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BS: One compelling reason for a dog

Big Al Whittle 13 Apr 07 - 05:43 AM
GUEST, Topsie 13 Apr 07 - 06:26 AM
Wyrd Sister 13 Apr 07 - 06:42 AM
Sooz 13 Apr 07 - 07:05 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 13 Apr 07 - 07:10 AM
jacqui.c 13 Apr 07 - 07:13 AM
sian, west wales 13 Apr 07 - 07:26 AM
*daylia* 13 Apr 07 - 07:28 AM
bobad 13 Apr 07 - 07:55 AM
Little Hawk 13 Apr 07 - 08:12 AM
Captain Ginger 13 Apr 07 - 08:14 AM
Blowzabella 13 Apr 07 - 08:19 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Apr 07 - 09:03 AM
John Hardly 13 Apr 07 - 09:05 AM
freda underhill 13 Apr 07 - 09:10 AM
Grimmy 13 Apr 07 - 09:27 AM
JohnInKansas 13 Apr 07 - 09:30 AM
Wolfhound person 13 Apr 07 - 09:34 AM
Grimmy 13 Apr 07 - 09:35 AM
Bee 13 Apr 07 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,meself 13 Apr 07 - 10:10 AM
Scoville 13 Apr 07 - 10:46 AM
GUEST 13 Apr 07 - 10:56 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Apr 07 - 11:54 AM
kendall 13 Apr 07 - 12:13 PM
Michael from Manitoba 13 Apr 07 - 12:28 PM
Blowzabella 13 Apr 07 - 12:40 PM
Donuel 13 Apr 07 - 12:41 PM
Bee 13 Apr 07 - 12:52 PM
Blowzabella 13 Apr 07 - 12:54 PM
Blowzabella 13 Apr 07 - 01:10 PM
Big Al Whittle 13 Apr 07 - 02:52 PM
Little Hawk 13 Apr 07 - 02:55 PM
Scoville 13 Apr 07 - 03:30 PM
kendall 13 Apr 07 - 03:37 PM
Little Hawk 13 Apr 07 - 03:40 PM
Big Al Whittle 13 Apr 07 - 03:49 PM
terrier 13 Apr 07 - 03:52 PM
Peace 13 Apr 07 - 03:53 PM
Little Hawk 13 Apr 07 - 03:55 PM
terrier 13 Apr 07 - 04:03 PM
Scoville 13 Apr 07 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,maire-aine 13 Apr 07 - 05:02 PM
GUEST,Pelrad 13 Apr 07 - 11:13 PM
Little Hawk 13 Apr 07 - 11:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Apr 07 - 07:56 PM
Rapparee 14 Apr 07 - 09:25 PM
GUEST,Scoville at Dad's 15 Apr 07 - 04:03 PM
hilda fish 15 Apr 07 - 04:07 PM

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Subject: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 05:43 AM

Recently I've been having heart problems. Someone told me owning a dog was good for that - walks, stroking something etc.

however its a big committment - vets bills, shit everywhere, training, etc. Supposing the dog doesn't like me....?

does anyone have experience of the pros and cons?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 06:26 AM

A cat is a lot less trouble. You don't have to keep telling it what to do, for a start.
And you can always go for a walk by yourself or with a human friend - also less hassle, usually, as with most friends you don't have to worry about them fighting/shagging with other people's dogs, or chasing sheep.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Wyrd Sister
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 06:42 AM

Total commitment, unconditional love, unquestioning loyalty... A dog will get you to walk when its cold, wet, miserable, snowy, windy, sunny... It will entertain you, comfort you, keep you company...

If you are thinking of having a dog, please be sure. Is there somewhere nearby where it can have a free run as well as exercise on a lead? Are you willing to go to training classes? (it is worth it!)
Having your dog neutered/spayed will cut out most of the fighting/all of the shagging, good socialisation and training will sort the rest.

