Pet Net Adoption Event & Choosing the Perfect Pooch

 Pet Net ContributorOnce again, I’m participating in the Pet ‘Net Adoption Event 2012 running this whole week. This is the 5th anniversary event in which pet bloggers join together to promote good cat and dog care issues. But is doing something extra-special. WIN $5000 FOR YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER by clicking this Hub Link  to browse all the other great blogger contributors, and enter your zip code. The winning shelter will be announced on Dec. 17. You can enter your zip code once per day, for the entire week.

172/365 - Bliss.

"Get the leaves, get the leaves...where's the leaves?" (Image Copr. Melissamethamphetimine/Flickr)

More than 400 dog breeds and ten times that number of “mutt” variations woof and cavort around the world. They all bark (sort of); they all have fur (more or less); and most important of all, they ALL need time and attention. Lots of it. Think of your very bright, high-energy, precocious four-year-old daughter again to guestimate the average attitude, attention span, and learning curve of any prospective pooch.

Uschi with toy

"Play play play run chew play chew chew run play play PLAY!!!"  (This is USCHI, the cover dog model on my thriller LOST AND FOUND, and already a titled tracking dog.)

These days I hear so much from folks (mostly dads) who feel they and the kids deserve an “active breed.” That would include big dogs such as Labs, German Shepherds and Goldens, and medium to smaller breeds like Border Collies and JRTs. Active breeds are great fun!—especially for gone-all-day-to-work folks willing and able to deal with furniture damage from bored doggy teeth.

TIME CHECK: Invest in two to three hours a day exercising Fido to protect the furniture. Alternatively, purchase a herd of sheep. The cost should be offset in what you save in lawn mower service.

Big dogs take up more space—expect a Greyhound to claim at least half of the sofa and nearly all of the bed. Small dogs in multiples also claim major bed space and multiple dogs may squabble over lap time.

TIME CHECK: Allow a minimum of thirty minutes daily ‘schmoozing’ time—that’s the nose-to-nose, tummy-rubbing, ear-scratching, treat-mooching, secret-sharing, quiet communing dog lovers do as a matter of course. The stronger the bond, the more time you spend schmoozing.

So far, our weekly pet time commitment totals 40 hours—that’s the conservative end—for any size, shape, or age dog. Of course, people (and sadly, their dogs) make do with less all the time.

But my ultimate secret to obtaining the BEST dog ever: simply devote as much time to Fido as you would for those things that matter most to you. As you teach, care for, and love him you will create the dog of your dreams.

Or you could settle for a stuffed animal instead. But then you’d miss out on all that schmoozing—which is why we have dogs in the first place!

Okay it’s your turn. How did you choose your furry wonder? What considerations were most important to you? Size? Looks? Age? Breed? Please share in the comments and help others find the Dog-Of-Their-Dreams!  And don’t forget to SHARE THIS BLOG and the link for the $5000 donation to other pet lovers!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have doggy behavior problems and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!


Pet Net Adoption Event & Choosing the Perfect Pooch — 16 Comments

  1. Amy, you make some great points in picking a pooch. We’ve had several in my day and they do take a lot of energy and time. But it is so worth it. On a more timely note: the islands have an over abundance of pet problems. There are animal shelters around and they do try, but the locals haven’t signed onto spay and neutering very well.

    Just last week on the cruisers net (radio check-in for cruisers) it was announced a stray kitten showed up at a local home and couldn’t stay. It just so happened the Captain and I had been seriously thinking about adding a feline crew member. We’d been to the animal shelter, but because of our lifestyle those available for adoption we considered too old to aclimate to our floating lifestyle.

    So, we are now the proud caretakers of a very loving, very active 6 week old kitten. Time is what we have, so I’m sure bonding won’t be a problem. I’m also happy to report Crookshanks has aclimated to his first sail like a champ. Now all we have to do is teach him to swim.

