selfish or not?

KeebabyJune 9, 2013

I was married for 27 yrs and have been divorced for 3, still living at home with me is my son who will be a senior in high school. We have always had dogs and cats, currently have our two cats but our last dog passed away from old age. I have been on a list with a breeder for a Keeshond puppy and have been notified a litter is due on 6/22 and I am in line for one.

I only work part time but will be working full time at some point and in a couple yrs my son will be leaving to attend college out of state so that means the dog will be alone for most of the day until I come home at the end of the day.

My question is, should I get the puppy or it is unfair and selfish of me? Keeshonds are great in adapting to their owners, if owners are active they are - if owners are 'lazy' they are happy to kick back with them.We have had a Keeshond in the past and he was wonderful, passing from old age. I am thinking a dog would be there as a companion but also as security to alert me if anyone should come around but also there to greet me at the end of my day. My son has also wanting a dog once again and would be here for the first few years of 'puppy behavior' to help and play with it. In the past our one cat never liked dogs (doubt that would change) but our other cat never minds them and often plays, interacts and lays with them - which I feel would give the puppy company when we are out.

I would welcome input please.

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Does it have to be a puppy? Any puppy requires loads of interaction and training. How about an older dog who thru no fault of his own needs a kind loving home-ownerz relocating deceased or whatever.

This post was edited by kashka_kat on Mon, Jun 10, 13 at 10:29

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 4:08PM
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Because of our cats we felt a puppy would be best for all involved to help with the adjustments. Also, there are very few, if any, Keeshonds available through rescues in our area.

We do not care for the little ankle bitter size dogs (sorry if offensive) and because of living in a duplex/apartment a larger breed dog is not an option.

The Keeshond breed is a nice medium and their traits make them good apartment choices.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 9:56PM
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All good questions, and I think you are hard on yourself to think you may be selfish.

But I really worry for the cats. Puppies are not exactly better for cats, and what if they don't all live in peace? Usually the dog wins and the cats "leave" the family to live under the bed or in the basement.

No one I know has ever chosen their cat over their dog.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 3:10AM
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Kashka & elly have brought up great points. I would seriously look into rescue of an older one that does get along with cats. If you go though Keeshond rescue they will locate the right dog for you and find a way to get it to you, I dont know of anyone either that has chosen a cat over their dog.
I dont know where your located but I found this site

This post was edited by christine1950 on Mon, Jun 10, 13 at 8:04

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 8:02AM
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Thank you for the rescue link; I did go to it and at this time there is nothing available, I think that is because Kees are such a good pet that generally people do not have problems with them. As for our cats, as I said - our one cat does fine with dogs and we do not anticipate his having a problem; our other cat is a different story - but she is anti-social and always has been. She 'tolerates' our other cat and 'tolerates' us. I know that sounds strange but this is the strangest cat, she does not purr but rather growls, even when being petted. The vets office is afraid of her, she does not like to be held and you can only pet her when/if she wants to be petted and only for as long as she allows (generally not long). She prefers to be alone and we usually do not see her now unless she wants some attention. She prefers to sleep at night with my son and that is usually the only time we can count on knowing for sure where she is. However, even with all her quirks, she is still our cat, we love her and accept her for who she is==social or non-social.
My concern is if it is fair for us to get a puppy, or even a dog, if I know that it will be alone for most of the days? I feel that having a dog for security reasons once I am alone would be good and it would be there for companion and even exercise purposes with needing to go for regular walks, run, and play. We have the stimulating toys, Konk; ropes, tennis balls, freesbies, etc but is it fair for the puppy/dog?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 10:04AM
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Just a little more information on our cats: The happy, playful social boy is approx 6 yrs old and the anti-social, semi-playful, independent female is approx. 12 yrs old (she has always been this way so it is not age related). Both cats are indoor only cats, both have their claws and both are spayed/neutered.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 10:10AM
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By "all day" do you mean about 8 hrs - while at work. Or are you gone into the evening as well? Are you able to take several weeks off to spend time with the puppy to introduce him to your home? Are you able to take time off to come home periodically during the day? Puppies like most young mammals require a great deal of socialization and training and yes I think it is unfair to the animal IF he/she is not given the best possible start in life. (Kittens too need this socialization btw but maybe not as intensely or for so long as a dog which is a pack animal by nature). The pet psychologist/author Patricia McConnell used to say, unless you are prepared to have the equivalent of a 2 year old child in your house you should not get a puppy, you should get an adult dog or cat. I'm sorry, I have the sense that this may be not what you wanted to hear but I thought I should speak my mind. Good luck with whatever you decide!

PS If we're talking adult dogs though the answer changes - yes, its not only fair but a good thing for both you and the animal. A good rescue or shelter should be able to tell you which which dogs may rip up your house due to separation anxiety or require a good deal of work and retraining - and which are mellow and would sleep all day till you got home. Not all are turned in because of behavior problems. Sometimes stuff happens and they just end up there thru no fault of their own.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 10:47AM
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Many pet owners work full time away from home .. I do! I have 2 dogs, and a bunch of cats ... the dogs and cats keep each other company while I am at work. I don't feel I am being selfish.

I live in a rural area and do not have someone come in daily. Crate training the puppy would probably be the best option. ANd hopefully the puppy and one cat will socialize. 2 of my cats are good friends with my dogs ...

