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Thinking of getting an older dog.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by dogcat, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. dogcat

    dogcat New commenter

    I am considering getting a dog that I went to see at the RSPCA yesterday. She is lovely, 7yr old female who has a bit of a weight issue, nothing major just needs some good walks!
    I live on my own in a house with a small garden, I like to keep fit and so would walk her twice a day. I am out of the house 7.30ish - 5ish, but work is a 5 min drive away so I could come home at lunch to let her out. If I organised myself I could also be home earlier than that most days.
    She would be in the conservatory/licing room during the day, and from what they have said about her she is used to being left for up to 6 hours.
    I have had dogs before, but I am very aware that it would be a massive tie as I live alone and that I would not be able to just nip home at the weekend if I felt like it!
    I just think she is a lovely dog, she is not good with children or other dogs which is not an issue for me, and because of this and her age she is being overlooked by people who go to look for a dog.
    People with dogs, how much if a tie do you find them, and how expensive are kennels etc for holidays?

  2. We love our dogs but they are a massive tie. We can't do anything spontaneous and when I was goving birth, Mr Roken had to go outside to phone around and find someone willing to walk and feed them. We've said that we won't have any more after these two. Xx
  3. dogcat

    dogcat New commenter

    Thanks for the feedback, I think that my sensible head knows it is not the best idea. I just really liked her and think I could give her a good home. She needs peace and quiet and I have that by the bucket load. She is also used to beig left for 6hrs, so if I nip home at lunch she should be fine.
  4. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Does that make it OK to leave her for such a long time every day?
  5. dogcat

    dogcat New commenter

    Hi Crowbob, she would be left for about 4hrs in the morning and in the afternoon, I would come home at lunch. That is in the week in term time, weekends I am home generally and holidays. But I see your point, which is why I am not sure. She cannot go to a family as she is not good with children, and she needs someone active to help her shift the weight she needs to lose.
  6. Honestly - you adapt. When I need to go out to work (not a lot now) hubby pops home at lunchtime and the dogs are fine - with holidays and things, we tend to go stay with relatives anyway and they're happy for the dogs to come with us - or kennels aren't generally as hideously expensive as they sound - ours board via the rescue one of them came from and they're pretty decently priced (think we paid £15 a day for the pair of them to share a kennel last time we had to go away for the weekend) - plus we know lots of the kennel staff and volunteers there and know they were well-looked after (by all accounts the one who doesn't get to go offlead much had a whale of a time doing laps of their enclosed paddock).
    Apart from that it's things like if you're out shopping on a weekend you can't decide on the spur of the moment to go to the cinema as well but have to pop back and settle the dogs etc - and the getting out of bed when they want a pee at 2am and it's freezing cold (one of ours is quite prone to a dodgy tum and when she's bad it's out every hour on the hour)... but I wouldn't be without my pair - they're as much family members as anyone fleshy.
    Worth just looking into the insurance costs - 8 years tends to be when they start to skyrocket and you get locked out of joining into some insurers as new business - just something to bear in mind - we did a lot of shopping around and getting hypothetical quotes for an ever-increasing aged dog when we took on our 7 year old last year.
  7. PlymouthMaid