  2. I protect my dogs by not taking them to places I should avoid. For example,
    there is a park near my house, where one certain person will let his 2 dogs off their leashes and run freely.
    They are both large dogs. My dog is a pit bull, that I always keep leashed.
    I already know that if his dogs run up to mine, even just to give a friendly sniff,
    my dog will get aggressive with them. I don’t want to see my dog or his dogs get hurt,
    so I just look for his car before we venture over to the park.

    • Sumon, that’s a very responsible and smart way to do things. I love pit bulls but you do have to know your dog and avoid potential problems.

  3. I think chemistry is one of the most important factors when adding a furkid to your home. You can narrow down your choice by other factors (definitely activity level, fur length, size and age), but when I work with adopters in our adoption center, I also look for personalities that just “click”. Often the right animal will pick you. And I tell people to not get in a hurry–other than marriage, life doesn’t give many opportunities to chose a family member!

  4. I grew up with chihuahuas and if my cat allowed me to get a dog again one of them would likely be a chihuahua rescue. Tales of some of my in-laws’ German shepherd-collie mix make me want one like her. But how can you turn down the one that wants you — unless your lifestyles are too different of course.

    I would NOT get a lab. Of that I am certain.

  5. We have had several dogs over the years, but most of them found us instead of us choosing them. Scruffy, our 10 pound wonder mix showed up at our door covered with burrs and fleas.While cleaning her up, we tried to find out where she came from, but no luck.We took her to the vet to get checked out and there was no microchip. We had her spayed right then and she stayed with us for 17 years. When she was about ten we moved on to 2 acres. She seemed lonely. We had to have one of our 18 yo cats euthanized and while at the shelter found a litter of GSD/Rottweiler pups. Jethro was 10 pounds at 10 weeks old but Scruffy whipped him into shape in no time. She was like a pup again and they were best friends for many years. Lucy was an adult stray who joined our family a few years later.
    Lucy was an Australian Cattle Dog and fit very well. When she was about 13 yo and we had lost Scruffy and Jethro to age related illnesses, she seemed lonely and depressed. I mention to a friend that we were going to get her a puppy. It had worked so well with Scruffy. She said she knew someone with a newly weaned litter, so we went and looked.
    These were 8 wk old Border Collie pups on a ranch. Both parents were working dogs. I had picked out Ike because of his looks and temperament with strangers. But while I was holding him and talking to him, this little female came and laid her head in my lap. She looked up at me as if to say ‘I get to come too, don’t I?’ Suddenly I couldn’t choose! They both came home with me.
    I had never considered the ramifications of 2 pups at the same time, but it was the best thing I had ever done. Lucy had a new lease on life and remained active much longer than the vet had expected. The pups kept each other busy and active. Now it is just Ike and Tina, and they are 3 yrs old. They are still very active, but we have space and they have each other. In the evening Tina curls up with me and Ike curls up with hub.
    Sometimes it is not the dog you choose, but the dog who chooses you.

    • What a great list of wonderful dog friends! And yep, the youngsters help keep the oldsters active and engaged. That’s a big plus. It’s very true that pets often choose us–I’m so glad that you got to take both Ike and Tina…and I must ask, do they sing and dance? *vbg* Thanks for visiting and commenting on the blog.

      • They are both quite vocal, and very active, but I am not sure it could be called singing and dancing. Jethro was named after the big clumsy ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ character. Lucy after Lucy Ricardo. Ike and Tina just seemed to fit!

          • How pets get their names is always fun. Oscar earned his but I always remember the advice not to name them anything you don’t want to be yelling in the street. It was funny enough the time I yelled, “Sister, get over here!!!!!!!” when a policeman was asking around for witnesses to a neighborhood happening and after I yelled (she was in the street so it was necessary) he looked behind himself uneasily until he saw she was a cat. (Oscar’s sister.)

          • LOL! That’s really good advice about naming. I also suggest that the name be positive, because even if the pet doesn’t know what it means, calling the cat or dog a “negative” name can have negative impact. Seren stopped being quite so naughty after my husband stopped calling her “the devil.” LOL!