Like everything else, you get out what you put in. Having said that, I couldn't be without a dog now. Good luck whatever you decide.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Sooz
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 07:05 AM

It will change your life!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 07:10 AM

get a hamster instead.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: jacqui.c
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 07:13 AM

Having your dog neutered/spayed will cut out .... all of the shagging,

I wish that someone would tell Seamus that - he regularly tries to shag all the male dogs at the dog park! It's not even an Alpha thing - this dog is so non Alpha, without an aggressive bone in his body.

Dogs are a real committment - doesn't matter how YOU feel, the dog needs to be taken care of on a regular basis.

If you do get a dog make sure you get good insurance to cover vet's bills.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: sian, west wales
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 07:26 AM

I'm a 'dog person' rather than a 'cat person' so of course I'd recommend a dog. And I don't see how a cat would fit the medical requirements. Still miss my old dog tho it's been 5 years since he 'moved on'. I'd agree with Wyrd Sister and Sooz 100% . Is there a dog home/rescue centre somewhere near you where you could help out for a while. It would get you the exercise and give you an idea of how dog/person relations work. And you might find your (canine) soul mate ...

sian


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: *daylia*
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 07:28 AM

A puppy is like a baby -- ultra-needy, noisy, dependant, messy and in need of constant care and discipline. SO much as I like dogs (except for the that wet smell, and a couple habits like eating/rolling in .... you know ...) I stick to plants and one easy-care beta fish today. My cat is 14 now, and when she finally departs for the Great Sunroom in the Sky my stint with felinity will be over as well. I've raised three kids and lived with half a dozen dogs, mega-rabbits, mice and rats and hamsters, one runt piglet, a snapping turtle, an alligator and at least 20 cats in this earthwalk.

I've done my time!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: bobad
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 07:55 AM

If commitment, vet's bills, shit everywhere etc. is uppermost in you thinking as far as dog ownership goes you should give it some further thought. Also if you are only considering the benefits to yourself, I would question whether that is sufficient motivation. Being a dog owner is not unlike a long term relationship based on mutual love, trust and committment.

Having a dog is a committment, especially if you start off with a puppy, it will require much of your attention, patience and perseverence. The time you put into training at the puppy stage will pay back in spades as the dog matures. If you intend on doing the training yourself read as much as you can and inform yourself and remember there is no such thing as bad dogs only bad owners.

Good luck.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 08:12 AM

I feel pretty much like Daylia does when it comes to this. However, all the viewpoints expressed here are equally valid...just depends on your personal needs.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 08:14 AM

After many years where the nature of my work meant a dog was out of the question, I succumbed a few years back. All I can say that Kipling had it right (again) when he wrote:

THERE is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie—
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear...

My terrier is stupid, smelly, illogical, destructive and a bigger pain in the rear than kids could ever be, and I can't imagine life without the little sod.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Blowzabella
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 08:19 AM

I don't think that you should get a dog because it will be good for you - you should only have a dog if you want a dog. If you don't particularly want to have a dog in your life, but are only considering the benefits the dog could bring you, rather than the love you could give a dog, then it is an absolute non-starter of an idea. Dogs are intelligent, loyal, loving but they need mental stimulation as well as physical. They would lay their life on the line for their owners - could you say the same? You are, of course, right to think of the cost and commitment that having a dog would bring. However, if you don't like poo or training, how do you feel about children?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 09:03 AM

Yeh you're Blowzabella - bad idea!

don't like kids either!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: John Hardly
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 09:05 AM

"...however its a big committment - vets bills, shit everywhere, training, etc."

It is. And if those are your first concern, and they sound like dredgery, do the dogs of the world a favor and leave them alone.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: freda underhill
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 09:10 AM

get a staffordshire terrior - you'll be loved to life!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Grimmy
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 09:27 AM

Cat every time.

