Monday, April 26, 2010

Welcome to our newest dilemma

Let me tell you where this all started.  I have an old student whose miniature schnauzer just had puppies.  I saw pictures on Facebook and I immediately turned into a small girl who was "OoOoOoO"ing and "Ahhhhh"ing over them.  Ya see, I grew up with miniature schnauzers and I know that they are good dogs that are easy to train and that don't shed (or get too big at all).

So I messaged the mom of this girl that was in my class to find out more of the details regarding the pups.  They will be ready June 4th and they are $300 each.  I got carried away at the thought of actually getting a dog so I showed Stephen the picture of the puppies and he was instantly curious.  He wasn't a sucker for the price (who would be?) but the idea of being able to get a dog (our landlord might approve if it's a smaller dog) enticed both of us.  However, I wasn't 100% sold on this idea because, you see, deep down in my heart I'm still a sucker for a lab (mutt, mix, pure bred) of any kind.

That is when I went online to the Kentucky Humane Society and I found 2 little girl pups that melted my heart.  They were lab mixes and both already spayed and just needed a good home.  I can't resist a dog that needs help!  I showed Stephen - we were both GONERS.  He emailed our landlord...this was the test.  If she said, "no" then we were going to drop it right there.  If she said, "yes" then this was something we were going to prayerfully consider.  Having a dog is a big deal, we know this.  It's a huge responsibility both financially and physically.  But, one look at these cuties and you'll forget all sense of reality:

Now, we wouldn't get both, we'd just get one.  And we wouldn't go off just the picture either, we'd go and meet them and play with them and see.  Our landlord test?  She said yes.  She said YES.  SHE SAID YES.  And she knew it was going to be a lab mix.  Below you will see a list of my pros and cons, these are the things that we are weighing in our minds, please feel free to add to either side.  Also, as silly as this sounds, please pray for us that we make the right decision and we don't let our ten-year-old puppy love hearts take control :)

-Time Commitment...a lot of time!
-Going out of town, what to do with the dog?
-Training a puppy
-Apartment living

-I am home all day and Stephen gets home 2 hours after I leave.  If we wait to get a dog until we move back to KY we'll both be working full time.  This might be the most time I would ever have to devote to a dog.
-My friend, Amanda lives in Chicago and she is a dog trainer, groomer and boarder.  She would be utilized to help train our little girl, and to board her when we're going out of town.  You can visit her awesome blog here.
-My mom told me that when we come to Louisville, the dog can stay at their house (and I'm sure that Stephen's family would feel the same way).  The majority of our out-of-town trips are to Louisville so the dog could come with us.
-A reason to walk.  The dog needs to go on at least a 2-3 mile walk daily.  This would be a great reason to MAKE me exercise on a daily basis.

Any other thoughts to help us make this decision?


  1. Well you know that I would LOVE for you to get a dog. And I think that "apartment living" probably encompasses these issues - but every time the dog needs to go out, that means you have to go out. In the winter. In the freezing cold. You can't just let it in and out. Also, if you get a lab mix just be prepared for your floors to never look clean again. You probably already know this but I feel that as your friend I should mention these things.

    But if you decide that these things don't bother you I am all for it - woo hoo! I'm so glad that we got a dog - even though I was cleaning poop out of his crate at 2:30 this morning because he is sick right now :( So I know you won't regret it.

  2. Hey crazy lady!

    Thanks for the link to my blog--I appreciate it!

    Thoughts for you regarding this decision (which I am really excited about for you, by the way):

    1- Keep in mind that getting a puppy is a LOT more work than getting an adult. Especially in the city where you can't just throw 'um in the backyard to burn off that excess energy. We're talking potty training, chewing, everything! Adult dogs are a shorter responsibility (they live less long than a pup), they are cheaper, and they usually come with little to no behavioral/training problems.

    2- It would be easier to adopt a dog locally because of the flexibility you have go check them out over a period of several days; there's less pressure to make a decision in a hurry. Plus I know sometimes you or Steve go to KY alone, and you will need each other there to make the decision together.

    3- Do you know about They list TONS of shelter dogs and you can search by age, city, state, breed, and special needs. I'm on there all the time just to see what' out there. :) There's a lot of options for you here.

    4- Getting a dog from the shelter will be a lot less costly than getting a dog from a breeder.

    5- Getting a dog from a breeder generally means that their breed instincts are stronger. It's not too much of a problem with schnauzers since their hunting instincts are usually pretty minimal, but I would never get a lab from a breeder unless you truly want to hunt with your dog. That dog will NEED to retrieve or he will drive you insane (I know you weren't thinking of getting a lab from a breeder, but I thought I'd just throw that out there for something to chew on). :)

    6- Labs get big. The smaller the dog, the better you will be able to handle them--especially on a walk. If you get a lab, be prepared to jump into major training right away so that he never learns how strong he really is and pulls you down the street!

    7- Guests and children are more comfortable around smaller dogs. Be prepared to put your lab somewhere else when guests come if need be.

    8- Smaller dogs eat less. I spend $10 a month on Bennett's food and $20 a month for Prince. It adds up.

    9- Think about costs of having a dog. Crate (maybe a spare for the car if you get a lab), vet bills, vaccinations, collar, backpack, training lessons, dog license (only $5 a year but still), and grooming costs (although maybe you already are a pro at schnauzer grooming!).

    10- If you got a schnauzer I could promise you cheap boarding and grooming ANYTIME. Hah! :) Boarding a lab is harder because of the need for space and the fact that I already have a big guy myself. ;)

    11- Keep in mind the personality of the dog you are looking at as well as your lifestyle. The one lab pup might be hyper and the other lab pup might be laid back. Always choose a dog with the same or LESS amount of energy that you currently have. Yes, the dogs will force you to get out and walk no matter what, but it does get old after while. Prince is exhausting in his need to walk 3 miles AND do a roller blading session each day. Sometimes it's hard to tell the energy that a dog will have. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to go over to some shelters with you and talk thu how to spot a dog with good energy and submissive qualities. Or if you find a dog and would like a second opinion on him I would be honored to offer some.

    Whew. Ok. If I think of any other thoughts I'll let you know. Hehe. Sorry I talked your ear off! Good luck! I'm here for you!!

  3. Oh, those puppies are too cute!!! I would get both ;)

    If you have a second, I have a giveaway going on right now for a $40 gift card to CSN Stores. Super easy to enter!

  4. OH NO, KARI!!! What did you doooo?!?!?! This was a bad bad thing. Now you're roped in and it's going to be hard to say no. But then again, look at all of the cons your friend wrote!

    She Rollerblades with her dogs. Are we going to see you do the same? Because I hope you say yes.

    You know how I feel about big dogs. A big bunch of love! But Amanda has some good points too. TOUGH CALL, Friend!

  5. GET A DOG... GET A DOG... GET A DOG...GET A DOG!!!!!!

    I'm am 100% for it Kari!!! :) if you ever need a dog sitter....... :)

  6. get a dog.
    end of story.

    i'll take the other sister :)

  7. get a puppy.
    get one NOW!
    and get it from here:
    a pet shop run by an organization that serves adults with developmental disabilites!!!

  8. My vote is yes! that is all that needs to be said! YES. and Brenna's dogs are adorable.


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