopefully) but in 2 years difficult child will be 15 years old - working on driving, hopefully have a job - he will not have the time to train and take care of a puppy. Now is the perfect time for him and in 2 years the puppy will be settled into our home and in a routine.

    You need to know if your difficult child will truley take care of the puppy. What do you expect her to do? Will she really commit to it and follow through? If she does not, are you willing to take over the care of the dog? I sacrificed my unwillingness to have a dog and the responibility it would take to care for it so that difficult child could have one. I came to the realization in my heart that my difficult child really did need a dog and I was right!

    A puppy is a lot of work - it will get your difficult child outside on the nice days to walk and play (puppy needs exercise on the not so nice days also - is there room inside to romp and play?). If your difficult child will really be committed to and love a puppy (not all kids are dog kids), it could be very healthy for her to have one.

    How was she at helping to take care of your current dog? Was it a puppy when you got it?

    Also research the type of dog that will be perfect for her and your household.
  7. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i'm more doing it as an incentive to stay home and out of hospital if i do it and tha'Tourette's Syndrome a big if right now. also for her to say oh ok i have to drink a shake than i can walk her in the backyard. that sort of thing also to help with-her depression right now which by the way she's also depressed. i'm grasping at straws i know yet it's hurting all of us that she is regressing so quickly right now.

    also our dog is too big for her to partake in his care. he's truly my big dog that i love.
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    so, what your saying is to get a puppy with him being older is no good?? he's great with-little dog's we've been in petco, etc. with-him and he bows down to them immediately. that's why i thought little is better for difficult child also and he wouldnt' be so threatened sort of thing. hes' very territorial over his home. not aggressive at all, hes' a big mush, and i mean big.

    and yea i'm willing to take on the work of it. i know it's more hair to clean up, more floors to wash, possible wee wee pads walking two dogs. yet i thought maybe it would give difficult child something to look forward to. this could either be the best thing iv'e ever done petwise or the worst. my dog could begin peeing all over the place as soon as the puppy comes in or he could adapt quickly.
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Bubba was my sweetheart. And territorial. We got Mandy when he was ten and she was about 10 months old and already trained. Bubba was very crabby about sharing his home with her. We were lucky that there was a neighbor family who had a dog that was very similar to Mandy and they played together almost every day. I felt that Mandy was very sad that Bubba didn't like her. She's such a sweet girl. She was three years old and so happy when we brought Oscar home, and they have been truly inseparable from day one. But there was always a nervousness about Bubba's age and arthritis and general grumpiness with Mandy, and even moreso with Oscar when he came home. We had to put Bubba down about 5 months later due to old age.

    That being said, I would really work with your difficult child to see how much she is willing to commit to a new dog. I know I love my puppies, and I would be lying if I said that they didn't give me a new lease on life. They truly bring me joy. I think that our expectations for the kids have to be realistic though, and if you think that it's a good fit, you know best. You don't want it to become an additional burden. And of course, like I say, the older dog has to be a big consideration too.
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    You said the dog you already have is two and a lab/newfie mix. That should be a decent age to bring in a puppy, it's no threat to his dominance and he's not too old to be set in his ways. That's generally a good-tempered mix, my only concern would be that he might be over-excited playing and accidently hurt a smaller one, so they'll need to be supervised heavy when together for a while. I'm surprised he didn't care for the cats (or is it the other way around?). I would think a small mixed-breed from the shelter might not be a bad idea, you might want to call ahead and ask if you can bring current dog with you to pick one out, since it would also be a housemate/playmate for him. I wouldn't get stuck on puppy, you may well find a nice difficult child-size dog that's already housebroken that your current dog takes to just fine.
  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hey Jen, I totally understand why you want to get a dog for difficult child. After you discuss with her and lay out the common responsibilities of bringing another dog into your home and talk with H and research types of dogs.....seriously consider a cairn terrier. They are NOT foofy dogs but they are smaller and compact fun little family dogs. They love to romp and fetch and they also love to curl up by your side.

    When difficult child was getting worse as a young child, I thought a dog would create a source of comfort for her. We had to do a lot of research because I'm highly allergic. I even went to a neighbors house for 30 mins to see if I got any symptoms. I didn't so we decided on the cairn. They shed very little, are small but not tiny, about 15-18 lbs, and they are lots of fun! We now have two and easy child's yorkie, which is a pain at times because her bladder is so small I have to go home midday to take her out. Anyway, get a cairn!!!!!!
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    If you wanna go white, West Highland White terriers are nothing more than white Cairns
  13. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I hate to be a negative voice here, but I think getting a puppy now with the hope of it helping your difficult child is a mistake. I don't think her anxiety will allow her to drink a shake (or later, eat) just because there is a puppy to play with. I am more concerned the puppy will need something and you will be stuck sitting there with difficult child trying to get her to drink her shake.