Look, you're in a one-man submarine, trapped on the seabed - and the air's running out, right? You gotta blow those ballast tanks like NOW. But you've been on the schnapps all day and you're well goosed. You turn to your trusty hound, but he's licking his wotsits. Who steps up to save the day? Cat!

QED


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 09:30 AM

Think about the idea that the same people who tell you that getting a dog will help you to live longer most likely will also cite the same sort of statistics and recommendations about how being married will help you live longer.

Should you rush out to get married just because "someone" said it will make you healthier?

Should you rush out to get a dog just because "someone" said it will make you healthier?

Either of the above is something to consider, perhaps, if you lack the companionship, routine, and responsibility of caring for and about someone or some thing; but in either case the "cure" can be worse than the "ailment" if you're not "ready" for the treatment or if you force yourself into something that doesn't really suit you.

If you're NOT feeling comfortable about the idea of committing to the care and training of a pet (or spouse), then perhaps "adopting" a congenial bridge partner would be a better idea, or a weekly music session with a few friends, or a student or two. Visit the local zoo and see if you like animals. Visit the nearest care home and see if you like "really old people" and want to be one of them. Get a season ticket to the local drama society and go regularly to their plays and talk to people. Find a "greasy spoon" within walking distance and have a cup 'a once or twice a week and see if there are regulars you might share thoughts with.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 09:34 AM

I agree with Sian. You don't have to have a puppy, there are loads of rescue dogs of all ages, shapes and sizes, temperaments and capabilities just waiting for a home. Often they're already house-trained, and will sit and get in a basket on command. Some dogs in shelters just got lost, others do have problems. Some are outright psychopaths - don't start with one of those.
Watch a few wolf programs to get the hang of dog behaviour.

Most shelters will be only too glad of an extra volunteer dog walker while you try out if a dog is your thing / decide what size and shape suits you. You'd also get first choice of the new arrivals.

It only takes a couple of weeks to bond a dog to you - some dogs it's a couple of minutes.
The Bearded collie we've just lost to kidney disease was the best anti-depressant I've ever had.

Be prepared to upgrade your vacuum cleaner if you decide you like shaggy dogs - and edit your visitor list to exclude those who customarily go about in expensive posh clothes.

Our two think the best thing in the world is jumping on us early in the morning and turning upside down, then snoring loudly for an hour.
Before licking us enthusiastically.
Apart from running like......for miles along the beach of course.

Good luck
Paws


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Grimmy
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 09:35 AM

...OK then.

You're in the Space Shuttle returning to earth but you've got to fire those retros NOW or you're on a collision course with the sun, yeah?. Unfortunately you've been mainlining on the Big H since you passed Jupiter and you're well out of it. You turn to your faithful mutt, but HE'S GOT HIS HEAD STUCK OUT OF THE WINDOW! Who presses that button in the nick of time? Cat!

No contest.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Bee
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 10:02 AM

My First (and so far only) Dog:

We didn't have pets when I was a kid, when I moved away I had cats, and I love cats, have one now. I was a bit afraid of dogs, but after marrying, my husband wanted a dog. So we found an appropriate mutt-puppy, and I started to learn about Dogs. They are astoundingly smart. Look into your dog's eyes, and there's a person looking back at you. The same is true of wolves, by the way, and it can be quite startling when a wolf in a wildlife centre catches your eye.

A dog will learn just about any behaviour you care to teach it, and it doesn't take long. The wee-in-the-house stage passes quickly (although I suspect bigger dogs manage this faster, mostly due to bladder capacity). Dogs are tricky: they will try to fool you about things. When ours was a pup, she couldn't climb up on the couch, so when she'd look pitifully at us for help, we'd boost her up. She kept up the 'helpless puppy' act for weeks after we knew she could get up there herself.

A dog will make you go for a walk at least twice a day, and this will soon become routine and fun for both of you. Dogs are usually good travellers: Dogs Love Trucks. Our dog went everywhere with us, and though she was a 70 pound big hairy critter, we never had a problem finding accomodation, and she was enthusiastically welcomed by most people.

