Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fido And OCD

My kids want a dog, badly. They are pretty nervous in general of dogs, but not so much with the smaller variety. We've researched several types of dogs, done online quizzes at PetFinder to see which dog would suit our family and its' needs most, and we've settled on the breed of dog we'd want. If the day ever comes, that is, when we decide to get a dog.

I grew up with cats my entire life. I know all about how to care for them and really, a cat is fairly low maintenance on the pet scale. My girls have had fish, with the promise that they and their dad would do all of the work. Uh huh. You can surmise how that went. My sister is like St. Whoever that is in charge of animals. She has had just about every kind of animal as a pet that you can imagine. She recently swore off any more pets, and now has a dog, a cat and a bird. She just can't help herself.

As for me, other than the fish, we have been pet free since my kids were born. Part of that reason was just we didn't have any extra time for a pet. The other reason is the one I'm trying to reconcile with the fact that my children want a dog and the reasoning that a pet, I think, is very valuable for kids.

I'm a little OCD. And I don't know how that would work with a dog. I have control issues. I like my house to look "just so." I don't want pet fur all over everything. I hate "doggy smell" and I don't really want a big crate taking up already missing space in my home. I have no problem with obedience training classes, or walks or feeding or brushing or any of the care aspects of having a dog. I know that would fall to me anyways. And being the way that I am, I can fairly guarantee that I'd be meticulous in cleaning up poop right after the dog has gone. Nope, what worries me is the neatness factor.

I don't like a big crate out in my house. If you take a dog out for a walk on a rainy day, they come in and track mud everywhere. They also roll around in the grass and bring "who knows what" in with THAT mess. They do things cats don't do-like eat their poop or eat things out of your garbage can. That's just ewwww. Hopefully those are training issues though? Do I have a cloth at my front door to wipe paws immediately upon entry? Do I do baths on a regular schedule like I do with my kids?

I watch the show, "At the End of My Leash" and I love that guy. I totally concur. I wouldn't have my dog up on the furniture or on my beds. I wouldn't be feeding her or him our food. I'm the Alpha Dog! Check! But again, neatness factor???

The dog we are thinking of is a mini Golden Doodle. They are low shedding and good for people who have allergies. They are small, reaching about 35 lbs, and won't scare my girls. (fingers crossed) They are cute as heck. And I hope having a dog will be a great experience. It can teach responsibility, unconditional love, and how to think of someone else before yourself. Dogs are great in so many ways. I grew up with a dog, Brandy, so I know how awesome having a dog can be.

So, dog owners. How do you do it? How do you keep your sanity with a clean house and kids and a dog? There is a little due at the end of September with my name on it. But we've gone back and forth and wavered so many times, that I don't know if we'll ever pull the trigger on this addition to our family.

Give me your best advice, tips, thoughts!!!!


  1. You will manage just fine. I'm a neat freak as well but we have always had a dog. First thing that is a must is the crate. Our dog has had a crate since we brought him home at 8 weeks. It is his refuge and he sleeps in the crate every night. In fact, he goes in there by himself every night around 9 pm. If we are going to be gone for a long period of time, we crate him as well. My dog has also learned that he has to stand at the door (he sees the towel) when it is raining or muddy so I can wipe his feet. They are a lot like children and thrive on a routine. Long walks help with the puppy energy. Usually once you pass the 6 to 9 month mark it really gets so much easier. I know the girls will enjoy the dog and so will you. You are home more than anyone so the dog will prefer you over everyone else. Have fun!

  2. How old is your dog Carole? I thought the crate was a "puppy" thing? This is exactly what I was hoping to read-real tips and anecdotes from those amongst us with anal retentive tendencies and how "we' cope with a pet! :) Thanks!

  3. How small is 35 lbs?? I really have no rottie was 135 at one point! He was fantastic! I know big dogs are not for all people...but let me tell you...I will NEVER EVER have a tiny dog again. We had a miniature pincher and she was under 20 lbs. And had a bladder the size of a acorn. Smaller dogs need to be taken outside very regularly....just keep that in mind. My, he could hold it all day long...9 hours while I was at work!

    We are dogless now...have been for over 2 years. And lately I have been missing having a pet. We have seriously talked about adopting a greyhound...they are very docile, even though they are kinda large, and they are so sweet. The local Greyhound adoption agency is at our mall every first Saturday of the month. Not sure of they shed though. We need to fence our yard in before we get a dog though.

  4. Golden doodles are a mix of a retriever (my fav dog and what I grew up with) and a poodle. I would think 35 lbs is poodle sized/mini schnauzer sized. I'm not a "big" dog person at all. And my girls would freak out. LOL My sister has a "big" dog, sweetest guy ever, but just the sheer size of him makes my girls feel overwhelmed.
    Our back yard is massive-but only fenced on two sides. I don't know if we'd fence the back. That would be veeeerrrry expensive. Is that a "must"?

  5. Our dog is almost nine years old. He is a Cairn Terrier (think Toto on the Wizard of OZ only he is wheaten.) If you crate train them when they are a puppy, the crate becomes their den. When Meg was small he could go in there to get away from her if he didn't want to be bothered. He is about 13 lbs. We use to have a German Shorthair Pointer about 60 lbs that was also crate trained.

  6. I've only had golden retrievers (awesome dogs!) I've heard of people creating an area in their backyard, filled it will pebbles and trained their dog to "go" there. That way, there wasn't any pee or poo on the grass. We also had him in a crate, he slept there every night....his own comforting space. We didn't shut the door, he just went to bed himself. I'll never regret having a dog, he was such an important part of my life. However, we wouldn't get one now with young kids for a few reasons. They're too unpredictable, it's hard to get up and go away for a weekend or vacation and we don't have the space. Maybe we'll consider having a dog someday when the kids are older and we live on a country property,
    Good luck with the decision. I looked up the breed on line and they're adorable looking!

  7. I think all the advice is really good here!

    We have a bichon/poodle cross. Weighs about 15 lbs and we are hoping to get a labradoodle once I am done school.

    Our crate sits off to the side at the end of the couch. It takes up room but she loves it.

    Keep a towel by the back door. Our dog doesn't get super mucky anymore she is a little prissy. Actually to the point where at times I have stand outside with an umbrella over HER so she will go pee in the morning lol.

    With the goldendoodle keep in mind that you will have to have grooming done or you will have to learn to do it yourself! Because they don't shed they just grow hair and they need haircuts. We get gracie shaved about every 2-3 months at about 35 dollars a pop. :-) But I LOOOOOVE that she doesn't shed and would never go with a dog that sheds a lot again!