By: Revanche

Counting my spoons, counting my pennies

November 21, 2013

StevieA“If you could, you’d bring all the stray animals home with you and they’d eat you out of house and home.”  – So Said My Parents

I was an inveterate rescuer as a kid, turning up with one stray or another, and always getting the boot because we simply could not afford the luxury of half a dozen pets in a small apartment. While I completely understand not buying new clothes, always wearing hand me downs, and never eating out, my poor pre-adolescent mind couldn’t grasp the idea that we didn’t have room in our home or budget for another stray.

That feeling’s never gone away, not entirely.

And now we’re discussing/planning to take in another sad soul whose owner can’t take care of him anymore. The poor dog has skin issues and has lost a lot of weight, and my heart just can’t take it.

We can’t take him for at least a few months, the wedding planning and travel means we are even more tight on time and money than we’d normally be around the end of our fiscal year, but I’m looking forward to the day we can bring him home, even if only for several months until we help sort his medical issues.

Things that worry me:

1. Time: He and Doggle have completely different energy levels and walking them together might not work well. We need it to, though, because we alternate turns walking the dog according to our own schedules. If we have to take each dog out for a separate walk, we’re spending hours a day walking. Plus, I’m physically not up to that. I only have so much energy to spend per day working, cooking, cleaning, walking dogs, doing things around the house.

2. Space: They’re both big boys. I think they’ll be ok in a confined space generally speaking but New Dog hasn’t ever been solely an indoor dog. Will he feel claustrophobic? (I know, he’s a dog. But a really uncomfortable cooped up dog is destructive.) I may have to sweep out and set him up on our stamp of an outdoor space to get fresh air regularly.

3. Veterinary care and costs: Until we beat his medical issues, we’re going to be seeing a lot more of the vet. I expect to be running tests, trying new diets, and… ?

4. Boarding: Doggle is universally beloved, and we have friends who hate to let him come home after he’s vacationed with them. New Dog, while of the sweetest temperament ever and having never displayed a moment’s bad temper that I’ve seen, looks like a scary breed of pup and our friends won’t be able to accommodate him. If/when we travel, we’ll have to take them both with us or board him. 🙁  I know people do it all the time but I hate the thought.

5. Food and lodgings: we’ll need a new bed for him and good high-quality food. Obviously that all costs money too.

6. Breed: We don’t know what breed he is but he looks like one of the universally suspect breeds and that’s unfortunate for a number of reasons. We’ll have to test him for formality’s sake but I know from long experience that this dog is kind, loving and smart enough to understand what’s going on around him. He was extra patient w/my elderly dog, always giving her her way, he was similarly kind and patient with Doggle when he was very confused about life and offered to be friends but backed right off without batting an eye when he was rebuffed.

Realistically, this may not be a perfect long term situation, but I have to at least try to help him to the best of my abilities. We’ll take it a step at a time.

Link I Love:

SingleMa made Blessing Bags to give away and I think this is a great idea.

10 Responses to “Counting my spoons, counting my pennies”

  1. MaryE says:

    I think you should do what is best for you and pic.
    My 2 cents, it may be more unfair to bring a dog in to a home where you really don’t have the resources to
    care for it the way you want.
    Many big dogs are not good apartment dogs and you run the risk of doggle developing bad behavior because
    he is now aware he is cooped up.
    I think it may be more cruel to the dog to take it in only for a short time. I do not know how dogs think and I’ve
    had dogs, but I have seen how my son’s dogs have had a hard time adjusting to apartment living. And if the new
    dog and doggle bond, how will new dog feel if when you leave they are separated? Many people may be ok with you visiting with one dog, but not two.
    I guess, my thought is, if you have some difficulty caring for doggle the way you want, do you do a disservice to all of you, including new dog, by taking on a rescue?

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Mary!
      This was more of a worrywart post, I really didn’t cover the Pros because I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. But I’ll have more thoughts on this soon.

