Saturday, September 24, 2011

Birthday Series #4 - Do I want a dog for Christmas?

Up and down and down and up on this question. Up up up when I look at available greyhounds on rescue sites and read the adorable posts from foster parents – these dogs are so sweet and smart and seem to settle in really well in loving homes, especially homes with no kids and no cats like ours. BUT one dog is so much easier, and Billie has adjusted so much better to being an only dog than we thought she would. Nobody to compete with, nobody to worry about (I could tell she was worrying about Marley, having to wake him up for meals, had to handle the threat of outside invaders herself after he went deaf). One dog is so much cheaper too – yes there is that – we are in a budget mode, better late than never, and I hope we can maintain. So does that make it wrong to be thinking about getting another dog? Other viewpoint is – rescuing a dog with no family is a virtuous thing, right? The money would go to a good cause. Hmmmm…

One of the worst psychic wounds is not as people might think, replacing Marley – because there’s no replacing Marley, no question of that – but my continued guilt over the Terror Rein of Bucho (our cousin's Chow-mix puppy). I loved Bucho and (don’t tell Craig), I still miss him, but while we had him Billie was so miserable. I’ll always question my motives for taking him in (he was a kind of foster), for keeping him the several months we did, and also my motives for giving him up.

Do I have too much guilt to be a dog parent?

Greyhounds are so adorable though. I have thought that since I saw one on camera on an Animal Planet show years ago, a lady was taking her other dog to do a nursing home visit and she said goodbye to the greyhound, “Will you miss us?, did you want to go too?” and the greyhound just stayed flopped on its comfy cushion, hardly batted a doggy eyelid.

People who don’t check out the rescue sites don’t realize what couch potatoes greyhounds are. They love to stretch and “roach” – on their back with those long legs folded in as best they will fold (like a dead cockroach – get it? – sorry to have to include that nasty association, but some people don’t get it). I was going to steal a photo example for this blog but they are all so adorable I had to get off the websites – and all so cute I couldn’t choose.

Instead I’m using a couple of photos I took when I dragged poor Billie to a greyhound rescue meet & greet last December. Billie was very nervous – we don’t take her out to public places a lot (I should feel guilty about that too, I think). She looked cute next to the greyhounds, but actually she looked less like a greyhound than I thought she would, next to the real thing – she is a mix of more dog breeds than I realized, greyhound is not necessarily dominant – other than her stride, her love of roaching, and her sweet sleepiness.

She needs to be our priority in this decision. Isn’t she lonely though? Wouldn’t she prefer a bigger pack – especially someone to hang out with her while we are at work all day?

She can’t speak English though. I think I know her well but this is hard to judge. And then there’s element of parenting, do what is best for them, even if they don’t want it. Wow – how would I know if this is such an example.

Maybe I’ll go back to the budget constraint. That is more clear-cut. But you know me and spending money…I obsess so hard about things I want that sometimes I violate budget principles to get them. Although that needs to end, as of 5 years ago (oops!)

Up and down, down and up…

Putting off the decision till Christmas is good – I’m trying to focus on that timing – because most years Craig and I are both around the house for a week or so before New Year’s. We’ll be broke though – with January bills coming up – and Billie will like having our full attention. So I don’t know…but a new home would be a great gift for a rescue greyhound (selfless of me!).



From December 2010: That's a sweet baby named Sweet Pea in the bandana - Billie didn't bond with her, obviously.





Billie remained on the fringes of things.




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