She was a wonderful companion. We miss her very much.

The difficult things are taking the time to care for a dog - you have to want that companionship enough to do the right things by your pup. And the worst thing about dogs is that their lives are short compared to ours.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 10:10 AM

"They would lay their life on the line for their owners - could you say the same?"

Nope - my owners will have to watch out for themselves!

Seriously though, WLD - take up the harmonica. It'll do wonders for you. (Probably). (Well, I think so). (Couldn't hurt, anyway).


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Scoville
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 10:46 AM

Mine wouldn't lay her life on the line for anything but food, but she has other redeeming qualities. She's the best comedian since Buster Keaton and life would be considerably duller without her.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 10:56 AM

If you've never had a dog before, the advice about working at a pet shelter or BSPCA is excellent. One of the better dogs I ever had was one I got after 'finding each other' at a pet shelter. There are times ya just know it's gonna work.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 11:54 AM

If you spend time with other people's well-adjusted dogs before making the decision to adopt one or two yourself, that might help. Once you start shopping someone will tug at your heartstrings pretty quickly, and you might choose one that later on you'll realize wasn't the best match. I have one who is high-energy who we love, but given more information when I was choosing her as a companion for my first, already-energetic dog, I'd have chosen one a little calmer, and it would have resulted in a quieter duo. The first dog calmed down once she had a companion, but now the companion is the hyper problem. :) I walk them daily and regularly make the hyper dog wear a backpack when we walk, to keep her on task.

I read an anonymous quote recently that I find is good personal philosophy: I'm trying to be the kind of person that my dog thinks I am.

(Here are more good dog quotes)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: kendall
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 12:13 PM

Get a dog only if you want a dog. Good advice,
I have had three Labrador retrievers and I'm sold on this breed. They are bright, funny and easily trained. A close relation is the Golden retriever. Two peas in a pod.

There is one thing that few people realize when it comes to getting a dog, and that is, some breeds are just not appropriate. Dalmatians. Blockheads. Hard to train. Bassets, smelly and stupid.Jack Russell terriers constant movement.

Malamutes and Huskies MUST be able to run. Keep them confined and they turn psychotic very quickly. My daughter Becca72 had one when she lived with me and this loveable, funny dog was a constant worry. I built a 9 foot fence and she would climb it and run away at every chance.
She was seen chasing race horses at the local track, and she was caught chasing deer both of these are "shoot on sight" offences. I hate to think what we would have been in for had she downed one of those $30,000 horses!

Caveat emptor.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Michael from Manitoba
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 12:28 PM

As the owner of twenty-three sled dogs (23, no typo!) I figure I may know something about how dogs affect one's life. I wouldn't trade them for anything. I am 70 and am fitter and more upbeat than friends twenty years younger, and I have a bunch of loveable friends who can dispell any blue spells.
Bobad, Blwzabella and others have put their finger on the biggest single factor when considering having a dog: you get a dog because you love dogs and want to give them (or one of them) a good life. There are many benefits to the owner but the benefits to the dogs are equally important. I imagien the same applies to cats or any other pet.
On the : pick up every days and you'll have no problem, no smell, no flies, nothing under your shoe.
Hope this helps


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Blowzabella
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 12:40 PM

Some people on here have mentioned rescue dogs - I have had rescue dogs all my adult life - they can be easy, they can be difficult. These are not 'free' dogs - they are dogs who may have problems associated with what has happened to them in their lives. You may be lucky - they may not have any issues (as I have been with my current boy). Please only adopt a rescue dog if you are prepared to deal, AS FAR AS IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE, with any issues which arise, and that you understand that from the outset. The worst thing is rehoming a dog, allowing it to bond with you and settle in to his/her new home, then deciding he is muddy / hairy / doesn't match the carpet / noisy / not sociable / doesn't like cats and sending him back. Sorry but i feel very very strongly about this. Obviously, some dogs have issues too difficult for a normal family to cope with - but that is why it is important to understand what bringing a dog into your life means - they are not mechanical- they are flesh, blood and, more importantly, soul. They connect with their people - even with people who might prove to be inhuman towards them. I have seen dogs who have been savagely mistreated, yet still greet a human with a waggy tail and a lick.

