Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Deciding to own a pet, in particular a dog is a serious matter, and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

A well considered, objective decision can lead to much pleasure and happiness. Conversely a hasty, unwise choice may result in frustration and unhappiness.

Remember, as Barbara wood house, a world famous dog trainer said There are no bad dogs, only inexperienced owners.

Unfortunately many people do not take into consideration all the factors involved when they decide to buy or adopt a pet.

Many times children have a great influence in these matters. Often with unhappy results and sometimes with tragic consequences.

I live in an area where many people have seasonal homes. More times than you can imagine parents buy their offspring puppies when they come here for the summer and abandon them when they leave in the fall.

Part of this problem is that we are a very rich society as some of these abandoned waifs are purebred dogs. I can attest to this because we have a six-year-old purebred Shi-Tzu that we adopted five years ago. And we have adopted neglected dogs before. We have also purchased AKC registered dogs so we aren’t against that practice. Whatever suits you and yur pocket book is fine.

When rescued she was emaciated and the skin was torn off her back. The SPCA nursed her back to health and when we got her she still only weighed seven pounds. In less than six months she doubled her weight. She’s a wonderful dog but still terrified of people, particularly men.

This is one example of the many incidences. This one has a happy ending. Many don’t they’re put to death, because of the overload Facilities and help.

But let’s get back to some of the basic sources of this dilemma. A lot of the problem is due to the fact that often people don’t take he time to consider all the factors involved before they procure a dog. Then you end up with either unhappy people or miserable pets. Not every one abandons or abuses them, but many live to regret their choices.

Here are some factors that warrant consideration:


You are taking on the responsibility of a helpless creature that is entirely dependent on you. It cannot feed or shelter itself. If injured it can’t take care of itself. Dogs need grooming bathing and above all attention and love; they can’t do for themselves.


Today it’s expensive to keep a pet. Many need expensive grooming. Dog food is not cheap. There are mandatory medical bills and license fees. Even adopting a dog is fairly expensive and usually you’re obligated to pay to neuter them.


This is very important and frequently the root of serious problems. Large dogs need large facilities for living and exercise. Yet people who, live in small apartments often buy monsters.

Older people buy big dogs then they are unable to walk well enough to exercise them.

Allergy Problems

Some owners have respiritory problems. Some types of dogs are a greater problem than others. Some dogs like Shi-Tzus and some others are practically allergenic. Before you buy check it out, there’s plenty of information on the Internet.


Dogs have basically three types of coats:

Short hair no undercaot

They shed but not too bad and are easy to maintain.

Examples: fox terriers, bull dogs, beagles, whippets.

Medium long with undercoat

They shed a lot and need a lot of brushing, but not expensive grooming.

Examples: Germann Shepherds, reteivers, Collies.


They don’t shed at all and have very little odor. Often do not present an allergy problem. Require a lot of brushing and expensive frequent grooming.

Examples: Poodles, Shi-Tzus, Lhasa-apsos.

If you or your spouse is fussy about your home, clothing and furniture this can be a big issue.


Create mny problems, Little children should not have dogs. The best natured animal if provoked by an innocent but rowdy kid can get bitten. A dog is still a dog. The older ones want the pet and promise to care for it. You know what happpens. Mom or Pop end up taking care of the dog.

The Time Factor

Today with most parents working it’s difficult to care for a dog. Then need care and affection. They’re part of the family. They need attention, they need brushing, bathing, feeding and exercising. If you don’t have the time to devote, don’t own one.


Dogs like people are individuals and have temperaments. Sometimes you can get a pet that you’re incompatible with. This is one reason I advocate adopting dogs that are a little more mature. This is important if you are considering a mixed puppy. They’re all cute when they’re babies, but you never know what they’ll look like when full grown.

Mixed breeds however are worth considering. Often they have better temperments than finely bred species. Also, some of the most gorgeous dogs I have ever seen were cross bred. As for intelligence, just look at the movie dogs; almost all of them are mutts.

Consider all these factors and others that are relevant, and if you’re as we are, you’ll find it worthwhile to have a loving friend for life. Go For It.