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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:30 pm 
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paperweight wrote:
I have a few really weird very beginner questions and also some very general questions.
General questions:
1. What dog thing was harder than you expected/totally unexpected for you?
2. What were you worried about that turned out not to be such a big deal?
3. What do you think most prospective/new owners underestimate in terms of work/time commitment/etc?
4. What do you think prospective dog people overlook in considering getting a dog?
5. What are the biggest unexpected costs other than unanticipated vet care?

Specific weird questions:
-How do you deal with dog care (esp walks) when you are super, super sick? (Assuming you can't transfer that duty to another family member.)
-How do you manage walks and stuff when it's super cold/icy/awful out? (We've been snowed in a bunch the last couple winters. Plus polar vortex.)
-How do you get a dog to the vet if you don't have a car?
-How do you move a sick or injured large dog if you are alone?

Gross questions:
-How do you clean up diarrhea? Like if it's outside?
-Is there a back friendly way to pick up after a dog that doesn't involve bending over? (Assuming elimination is put on cue.)


Please keep in mind that my dog has been sick since we got him, and just getting older...

1. My husband and I got a dog last year, after being married 23 years. We were used to only worrying about each other, and now you suddenly have a living creature around that needs your attention, needs food, needs to be walked. It felt like a big disruption to our routine, but we are used to it now, and wouldn't change it for the world. I also did not expect how deeply, fully in love I would be with my Bogey after that adjustment period.

2. Barking and peeing in the house. He's really quiet and unless he REALLY can't hold it anymore, won't pee in the house. I was afraid I would not know when he would need to go, but I learned how to read his movements and we have good communication in place.

3. Because of my dog being sick, he needs to go out many times a day. My mother's dog only walks twice a day. I absolutely underestimated that, but it was nobody's fault...

4. Not sure on that one. We admittedly did not do much research on what dog ownership would entail, but I guess we got lucky. :)

5. Wanting to buy everything for your pooch. I just saw that Casper (a mattress company) makes dog beds, and I am dying to buy him one. I would like to justify that by claiming it would be good for his arthritis.

Weird questions:

- He needs to walk, whether I'm sick or not. No choice.

- You walk a bit slower, carefully, and watch your puppy like a hawk. Probably buy him a coat. Mine has a coat that matches my husband's. He claims it was accidental. When we had a big snowfall last winter, me and Bogey had a blast wading through the snow that was higher than he was. But he's a very easy going, gentle and understanding boy.

- Ask someone for a ride? I don't know...we have a car.

- I don't know this one either. Our dog is less than 30 pounds.

Gross questions!

- I am used to diarrhea. Scrape, scrape, scrape if on the sidewalk. If I have a bottle of water with me, I try to wash it down if then the water can go down a drain or something. If it's on grass, I do my best, and a bit of water can help make it disappear. Usually if Bogey has diarrhea I try to steer him towards a sandy spot near my house, because that makes it so much easier to pick up.

- My husband can't really bend down, so he has a pooper scooper.


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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:10 pm 
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Guys, we are going to chat with Checkers' foster parents tonight and hopefully set up a meet and greet!

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:30 pm 
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Questions that I can answer!

paperweight wrote:
I have a few really weird very beginner questions and also some very general questions.
General questions:
1. What dog thing was harder than you expected/totally unexpected for you?

Dog-aggression. Angel was described to us as "dog selective" and at the shelter she was pretty chill about other dogs so long as they mostly ignored her. Turns out that at the shelter she was just so scared and depressed that she was shut down. Within the first week she was home, she had tried to kill another dog that picked a fight with her walking (it bit her first) and was lunging, growling, at dogs across the street. I wouldn't want any other dog, but it's definitely been an adventure learning to manage her antisocial tendencies and just being really proactive about keeping her out of situations above her anxiety threshold. These days she can even walk past other dogs on a wide trail and ignore them at Petco, so behavioral issues like that aren't totally the end of the world.
Quote:
2. What were you worried about that turned out not to be such a big deal?

Going to second the barking and house training. It turns out that Angel was already house trained in her previous life and never had any issues adjusting. The only time she had an accident she was high on anesthesia and tramadol and she was most offended about it. She only barks when she needs to go out and when she's playing tug.
Quote:
3. What do you think most prospective/new owners underestimate in terms of work/time commitment/etc?