  2. Morgaine says:

    I’m the same! My parents constantly chastised me for brining home strays. Now, I get my animals (bunnies!) from the shelter instead of the pet store. So far, I’ve had 3 bunnies and none I got as babies (which is the only temptation of buying them at the store, baby bunnies are so cute!) My latest bunny I got from a girl on Craigslist who couldn’t take care of her bunny. Good thing we came along! He was missing a lot of fur (cramped living quarters and no freedom can sometimes cause bunnies to overgroom) and his nails were severly overgrown and curling (one in a complete twist like a corkscrew) and he had sores as well. Now he’s a happy and well taken care of bunny. The vet had a lot of praise for us for taking him from that old home 🙂

    Anyways, good on you guys if you’re able to help out a pet in need 🙂

  3. hmmmm…. Well, at the risk of encouraging you in your masochistic tendencies, here’s my two cents:

    First, if he has a fairly low energy level and that’s NOT because he’s sick, he probably just laid around the back yard most of the time. Laying around indoors isn’t much different, except he has a nice soft carpet to lay on, and it’s warm inside.

    You could split the dog-walking activities: you take the slower dog that doesn’t need as long or as fast a jaunt and PiC takes the other one.

    On the medical issue: consider the possibility that he’s suffering a food allergy, or that he’s allergic to bermuda or rye grass. My first dobe was allergic to tick dip and to bermudagrass. And when I got my first German shepherd, I imagined Ger-sheps were supposed to have no fur on their bellies, because Anna had a bald belly. Turns out the dog food was making her hair fall out! When I switched her to Science Diet, all her fur grew back in. This is a pricey strategy, but it might help: try switching him to real food: about 1/2 cooked meat, 1/4 starch (oatmeal, rice, sweet potatoes, whatever), and 1/4 vegetables (not including onions or garlic). The difference is astonishing.

    In that department, it’s worth knowing that the goopy insecticide shelters and some vets like to smear on the back of a dog’s neck can cause any number of reactions, some of them dermatological and some of them systemic. Don’t let anyone put that stuff on him. Or drape a flea collar around his neck.

    • Revanche says:

      You are .. sort of reading my mind! He does have a yard but he doesn’t venture far from his owner’s side, he’s so eaten up with anxiety over his owner’s health/state of mind that he really does lay around all day.
      I’ve walked multiple dogs together before, it’s a bit confusing at first but I have hopes we’ll figure it out.
      And I’m really hoping it’s a food allergy, or his environment and it won’t take tons of research to resolve but we have to get him on good food to see. It’s a good place to start.

  4. […] what she calls “the week of harrowing” and now (beat me some more!!) is considering adopting another pooch. Well, I can’t call that kettle black, what with the scheme to inflict a brand-new […]

  5. Linda says:

    There is a dog shelter four blocks from my house that is a constant source of temptation to meme. I think the only thing saving me from adopting another dog or two is that my current dog is uncomfortable with strange dogs that they will not adopt to me. Well, they say they will work with me and my dog, but they have yet to make suggestions to me about what they consider suitable dogs available for adoption.

    Despite appearing to me a vicious Cujo when she is around *most* strange dogs, I know my dog can live with another dog because a) she’s done it before, and; b) mysteriously there are some dogs that she is completely unaffected by. She also is boarded at my dog walker’s house with his three dogs at least twice a year, and he manages to make it work.

    I’m sure I could go to a less discriminating shelter and adopt another dog, but when I really think about it, it’s best if I just keep to the one dog for now. Enjoy your new dog! It sounds like a sweetie!

  6. Jenny B. says:

    This entry reminds me of when I saw a stray dog in Rome and was brought to tears because I wanted to take him home and take care of him. He was a beautiful big dog with a gold coat but he had dark bumps on his body and you could tell he was malnourished. He walked around slowly and would sit and beg for food and literally had puppy dog eyes. Oh but when he fell because his legs were weak my heart dropped and I completely lost it. Poor doggy….

    New Dog sounds like the most sweetest creature. I can’t weigh in on whether or not it makes sense to take New Dog in but you and PiC are such good people to even consider it. I would love to hear an update on this in a few months after things settle down for you. It sounds like New Dog and DoggIe get along though which is always good.

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