I know it was an innocent question, wld, but please don't get a dog unless you want one - join a gym, if you aren't a doggy person.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 12:41 PM

Our dog wakes the kids in a happier mood than I seemingly can.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Bee
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 12:52 PM

Thanks for saying that, Blowzabella, as it's a very important consideration. Nothing makes me more judgemental than someone who gets a pet without thinking and then sends it back for more upset, confusion, and likely an early death.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Blowzabella
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 12:54 PM

If it was a genuine question, wld, please see responses above. If, on th eother hand, it was some spoof, piss-take thread based on this One Compelling Reason for a God then please don't waste mine, or any other dog lovers' time.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Blowzabella
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 01:10 PM

Speaking of cruelty

I really hope your enquiry was genuine wld - I can say that sharing a home with a dog is the most rewarding experience I have ever had. This is a member of a different species who constantly strives to understand your language and lives his / her life wanting to fit in with your own pattern, to live harmoniously with yu. If there are problems, they are communication problems - understandable enough, between species, don't you think. Yet people do the most horrendous, callous things to dogs and the dogs repay us with more trust and love.

I do hope you were making a genuine enquiry and not pissing about.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 02:52 PM

no you just wonder and its good to hear a collection of opinions on an issue. I think you're probably right. I'm too self centred to make a good dog owner. and anyway, I can scarcely walk down the street myself - let alone worry about another creature's ambulatory requirements.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 02:55 PM

Hmmm. Maybe you are a dog, weelittledrummer. Your description of yourself and your proclivities sounds just like my dachshund.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Scoville
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 03:30 PM

Yeah, you definitely want to know what you're getting into.

Weimaraners are a fashion around here right now and you wouldn't believe how many people I see with big, crazy, gray dogs on leashes because they get them without considering that they're field dogs and need to run. They are not couch potatoes; they were not meant to be ornaments in suburban homes.

I'd say "get a cat" except that if a cat decides it likes you, it's almost as demanding as a dog. Pet rock, maybe?


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: kendall
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 03:37 PM

What about a Blood hound? all they seem to need is room to lie down.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 03:40 PM

Basset hounds are great for that too. They seem content to sleep about 98% of the time, as long as they get fed regularly.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 03:49 PM

no it was just a bad idea. It was more people with heart conditions who had had a dog and found it improved things I wanted to hear from.

You lot make it seem more like adopting some awful dependent relative. I guess its just one of those urban myths like a glass of red wine is good for you.

my hearts been racing like a bugger all day since having a glass last night.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: terrier
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 03:52 PM

Our terrier club recently celebrated its 20th annivarsary by having a ramble in North Wales. Around 50 people and 30 dogs. It just wouldn't happen with cats.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Peace
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 03:53 PM

Well, it could, but half the cats would never come back.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 03:55 PM

If you want to arrange a really large gathering of cats, you must secure a female cat who is in heat...the cats WILL gather.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: terrier
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 04:03 PM

If you want to disperse a gathering of cats.....get a terrier. 8*)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Scoville
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 04:52 PM

Bloodhounds are huge, drool a lot, and are smelly. Their ears require a lot of care and they can be noisy. Not a dog for the casual owner.

I've heard retired racing greyhounds are surprisingly sedentary. The ones I've known have been hypersensitive but not hyper. They don't slobber and they apparently are much less prone to bloat than most large breeds. (Not for WLD, who seems to have decided against a dog, but in case anyone else cares.)