Dogs are basically like having a gifted 2 year old. They need a lot of structure and play time. Also, separation anxiety. It really helps to have a set schedule that they know and can follow. This may be specific to my dog, but we adopted her as a senior expecting her to mostly sleep all day. Turns out she enjoys 3-6 mile walks more than anything, but I wake up super early anyway so I adjusted.
Quote:
4. What do you think prospective dog people overlook in considering getting a dog?

Don't know. I've wanted a dog since I was a kid so I researched everything I possibly could about dog ownership before getting one.
Quote:
5. What are the biggest unexpected costs other than unanticipated vet care?

Treats and food in general. Finding a food that works for your dog can be expensive. And when you have a reactive dog that's constantly training, you go through treats really fast. Helps to get a loyalty card to one of the big pet stores.
Quote:
Specific weird questions:
-How do you deal with dog care (esp walks) when you are super, super sick? (Assuming you can't transfer that duty to another family member.)

I take her for much shorter walks (20-30 minutes instead of 1-2 hours) when I'm sick or try and play with her indoors. She usually knows when I feel like crepe and is less demanding. Sometimes if I'm really really sick she won't get a walk at all but doesn't complain until the second day.
Quote:
-How do you manage walks and stuff when it's super cold/icy/awful out? (We've been snowed in a bunch the last couple winters. Plus polar vortex.)

Clothes for doggums. Angel starts shivering below 50 degrees and her wardrobe is nearly as extensive as mine. Sled dog type booties help. I've found that dog shoes with hard soles make her even more unsteady on ice.
Quote:
-How do you get a dog to the vet if you don't have a car?

Can't answer this as I have a car. However, some taxi companies allow dogs.
Quote:
-How do you move a sick or injured large dog if you are alone?

Angel is about 60 pounds and I lift her with one arm under her butt and one arm across her chest. This is pretty much the only way to lift her --- I wouldn't be comfortable lifting her with more than one person because that could put uneven pressure on her. I've had to lift her into cars and carry her up and down several flights of stairs when she was super sick and you just kind of.. do it? I'm not a particularly strong person---I don't think I could lift a 60 pound box---but having a sick furry friend gives you superhuman strength. Lift from your knees, your back will thank you.
Quote:
Gross questions:
-How do you clean up diarrhea? Like if it's outside?

Try to pick up as much as you can with a plastic bag and hope nobody notices what's left over on the grass...
Quote:
-Is there a back friendly way to pick up after a dog that doesn't involve bending over? (Assuming elimination is put on cue.)

You can get those really long scoops and a rake or something, I guess? I always kneel to pick up after A.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:42 pm 
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Thanks SO much everyone for your answers. They've been hugely helpful.

Good luck, paprikapapaya! I hope everything goes well with the meeting!


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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:18 pm 
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General questions:
1. What dog thing was harder than you expected/totally unexpected for you?
Fear aggression, reactivity to people and dogs in and out of the house, separation anxiety and the amount of training it takes to help these issues.

2. What were you worried about that turned out not to be such a big deal?
Well, after realized the depth of Bigby's issues I was so worried we'd never be able to have a friend over or take him anywhere, but over the course of the first year, that turned out not to be true!

3. What do you think most prospective/new owners underestimate in terms of work/time commitment/etc?
Definitely training time and time for the dog to adjust. pretty much every moment of every day we we were not at work for the first few months was dedicated to the dog. totally worth it!

4. What do you think prospective dog people overlook in considering getting a dog?
Probably the amount of time it takes for a dog to adjust, especially if he's a little older and has any sort of history.

5. What are the biggest unexpected costs other than unanticipated vet care?
Training costs, for sure. However, this could be practically nothing if your doesn't need it.

Specific weird questions:
-How do you deal with dog care (esp walks) when you are super, super sick? (Assuming you can't transfer that duty to another family member.)
You just have to walk the dog. if you are so sick that you can't even move, you'd have to hire a dog walker. If you have a back yard maybe you could get away with the dog running around in the yard, but in an apartment there's no choice but to go for walks.