    PlymouthMaid Occasional commenter

    Echoing above posts really. They are a massive tie but because I love my dog and what he brings to the household, he is worth it. The reality is that having him means I never holiday abroad (could not bear to put him in kennels), do have the occasional disturbed night and no real lie ins, no spontaneous long outings and I am even going to have to pop home at least twice during my daughter's wedding day soon. We also spend a fair bit on vets, flea and worm treatment and so on as you would expect. Wouldn't be without him 'tho. Do bear in mind that you may want or need to change your local job one day and then you won't be able to pop home.
  8. I am not a doggy person...mainly because I have always had cats. I am not really qualified to give advice but my daughter (also brought up with cats) and her partner did adopt a (big) dog a few years ago. The poor thing had been so ill-treated and used as a 'muscle dog' by her former drug-taking owners. The dog (a Rottweiler) had been taken from them...RSPCA order....and was found to have cigarette burns to her skin. The poor thing used to cower. She is now part of their family and they do have to live their lives with the dog as a consideration, but they seem to have adjusted. The dog is beautiful and extremely docile. They have been to Kennel Club sessions with her...and have used a 'dog whisperer' to train her to walk well on the lead. She is very friendly.
    Their dog has a large utility room with bed, toys and water in it and stays there when they are both out working but she isn't ever left alone for more than four hours because of their working patterns. The dog seems fine. They have had to get friends to house sit/dog sit when they take foreign holidays and are lucky they have two dog-loving single people in their local friendship group who are always happy to do a two-week stint away from home. The dog has been no trouble and again adjusted well....sulking slightly on their return as the temporary keeper had obviously spoiled her. [​IMG] They also tend to take more UK holidays now and stay at places that are dog-friendly.
    Their house used to be in pristine condition...(pale beige carpets everywhere!) and they now hire carpet-cleaning machines every now and then! The dog who likes to chew, also took up tiles in the utility room and has scratched a few door frames. Again..I don't think they are that bothered as they love their pooch.
    They also get exercise by taking her out for long walks twice a day. They buy expensive food for her, as recommended by a vet, as she does get tummy troubles now and then...or she used to. She seems fine now. For my part I am just so happy that their dog is now loved and well treated and will be part of their family for the rest of it's life.
    I do hope you can take on that dog. He/she deserves a nice home and a loving owner by the sounds of it.
  9. dogcat

    dogcat New commenter

    Thanks for the comments, I have a conservatory that would be her base in the day, obviously with blinds closed and windows open in summer. My worry is if for any reason I cannot nip back at dinner, then she would be alone form 8am-3.30pm. Also like someone said if I change job location in a few years I would not be able to nip home, however by then there may be someone in my life who could help out.
    I just keep thinking about how lovely she is, and I know a lot of people will overlook her because she is older, overweight and a grump!
  10. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Taking on a job, like having a child, brings additional responsibilities and (though not nearly so many or for so long as having a child, obviously!) cramps your style. You have to change a range of aspects of your behaviour and learn to live your life around the dog.
    You already know that. You may also know - but if you haven't had a dog as an adult will not - that having a dog is completely brilliant. Taking on a dog that needs a home because no-one else wants it (and I know, I have one at home) is a superb thing to do, and what they bring to your life more than makes up - in my opinion - for the cramping of one's style.
    Get her used early on to going into boarding kennels - it means you aren't tied to taking her with you and only holidaying in the UK; you can also use it if - for some reason - you face a hectic period at work (late evenings in a specific week, or a mix of a late evening and a social fixture you want to attend) and put her in for a night or two.
    I'll tell you what - that dog would rather be left in your house for up to six hours a day waiting for you to come home, than stay in the centre she's currently held at, where she's lucky to get a few minutes' attention a day.

  11. dogcat

    dogcat New commenter

    My concern is that at the minute there is no one to help out if I needed them to, except my ex's family possibly. It is a massive responsibility, and I think she would be happy here, there are no health issues except her weight. I know a retired couple may be more suited to her, but they might not give her the same amount of exercise, and from what I saw yesterday she has a lot of play still in her!
  12. Dogcat - go for it! It is good to trust your instinct and it seems to me that you have already made up your mind to give this dog a new loving home. You will get loads of love back and the unconditional love from dogs is a glorious thing! Life enriching.
    I have had dogs all my life (have two) and the older dogs often get looked over, but many make ideal pets. We have always had 3/4 year olds (from dogs' homes) and I got a puppy as a companion for my older dog after the dogs home said that they had a lovely dog (everyone wanted his mother) who would be ideal with an older dog. Mausi (older collie) took to him and they used to lie on the armchair together so he gained two mums!!
    They really bonded and are lying flat out on the sofa as I speak..
    Mine have the run of the house (could never keep them in one room all day) and I take them out 'for a good half hour in the morning and then for a good 1.5 hours in the evening (when I am working), but i am not at the moment so they have me here all day!
    I think it is good to have two so they do not get lonely and they are pack animals. Mine play together, sleep together and sometimes my older collie dog (12) puts her paw around puppy Hansi or her head on his hind quarters and off they doze..
    Perhas you could think about getting another one (I would never have one again), but I think you should get this dog as you sound like you have loads of love to give.
    Good Luck!
  13. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Are you sure that the dog would get on with your kitten?
  14. dogcat