    What if you end up having to go to Oregon? What will you do about the puppy then? And if your husband won't like it, won't that add even more strain to your marriage?

    I totally understand wanting to get a puppy to brighten things up. I have had those thoughts myself. My daughter is homebound and suffering, too. I realize though, at least for us, that the puppy would provide a temporary lift, but wouldn't change the overall picture.

    Maybe you could say to her that when she is well and strong enough to take care of a puppy, you can get one.
  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I totally get the dog thing.

    But before you do, please think long and hard.

    You already have one huge Marley type dog. And I can picture him in my mind because we had one like him many many years ago. (and I'm like awwww lol) He had already run the cats out of the house. Happens, some dogs just don't like cats. But what happens if he runs the new puppy out too? In the current economy re-housing a pet is difficult at best.

    You also need to be honest with yourself about who this new puppy is for as well. If puppy is really for difficult child, will she be able to attend to puppy's daily needs and training. If not, are you prepared to do it for her?

    And after those questions............I'll tell you something. Travis was 13. It was a very low time in the boy's life. His behavior had become irratic, making friends impossible, he was miserable. I thought having a dog may calm Travis and give him a nonjudgmental buddy to hang out with. He was all for the idea. So we adopted Mr. Rowdy, a beautiful sturdy white lab. Since daily care of the dog makes the bond much stronger, Travis was taught how to care for Rowdy. It wasn't hard, Rowdy is smart as a whip and eager to please and he adored Travis the first moment he laid eyes on him. So things seem to be going great. Although Travis does not quite socialize with Rowdy as much as we thought he would, which was ok because Nichole and I picked up the slack. Second winter came along and Travis (we've never figured out why) began to pretend to feed Rowdy. Rowdy was in bad shape by the time I realized what was going on and nursed him back to normal weight. Travis was punished and we had a long talk. The following summer........it happened again, but was caught much faster. I took over care of Rowdy at that point. Sad thing is........Rowdy, although he is one of the most patient loving dogs in the world.......did nothing to "help" Travis, they for whatever reason, did not bond the way I'd hoped they would. Rowdy still adores Travis. Travis loves Rowdy.......when he thinks about him. That was the problem. Rowdy is now 11 yrs old. Huge mistake but I refused to re-home him because Rowdy had done nothing wrong, my plan just did not work. Travis is much closer to Betsy (Rowdy's 4 yr old daughter) than Rowdy.........of course it's still when he comes into contact with her. Travis is a very social out of sight out of mind sort of person.

    Just something to think about. Only good thing that came out of it is we discovered Travis could never have a helper dog if he lived alone. He'd forget to feed and care for it.:tongue:

    Molly was adopted for the entire family. But she bonded big time with Nichole and me. Nichole needed that and for the rest of her childhood.....age 11 and up........she and Molly did practically everything together. She even comes to just visit Molly sometimes. lol When Nichole was at her lowest Molly would cuddle her, she slept with her, she always seems to know when Nichole needs her most.

    So it can go either way.........my point is you need to be prepared for it to go either way so you're not caught off guard and discover later that adopting a puppy was a desperate awful idea. Know what I mean??

    You have to do what's right for you in the end. Just some food for thought. by the way I love puppies.:D

  15. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Yes! They are cousins - both from Scotland! So darn cute. I wish I could have 10 of them! I do like the colors of the cairns, however. Ours are blush (blonde) and wheaton (reddish).
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I have to admit that in hindsight, a child without empathy for others - and most "normal" children are pretty limited on empathy at 11 years old - is likely to neglect a dog, or even abuse a dog. I know that M did. To add to that, M felt that because I rushed to let Bubba out or to give him out that I loved Bubba more. Of course, I didn't love him more, but that's what a 13 y/o with low self esteem sees when you talk to a puppy like a puppy.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think I feel like Hope. You are putting a whole lot of pressure on a puppy's shoulders. I dont know if right now is the perfect time to get a new dog since you already have one. A big dog isnt a whole lot more difficult than a smaller one if trained properly not to jump and pull. They can cuddle and provide solace too. In fact, I love my big dogs better than my tiny one.
  18. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    It is true, Jen, what Hope and Lisa are saying. In your desperation...who is the pup for, who will end up with its care, what will happen if the pup is more of a burden for you? There are a lot of things to consider. In my excitement to push the cairns, I forgot to add those things to my post.:tongue:

    Before we decided on getting a dog (we were "a no pet home zone" before then), we had a family meeting so we could discuss the realities of having a pet and whose responsibility its care would fall to. Ultimately, H and I care for the dogs in every way. The girls have helped over the years, but we are the main caregivers. The girls have greatly benefitted from having dogs, little as they are, and we're okay with being the main caregivers. But I will admit that once these pups die off, we're never getting another. It's a job and it inhibits our social life, not to mention the expense. Last year alone cost me over $2500 in sick health care for Sophie.