-How do you manage walks and stuff when it's super cold/icy/awful out? (We've been snowed in a bunch the last couple winters. Plus polar vortex.)
In seattle the weather isn't that cold like on the east coast so we just have lots of cute jackets and go for much shorter walks and do lots of training and play time inside to give mental and physician stimulation.

-How do you get a dog to the vet if you don't have a car?
There are pet taxis, or the bus, or lyft. Might be easier with a small dog that could be put in a carrier.

-How do you move a sick or injured large dog if you are alone?
My 65 year old 5'4" mom picked up her 90 pound golden retriever into the car when he got bit by a snake. Magic, I guess?

Gross questions:
-How do you clean up diarrhea? Like if it's outside?
if it's on the side walk, try to have a water bottle with you. If not, cover it with some dirt and leaves. If it's in the grass, you'll just make it worse by spreading it around. Also, depending on your neighborhood, if lots of other people are not picking up their dog poop, i don't feel so bad if I can't pick up mine.

-Is there a back friendly way to pick up after a dog that doesn't involve bending over? (Assuming elimination is put on cue.)
Squatting down or a dog poo grabber. they really make those! Or if you're talking about your backyard, you can hire a service to come clean up all the poop.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:20 pm 
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DC, I'm so happy to hear you and Finn had a great weekend!! Is this weird? Would he still freak out if he went in the bathroom with you so you could talk to him while you showered?

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:46 am 
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Here are my answers:
General questions:
1. What dog thing was harder than you expected/totally unexpected for you?
I grew up with dogs but we never walked dogs and I grew up around my grandparents who also never walked dogs. I guess because I wasn't the primary caregiver, I never really realized how much dogs depend on you. Also, my dogs love walks more than anything and it has become an important part of their day even though we have a small yard.

2. What were you worried about that turned out not to be such a big deal?
Poop. I used to gag when I would pick up poop from my childhood dog, which was a rarity. Now I am so unphased by poop.

3. What do you think most prospective/new owners underestimate in terms of work/time commitment/etc?
I think the fact really comes down to my answer for #1, dogs depend on you. They will want to wake up early if you don't, they will want to go for walks, they will not want to be alone by themselves for multiple hours, etc. Before I worked from home full time, my husband and I rearranged our work schedules so that the dogs wouldn't be by themselves for more than 6ish hours or so. We also have a doggie daycare that we utilize to get them around other dogs and more exercise.

4. What do you think prospective dog people overlook in considering getting a dog?
That all dogs are the same. My experiences with my dogs is different than dogs I've grown up with. Also, both of my dogs cannot be let off leash at all but some people expect dogs to be off leash trainable and that just isn't true for all dogs. Plus there are safety issues as well that go with that.

5. What are the biggest unexpected costs other than unanticipated vet care?
Doggie daycare is one of them for us but the vet care has been way, way more expensive. Our beagle has had small problems that have added up (improper digestion and testing various dog foods, working with the vet, etc and also most recently small back problems) while my corgi mix has been pretty solid up until this couple years where she had 2 knee surgeries and most recently diagnosed with cushings disease, where she will be on medication until the rest of her life.

Specific weird questions:
-How do you deal with dog care (esp walks) when you are super, super sick? (Assuming you can't transfer that duty to another family member.)

We have a small backyard so the dogs can go potty without walks but we also have things like doggie daycare and we've also used a walker in the past.

-How do you manage walks and stuff when it's super cold/icy/awful out? (We've been snowed in a bunch the last couple winters. Plus polar vortex.)
Same as above, doggie daycare works pretty well for cold weather but also having a fenced backyard helps, dogs will go out. Also, there are things like yaktrax and cold weather gear which are perfect for short walks if you have a plowed path.

-How do you get a dog to the vet if you don't have a car?
N/A for us but some vets do have home service and you might have to see if there are car services that work well or find a local vet.

-How do you move a sick or injured large dog if you are alone?
We have smaller dogs, our bigger dog is 32 lbs, which is something we can carry.

Gross questions:
-How do you clean up diarrhea? Like if it's outside?
Hose or water. We also use an enzyme based 'cleaner' for our backyard because our dogs pee out there and it can stink after a while otherwise. The enzyme cleaner attaches to a hose which we used to wash away any stains, soft poo, pee, etc.