    dogcat New commenter

    My kitten is lost, I have reported him and rang every local rescue place, vet and RSPCA. He went out before Christmas and did return. The RSPCA think he may have been taken in by someone, so I have asked neighbours too, it has been very upsetting to be honest.
    As much as I think I would give that dog a good home I don't think I will get her. Just spoken to my mum who told me it is cruel with my hours and she will fall out with me if I get her. So if my own mother has no faith in me then probably not a good idea.
  15. I live alone and my dogs are very happy.
    They are a team and get loads of love, affection, great walks and great food! They also get respect and that is important.
    It can be done. Not too sure about having just the one and it being alone all day as I think that dogs as, as sociable pack animals, are better off with another dog.
    But, you could employ a dog walker (shop about) and would come home at lunch, but then the dog would be alone..BUT I know many folk who have single dogs and work and when they are home their free time is given up and the dogs get glorious walks. And have great lives..
    There are some dogs who spend their lives under kitchen tables and get a 10 mins walk round tthe block tied to a pram. Or who are locked outside in shed and never get walks.
    Older dogs tend to sleep a lot during the day too.
    They are a responsibility and you will know in your heart of hearts. My dogs are my life and I am happiest when with them.
  16. dogcat

    dogcat New commenter

    The RSPCA told me she is not good with other dogs, so getting another one would probably cause her more stress than being alone. They said she tends to just veg out quite a bit, hence the weight issue so I thought having two walks a day would actually tire her out and she may just have a dog nap for part of the day!
  17. Well then this all sounds v. good and positive.
    This is not a whim and you have thought it through..
    You would not be alone anymore and nor would your dog.
    Dogs need love, respect, peace and quiet, patience, walks, time and attention, to be played with (if they like this - my 12 year old collie always brings me her teddy bears or starts playing with my weights when I am weight training) and someone who loves them.
    You sound like you wold be ideal! What are you waiting for?
    Yes, they are a BIg responsibility and they do change yer life, BUT how can you reward all that unconditional love and companionship?!?
    I would rather sell all I have than part with my dogs. They are family.
    I think your dog sounds as if she needs a good loving home and lots of walks. Do you know anything about her history? Have they told you anything else about her personality?
  18. dogcat

    dogcat New commenter

    I know that she was given up because her owner became homeless, she is not goo with children or other dogs, health is fine except weight is too high, she likes peace and quiet and is pretty lazy. She has been left for up to 6hrs in the past, that is about all I know, she pulls on her lead and likes to play fetch. She is house trained and knows simple commands e.g 'sit'.
    Would rather not have a falling out with my mum though!
  19. Your mum probably worried that the dog walking will rest on her!
    The thing is - you have to go out in all weathers! Come sunshine, rain or snow! But you know this.
    And pets can become ill - my older dog has advanced stage kidney disease so she needs a special diet and I know that our days together are numbered.. So I am so grateful for each day we have together and thank the Lord that she was brought into my life (she had been tremendously beaten and mistreaten before I had her).
    Sounds like your dog needs stability and love. And long walks an loads of attention! And you can give her this..
    If you can give her this the you will be rewarded a million times over! And more!!
  20. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Have you checked that they will let you rescue with the hours you work? Some rescues are very strict.

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