    So, while I understand your wanting to get difficult child a pup to help her in many ways, think about it. Also, I don't think the pup will be effective as a ploy to get her to eat/drink her shakes. A pet may be a strong source of comfort and joy for difficult child - for sure - but I think that's about it.

    Edited to add: Training a pup is very stressful! Do you need the added stress? And training is a family job - not only one person and I don't think difficult child is up to the task of training as it's a lot of work round the clock. Maybe there is a service in your area that visits sick people with their pets and you can arrange something weekly like that.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  19. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I agree with some of the others that say it may not be the best idea to get another dog right now. Janet's right when she says that it's a lot of responsibility to put on the shoulders of one little dog. And what will you do with the dog if it doesn't live up to expectations? It's not fair for the dog to be rehomed or end up in a shelter if it doesn't work out as you hoped it would. Dogs, especially puppies, have a lot of needs of their own and are a tremendous amount of work and expense. Puppies chew, they're in to everything, they have to be trained and housebroken and need constant supervision ... much like having a toddler in the house, to say nothing of the expenses at the vet's office. And very few eleven year olds are responsible enough to assume complete care of a dog, even though they all promise that they will do it.

    Selecting an additional dog shouldn't be something that is done on impulse or a quick decision. If you do decide to get another dog, you should do a lot of research to find the breed that is right for your household and lifestyle to make sure it's a "good fit". When you decide on what kind of dog you would like, there are breed-specific rescue groups for just about every breed and some that also have mixed breeds. Nothing against shelter dogs (and many dogs in rescue were pulled from shelters) but dogs from rescue organizations have been kept in volunteer foster homes and the foster "parents" really get to know the dogs and their personalities, if they're good with kids and other dogs, etc. And they will be up to date on vaccinations and already spayed or neutered.

    I would also recommend, if you want them to get along, that you get one that is the "opposite" of your other dog to help with any dominance issues. I'm assuming that your older dog has been neutered, it would be best if you got a smaller, younger (spayed) female, preferably one with a submissive personality. You would never want to get another adult male.
  20. Jena

    Jena New Member

    thanks guys for as always taking the time to share your thoughts with-crazy me who doesn't have enough to do at this point. husband and i discussed it last night. he said well it's like a shelter here already (he's not a dog lover), but he said if you think it might in any small way help difficult child than let's just do it. he said what's the difference anyway at this point, it can't be any worse than the marley we already have.

    so we looked at the pro's and con's of it. yes i get it will all fall on me until she is strong enough to take care of it. right now she isnt'. but we both did agree that she needs something to make her life a bit happier right now, we both had to admit how our current dog helped me a whole lot. i didnt' go to therapy i got my dog, was giong thru some junk at time my father had passed, easy child was kicking up, a bunch of junk. taking him to dog park, or to beach to run or just taking long walks with-him really helped alot. i absolutely love that dog. as doofy as he is newfie's are known to be that way, our vet thinks he's a pure breed just with-short hair he brings alot of craziness and love into our home.

    with that being said right now we are desperate. sitting and watching her waste away like this is heartbreaking, i'm out of ideas, answers, you know how it goes. you have all been there with-diff. circumstances.

    so, husband and i decided last night we are giong to do everything we can right now, along with-incentives to get this kid drinking shakes again. medication's in right place pretty much at this point with the seroquel, gottta titrate up higher waiting on cb from old pysch to see if he'll take her back. called speech pathologist about refeeding therapy giong to get her into there as soon as possible, and the sing stand which sounds silly that difficult child wanted so badly last week that ex h told her he'd get and didn't which lead to her decline (sounds silly yet i guess she has nothing to look forward to now so it hit hard) i'm giong to buy that today and go pet the horses.

    i even got coupon booklet from wendy's yesterday for free frosty's so i'm going to get the frosty on way to horses so she's more inclined to drink it.

    i do not want this kid back in a hospital. we know the hospital here doesn't have what she needs. it's just a feeding tube, which they will not discharge her with-until solids go in. she'll be in there forever. oregon that clinic is the answer if she doesn't start regaining weight again.

    so, that's that. also we pushed exh out of the picture for now. he's harrassing me via text yet i told him one word wrong said to her on phone on nightly calls, calls will be suspended also.