-Is there a back friendly way to pick up after a dog that doesn't involve bending over? (Assuming elimination is put on cue.)
squatting is a good skill to learn but you can also look into options I've seen where people use towels or other methods. But I have a questionable back and I squat to pick up the dogs. But again, my dogs are fairly small. I really, really want a greyhound eventually but we live in a 3 story townhouse where the backyard is on floor 0 but the living room is on floor 1. I've seen videos of people assisting big dogs up stairs with towels. It just may be not something possible for us.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:26 pm 
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Oh and I realized I misunderstood the last question but yeah squatting and like ijdi, there are dog poop picker uppers.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:00 am 
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wellp, she comes home tomorrow! <3

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Is this about devilberries and nazifruit again? - footface


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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:56 am 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
wellp, she comes home tomorrow! <3


EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Congratulations! I can't wait to see pictures!! YAY YAY YAY!!

ijustdiedinside wrote:
DC, I'm so happy to hear you and Finn had a great weekend!! Is this weird? Would he still freak out if he went in the bathroom with you so you could talk to him while you showered?


I've thought about trying that! I ended up not doing it last night (I was dying my hair) and he seemed okay. Hilarity: he seems to just be bothered by the baby gate. I removed a few panels of it so that I could block him from the half bathroom where the kitty litter and cat food is, and now when he's not in his crate, he's free to roam. However, he is really terrified of the cat, so he still stays over near his crate and in the playpen area, but now if I walk away, he doesn't mind or cry. BUT, yesterday afternoon, I was running an online training from home, and even though I was inside the playpen area (my office nook forms three sides of the playpen area, with the baby fence looping around the fourth side), he was still sitting near the fence and crying. But as soon as I remove the panels, he's fine, even though he doesn't go anywhere!

I managed to coax him partway across the apartment with petting and kisses and praise this morning, and then as soon as the cat came near, he hurried back to his corner. I put a beanbag in my office nook so I can sit and read with him in the evening (IT IS SO GOOD HE CRAWLS UP ON MY LAP AND WAGS HIS TAIL LIKE CRAZY until he abruptly falls asleep and it is the best feeling I love him too much), and he LOVES the beanbag. He likes to carry his toys to it, and even carry his kong over there and sit in it while he eats. It's too adorable.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:56 am 
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I posted on FB to let folks know, but things with Joni didn't work out for the best. She is an absolute angel of a dog, seriously just a doll...but I thought my cats could do better with a big, hyper puppy than they actually could. It wasn't fair to them, and although we probably could've trained it out of her to not chase them/nip them, if we couldn't we'd be further down the line/more invested in our hearts and then screwed. So anyway, we were just fostering her for the time being anyway, and her previous foster parents were more than happy to have her go back home with them. They understood completely, and the rescue group as a whole has been so supportive during what has been, somewhat unexpectedly, one of the hardest decisions I've ever made. We so badly had already placed her deep in our hearts as a part of our family.

We are working with the rescue group now, armed with more information about what our resident neurotic cats need, to find another adoptable that will be a great fit.

And bonus, Trevor's colleague met Joni last week and has now submitted an application to adopt her.

I spent most of this weekend curled up in fetal position, feeling like the absolute shittiest person in the world. I'm back at work today and am feeling slightly less awful, but more sure that we still want to adopt even if our first shot at it wasn't perfect.

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Is this about devilberries and nazifruit again? - footface


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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:21 am 
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I know your heart is breaking over this papriks. I know you guys did your best and it simply wasn't the right match for your situation. Love to you and hugs and I'm happy that you are not deterred and want to try again. <3 <3 <3

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:47 pm 
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Oh PP! I so very intensely feel for you--I was terrified that a similar thing would happen with my pup and cat, but my cat laid down the law and the pup is TERRIFIED of her (which means he respects her boundaries). I hope it doesn't take you too long to find the right doggo who will be appropriately submissive to your cats! It can happen and it will be great--and I'm so glad to hear that Joni will hopefully get a forever home because of her stay with her!

I'm so sorry :(

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