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 12:51PM
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Currently I only work 4-9pm Mon-Thur so that leaves a 3 day weekend and while my son works after school the days/times vary. He is able to stop by the house to at least let a puppy/dog out mid-way through the day if my job situation changes.

I had planned to take the puppy to puppy classes and walking regularly, taking to the park - our town is small so there is no dog socialization park.

The necessary work required for a puppy will be a lot, which is a concern - I have done it in the past but always as a stay at home mother. Our first Keeshond was 6 months old when we got him and he was a rescue but they are so hard to find, even getting a puppy has taken so long while waiting to move up on the waiting list of the breeders.

Thank you all for your advise, I appreciate them all.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 1:30PM
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It would be great if you could get a dog that actually LIKES cats and would consider them a companion. Then everyone would be happy while you are away. With an older dog or rescue, they might know that. I have no idea how Keeshonds feel about cats.

For those who say that they don't know anyone who has chosen their cats over a dog--I have wanted to get a dog for 10 years, and did not do so primarily because I knew that my cat would be very upset about it, especially as he got older.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 10:19PM
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I contacted the breeders I had when looking for a puppy to see if any of them perhaps had an older dog that maybe wasn't producing the quality they were looking for or going to retire, unfortunately there were none available.

I will continue to try rescue groups from the site given to me. There were none for Indiana and when i called one out of state she would not even talk with me because I was out of state and she did not want the dog going out of state. :(

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 11:20PM
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elly_nj: No one I know has ever chosen their cat over their dog.

I know two families in the last 3 years that got rid of a cat they'd had for years because the cat didn't like the new dog (one cat was even peeing in the house). Disgusting!

Keebaby -- sound like you know what you are going but... have you considered how a dog will "tie you down" for the next 10-15 years when you will soon be an empty nester? Just something to thing about...

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 8:33AM
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It will be a long day for a dog home alone when you work full-time. Would you consider paying a dog walker? Do you feel you would be committed to giving the dog plenty of time before or after work and on weekends?

You are hooked on one breed because you had a dog of that breed you liiked, but there are so many rescue dogs available. If you got a young dog, you might avoid the work of a puppy, which you don't seem to be looking forward to. I do think you would enjoy a dog once your son goes to school. (No offense, kitties!)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 12:15PM
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We did try a rescue dog but returned him - he would get excited and piddle (not tiny piddle but big dog piddle). You could not move w/o him getting excited and definitely not leave the room and come back into it. We would always have to run him outside to help control his excitement piddles.

As far as being tied down with 15 yr commitment, I a fine with that - I am 51 yrs old so running around is not on my agenda. Plus I need to get out more and walk/exercise and having to take a puppy/dog will make me when I do not really wish to go.

As far as only wanting a Keeshond, I guess some of it could be because we have had one before - but we also had border collie and a mutt which was dumped off at a local dumpster. The rescue we had was a golden retriever and all three of these types of dogs required more activity where as a Keeshond will be active it the owner wants to be but will also be content with walks should the owner choose that route. They also are not real bad about barking, great with children and other pets plus extremely smart and train/learn easily.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 9:28PM
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I don't think it's selfish of you to own a full grown dog while you work full time. If you're only working 8 hours a day without a long commute, and if you're going to spend a lot of time exercising and interacting with the dog when you get home.

The dog will probably be a lot of company for you if your son goes off to college. Sounds like you will be working part time while the dog is a puppy, so will have plenty of time to train the puppy.

If you're going to be gone 11 hours a day without some kind of dog walker or pet sitter, then yes, it's probably selfish.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 7:07PM
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I urge people to consider getting a adult mixed breed dog from the nearby Humane Society. I see folks all the time who are not equipped to train a puppy.

some Reasons to buy a adult dog:
1) you can see how big it will be
2) you can see his adult personality
3) you can see if the coat is suitable for your climate

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 3:13PM
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I don't think it's selfish at all. Most pet owners work full-time. If you can find a job close to home that would be ideal. You could stop home mid-day for a bathroom break yourself. You're familiar with the Keeshond and it sounds like you feel this breed would by ideal for your situation so that's what I'd keep looking for.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 10:54PM
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Of course it is selfish -- that's why people have children too! LOL

Yes, yes, but in your circumstances, I would not be getting a dog -- any dog. Your DS is no longer a 'boy', and he will be having more and more outside interests next year, not just when he goes off to college. If he wants to be with dogs now, could he volunteer at a shelter or help with feeding and exercising the lonely dog in someone else's house?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 1:19PM
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IMO, either a puppy or dog, and cats, will adjust to each other just fine, given time, and introduced properly.

But, have you ever had a puppy? They are LOTS of work. I am your age and got a puppy a couple of years ago. I was not prepared for how high maintenance a puppy is. Plus, they can't be left alone for long periods when they're little. If you had to return a dog already for peeing in the house, IMO, getting a puppy is not a good idea for you.

I also work and I adopted two dogs - a puppy and a dog a couple years older. I was SOOOO glad I got two. They are inseparable and keep each other company when I am away.

I, too, suggest the humane society. Hopefully, they will help you find what is a good fit for you. It's worth exploring. The mixed breeds are so much more mellow, or you may discover a breed that you haven't met yet or been aware of.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 2:09PM
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