Monday, August 10, 2009

doggone crazy?

We've been talking about getting a dog.

A dog.

Cause I don't have enough to do already.

Quit shaking your head at me, mom.

We have a few reasons for thinking this might not be too awful an idea:
  • Liam LOVES dogs. Specifically dogs who play fetch and who will lay their heads on his lap and stare at him with big, adoring eyes while he pats head and scratches ear.s After spending a few hours at a dog-containing house, we hear about it FOR DAYS. "I wish we had a dooooooooog." "I miss _____________(insert name of dog - making sure to wail when you say it)!!!"
  • We feel like a dog would be one more companion/friend/family member to help make each move an easier transition for our boys once we move overseas.
  • A dog would force encourage us to be outside more and go for more walks.
  • It would teach Liam a bit of responsibility (or are we kidding ourselves on this point??)
  • It would be fun!
Here are the obstacles/cons/concerns (wait, does "con" = concern?? anyone know):
  • The cost. The particular agency we're looking at charges $300, plus the cost of (mandatory) obedience classes.
  • The cost of outfitting ourselves to have a dog (collar, leash, food bowls, brush, shampoo, toothbrush, toys, bed, crate/kennel, etc, etc, ETC), plus the monthly cost of food.
  • The fact that when it's -30C, there's 6' (yes, SIX FEET!) of snow outside, and we haven't seen the sidewalks for MONTHS we might not be as committed to taking the dog for walks so that it doesn't destroy our house
  • What happens if the dog turns out to not be a good match for our family? Will we stick it out or break Liam's heart (*see above) and get rid/surrender/re-home it?
Did I mention we're thinking of adopting a pit bull?

(sharp intake of breath on the part of my mom and mother-in-law)

There's a local organization called Bullies in Need that rescues pit bulls, pit bull mixes, and other dogs affected by Ontario's Bill 132. This bill is basically a ban on buying, selling, breeding or importing pit bulls (or any short-haired, muscular dogs that might resemble a pit bull) and some serious restrictions on what you can/can't do with them and where you can/can't go. There are also heavy fines and the threat of having you dog seized and destroyed.

Bullies in Need works primarily with animal shelters pulling beautiful and deserving dogs off of death row, looking for stable temperaments and animals showing no aggression towards humans, and finding them new loving homes, most of which have to be outside of Ontario because of the Bill. Their focus is dogs that are scheduled for euthanasia simple because they are pit bulls.

Luckily, we are outside of Ontario so we would be able to open our home to one.

Like this one,

Or this one,

Or this one,

Cute, eh?

So are we crazy??


  1. I don't think you're crazy for wanting a dog. My mom adopted our dog Oliver when my brother was going into 10th grade, and I was off to college. Oliver was going to be Jason's companion. That was 1996, and Oliver is happy with my mom still :) He's been the greatest dog ever, and no matter what he does (or what Sophie, the dog we got about 6 years ago) does that doesn't "fit" with us, we'd never give them up.

    And you figure out the costs. It all balances out in the end. We have a cat that is surprisingly pricey. I'd never trade her in, though.

  2. Don't forget the cost vet bills. Heartworm pills aren't necessarily cheap. But no, I don't think you are crazy for wanting a dog, or even a pit bull. Though if you choose a pit bull you need to consider things like:

    - Are you really sure that you'll always live on that side of the river? Because if there is even the slightest chance that you may decide to cross the river you couldn't take a pitbull with you.

    - you can't take the dog to any parks on the Ontario side either (based on my understanding). Would that hamper your family outings?

  3. are not nuts. Or maybe you are? I am not sure I am the right one to ask!
    I've never heard of that law before..sounds interesting.

  4. now - first of all, may I say I am a HUGE dog person and think it is very admiral that you are not only looking at rescuing a dog, but also rescuing a pit bull - a breed which has gotten a (some may say undeserved) bad rep as of late.

    Now, in saying that, you may also want to think of the stress overseas travel can be on both a dog and its owners. Not only does it mean shiping them by air (not to mention the costs involved in that!), but it generally means you would have to have your dog quaranteened for a certain amount of time and they may require a vet check prior to admittance in the (new) country. Also to worry about it - unfortunately, Ontario is NOT the only place that has breed specific legislation. You may chose to first do some research on location posibilities before chosing what type of dog you want to adopt. (in all honesty, Gatineau ALSO has BSL - although it is not enforced, nor is it as readily known about due to recent media).