Really, I think that if you don't really want the dog, the stress of owning it would outweight any potential benefits. I actually enjoy my dog.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: GUEST,maire-aine
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 05:02 PM

I love my cats beyond words, and I wouldn't trade them for anything, but I never imagined that they would be a life-time commitment. Beyond vet bills (if you're getting a puppy or kitten, look into insurance), consider your travel wishes/plans. If you want to get up and go to a week-end gathering, can you take the dog? will the dog travel well in the car? do you need to find somebody to take care of the dog if you leave it home? could you leave the dog home (or board it somewhere) if you had to be gone for 2 or 3 weeks?

Good luck,
Maryanne


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: GUEST,Pelrad
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 11:13 PM

When I got my puppy two years ago, part of the reasoning was that she would be a good excuse to get out and exercise more. My health wasn't great at the time.

Before getting a dog, make sure you can handle the level of care it will need. A puppy can be a lot of stress on an already weakened household. My health completely fell apart for her first ten months, and the pup did not get the exercise she needed. She is a Golden Retriever and Australian Shepherd mix and needs a solid 2-5 miles of running at top speed every day to be happy. During her formative year, I spent 17 hours of every day in bed. I still juggled two young children and a 30 hour-a-week job, so guess who was low on the priority list?

Getting a dog won't improve your health unless you're committed to changing your activity level. If you do get one, they are great companions and can really lift your spirits when you're feeling crappy. I would suggest getting a breed that isn't too tiny (short legs don't fancy long brisk walks) and doesn't run faster than the speed of light (you want a dog you can walk at a good clip with and not feel like you're holding it back or dragging it along).

Because mine requires so much exercise and is a lot faster than I am, I often run her while I'm on my bike, or I stand around a field while she runs after balls. When we go for walks, she dashes up and down the path while I saunter. Either way, I don't have to break a sweat. I love to watch her, though; she climbs playground equipment and 30 foot-high rocks, and is gorgeous when she's running full-out. But I don't have a prayer of matching her energy level!

She is now two years old. I don't exercise much more than I did before I got her. I AM braver about where I go, because she's got a great big bark and is good protection. But my health is not significantly improved and my dog misses out on her run several times a week when I'm having an off day.

I wouldn't trade my dog for the world. But I feel guilty at least once a week for getting her when I couldn't meet all her needs.


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 11:20 PM

Yeah, but all of this pales into insignificance when you compare it to sharing a house with a cigar-smoking chimpanzee who thinks he is the reincarnation of Philip Marlowe...


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 07:56 PM

I had a lot of people try to give me bad advice when I rescued the first of my two dogs. She is a pit bull, and if you let people talk you into being afraid of your own dog, you're in trouble. Ours is a stable household and the pit and the catahoula know I am in charge. Because she is considered a "dangerous breed" I am careful where I take her, and who I let pet her. She is the smartest dog I've ever owned, is very well behaved, and walks beautifully on a leash. After Hurricane Katrina I went down to the local Humane Society to adopt a companion for her. It was 100 degrees out, so after taking her down to meet one of those I selected, I didn't put her in the truck but kept her in the waiting room before signing the papers. The staff were talking with each person there to adopt a dog, because obviously so many had never had dogs and were doing it out of compassion from the animals seen on the news. Did they know how to care for a dog, did they have a fenced yard, a good place to walk them, a vet, did they know many things necessary for the adoption to work? Cinnamon lay quietly on the floor at my feet while I sat in the line, and people entering the building either walked way out of their way around us to avoid this dog, or they walked over and asked to pet her. She greeted each with a quiet wag and a lick on the hand. Several wanted to adopt her. By the time it was my turn to talk to the adoption folks, we just filled out papers. No lecture was required, my dog was perfect and was my best recommendation right there. I was so proud of her!