    Like I said before, I think it is great... I would just suggest to do as much research as possible.

  5. Ha, we have two dogs (but being on a farm, that's no real big deal). And big dogs too. One's a cross of all sorts of things, and the other is mostly chocolate lab (and loves putting his head in your lap and looking at you with those big adoring eyes of his). No, you're not crazy! And those dog pics are adorable!

  6. Those dogs are pretty cute on their beds. I would observe them with other dogs and with children and see how they socialize. You may want to look at all the options (other breeds) for adoptions. Dogs are fun, but they need lots of attention. There are no guarantees with dogs as pets. Have you tried any other pets? A bird? Cat? Guinea Pig? Parakeets are fun and the very young males are easy to teach to talk. I had one in my classroom for years. However ever once in a while he would decide to take a flight to the library, where the ceiling was cathedral high!!! He would eventually come back to his cage where the food and water was. Well have fun deciding--it will be fun to hear the names you all come up with. Love ya, the mother of a golden retriever, A. Dianne

  7. As mentioned by others I would probably check into the BSL of places you could be posted too.

    It may suck when you have to take them for a walk in bad weather, but at the end of the day it is so worth it. I was lucky enough to have a Labrador as my best friend when I was growing up and I can't imagine any greater gift.

    Bullies in Need is an amazing group doing amazing work, and they are experts in making perfect matches.

  8. YES you are crazy!!! you tought about all the ''caca'' you will have to pick up??? YERK! you cannot potty train a dog...
    But we will love you anyways! ;)

  9. Bullies in Need is a great organization run by a friend of mine and I second what Heidi said(good thing cause we walk together three times a week)You will find a great friend for your family!

  10. A dog is SO worth it and this organization sounds extremely responsible.

    Vet bills? Our Mini-Schnauzer costs us about $250/year for her one spring check-up... You can even purchase pet insurance if that would give you more peace of mind!

    Trouble? All kinds! Cuddles, wet kisses, adorbale eyes looking up at you and worshipping everthing you do and say. Ugh!

    Training? A must. I have to say however, that I tried two local obedience schools and they did nothing for me and my dog. In fact, their methods were often so counter-intuitive, they made me feel less confident rather than comfortable dealing with my dog. Buyer beware...

    Preparation however, is a must. I finally discovered where Cesar Millan, the Dog Whipserer, is on TV and have been watching his show every day for the last number of weeks. Now THERE'S someone who can teach anyone how to work with their dog in any situation, all in a one-hour tv show.

    Our dog wasn't out of control but some of her behaviour needed some attending to (i.e. pulling during walks). The difference since I've begun using his methods has been incredible.

    Dog Whisperer plays on the National Geographic Channel every day at noon and 5 pm, and also on Sundays. I would urge you to watch several episodes and see if his methods work for you. Then you might include the rest of your "pack" (or family) so that everyone is on the same page before the dog joins you.

    Nothing has given me more confidence as a "Pack Leader" than what I've learned with Cesar (who, by the way, has a very soft spot for bullies and rotties)... Here's his web site, for your info: He has books and DVD's as well as his show.

    That's it for my very long comment (sorry about that!)... Best of luck!

  11. you should think about getting a "bull-shiht"? you could call it "pit-shiht"!!! get it?!! BWAHAHA!!!


  12. Lynette, you dork. haha. Those dogs are soo cute!!! I LOVE big dogs! I would say go for it, but then I know who REALLY ended up walking our dog when I was younger and promised I'd do it....

  13. We adopted our dog from a rescue two years ago. He is such a HUGE part of our family and it's worked out so well. I can't tell you enough how much we love him and how much joy he brings to our family. Having a dog is quite a bit of work but what you put into your dog, you will get out and then some. Don't get me wrong, dogs are definitely a luxury...they cost alot once you have them. Our dogs grocery bill each month is approx $80 and I figure we spend another $800 (possibly more) a year on vet bills and misc.


Comments satisfy my need for validation. LEAVE ONE!