A few weeks ago at the feed store a man walked up behind us to pet her, and reached his fist out for her to sniff, not "risking" his fingers. It was really difficult to be polite to this jerk, who should have asked first, and if he wanted to pet a pit bull, be sure he's comfortable petting one. I could see that my dog was insulted by his behavior, and politely sniffed his hand but didn't wag much at him. I would say that 3 out of 4 times when people ask to pet the dogs, I tell them no. If they'll stand and talk for a minute, and wait until the dogs lie down on their own, then they can pet them. People will tell you "it's okay" if you tell them your dog will jump on them. But it isn't, if you're training your dogs to behave better.

It is most often people who are the problems when dog behavior is an issue. That said, I am daily thankful that I have these two characters to share my home.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: Rapparee
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 09:25 PM

I can't resist:

One compelling reason for a dog: Think I need some of those Mudcat hugs!


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: GUEST,Scoville at Dad's
Date: 15 Apr 07 - 04:03 PM

I like pit bulls. I've given shots to plenty of pit bulls with almost no trouble (less trouble, in fact, than with many other breeds). Of course, people who care enough to get their dogs regular veterinary care are also generally not people who are in it solely for image, so their dogs tend to be better-raised and better-behaved, which applies to all breeds. Most of those "problem" breeds are great dogs if you know what you're doing and aren't in it to show off.

I'm also appalled at how unrealistic some people are in their expectations of dogs. We used to get people in all the time asking about what kind of dog they should get if they wanted one that "wouldn't bite". Well, there's no such thing as a dog that doesn't bite. Some of them have to be pushed to extremes before they will snap, but every dog has a limit. If you let your kids climb on the dog, play with its food, pull its ears, poke it while it's sleeping, etc., somebody is going to get nipped. Dogs sometimes discipline errant puppies by putting their mouths over the pups' muzzles, which is one reason so many children get bitten in the face (that, and kids' faces are often mouth-level with dogs). If the kid has not been taught or is too young to understand dog respect, the two should be kept apart unless closely supervised. My own dog has never growled at anyone and loves human attention, and I would still never, ever, leave her alone with a child.

Our previous dog was cute but did not tolerate strangers, and I was horrified at the number of mothers who would see us out for a walk and encourage their little kids to run up and pet him. I know that people don't want kids to be afraid of dogs, but a lot of children outgrow that once they are old enough to understand intellectually what dogs' body language means and how they should react. I was absolutely terrified of dogs as a child but did just fine with them once I felt like I could understand them. (Meanwhile, my parents were thrilled that I was too afraid of them to get close enough to be bitten since there were at least four unsafe large dogs living on our block when I was small.)


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Subject: RE: BS: One compelling reason for a dog
From: hilda fish
Date: 15 Apr 07 - 04:07 PM

Funny how we NEED, as humans, to offer opinions. Here's mine for what it's worth. Dogs is good and cats is good - I'm an animal person. Friends and kids are good too. All of them get you outside your own self-centre-ness and into that generous part of yourself that is kind, giving, and trusted. That's the 'good for your health' part of things. Getting outside of yourself naturally decreases stress, you become active without being conscious of it, you become engaged in the world around you, you have a place, a role, and are cared for. You know the sort of thing. I agree that you shouldn't get that dog unless it just happens to be the 'right' thing 'cos the dog came into your life whatever is going on with your life. Lot's of local dogs need walks, why don't you offer to do it; your local hospital, social worker, whatever probably knows of a visiting dog programme where dog is taken to old people's homes, schools, etc. so people can engage through hugs, kisses, pats, scratches etc. Why don't you get involved with that? All the good things and none of the headache. However it does seem to me that getting outside that door of yours and engaging in the world, getting outside of yourself and giving yourself in some way is what it might be all about? What about being a reading assistant for an hour a week for little kids at your local school? Or doing the meals on wheels thing. Or committing to visit a friend for lunch and cooking a special healthy meal to bring? Something where you not only 'give' but are relied on. A generous and loving act to the world on a regular basis does indeed make you feel good and I bet it will do wonders for your health.


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