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Real-life MMD: Pet dog or doghouse?
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# 1
MSE Debs
Old 02-11-2012, 10:48 AM
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Default Real-life MMD: Pet dog or doghouse?

Money Moral Dilemma: Pet dog or doghouse?


Our son has wanted a pet dog for years and my wife's keen to get him one. But dogs are expensive and I've been saving in secret to surprise her with a holiday next year. She thinks I'm stingy, when I'm actually the opposite. Should I give in and get the dog to make them happy, or remain in the doghouse myself so we can go away?

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Last edited by MSE Debs; 06-11-2012 at 3:41 PM.
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# 2
billbennett
Old 06-11-2012, 8:08 PM
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Son wants a dog... but will son walk dog every day? Will he pick up the poop? Or will dog become your responsibility in more ways than just financially?

Same questions for the wife - or will she just say "Well you bought it, you can walk it..."

If it were me, I'd do the holiday.
In "Monopoly", what makes the "Super Tax" so super?
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# 3
Xen6
Old 06-11-2012, 8:19 PM
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For me there's no question I'd take the holiday. Like they say, a dog's not just for Christmas, it poops all year round... And let's face it, it'll eventually die which leaves poor distraught children. Holidays are much more fun
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# 4
flossy_splodge
Old 06-11-2012, 9:31 PM
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Definitely the holiday.
Since when do children's wishes take precedence over adults?
No wonder we've got so many ill behaved youngsters around who think their wishes are the most important. Bah.

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
― John Wooden
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# 5
Owain Moneysaver
Old 06-11-2012, 10:13 PM
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The dog.

Looking after it will teach your child responsibility. And even when it does die - hopefully leaving many years of happy memories - learning to deal with death is a lesson too.
Wins and Freebies: ττhραṡτε, τεα-τώεl
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# 6
chinbergs
Old 06-11-2012, 10:52 PM
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Dogs aren't objects. Unless you're willing to adopt one from a rescue centre and truly give him/her a good life, go on your holiday instead.
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# 7
whitewing
Old 06-11-2012, 11:00 PM
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I think 'dog' if it is something that you/your wife has experience of already and isn't just a long term whim. Don't forget that puppies are a lot of hard work.

The worse thing to do would be to present this long-awaited animal as a surprise present and then find you have to give it away because you're not prepared to adapt your lifestyle because the reality doesn't meet your expectations.
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# 8
purplebutterfly
Old 06-11-2012, 11:02 PM
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Anyone thinking of getting an animal should ALWAYS go to a rescue or rehoming centre. There are far too many abandoned animals and far too many money-grabbing breeders who just want the money and don't care where the animals end up.
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# 9
londonlydia
Old 06-11-2012, 11:53 PM
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Get good pet insurance, and dogs aren't too expensive (it's vet bills that cost!). If you do go down the dog route, rescuing a dog is cheaper (Battersea charge around 110)...and the charities do an awful lot of work in matching the dog to your family. In terms of food, its not that expensive for a big bag of dry food, and every dog we've had is a hoover for any scraps we have from our own meals to fill it out a bit.

Dogs do give a lot, especially to kids. They give companionship, teach responsibility, and a lot of entertainment. Plus getting out to walk them is good exercise!

However, after all that I would say go on holiday BUT still consider a dog. However, see if your son will be responsible, by saying that you are willing to allow a dog, but that he must help out with chores or earn some money doing odd jobs for friends and family to contribute financially....'chore money' basically. He doesn't have to raise the whole amount or anything, it's just a test of a) how much he wants it really, 2) his staying power, hinting if he will always walk it....and well I think it's good for kids to learn you have to work for stuff and not just get it given to you on a plate.

In the meantime, has anyone you know got a dog and is going away? You could offer to dog sit for free and see if you all warm to having one...
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# 10
scotsbob
Old 07-11-2012, 12:31 AM
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Why is this so difficult?

When you take the wife on holiday leave the son at home looking after the dog.
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# 11
sueper
Old 07-11-2012, 12:53 AM
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firstly , how old is son ? 4 or 24? if under 12 , i'd buy a hamster and see how well he looks after that before even considering a dog - they (hamsters) have a limited life-span - and are relatively happy within a stimulating cage environment , whilst dogs need many years of training , exercise , company etc.etc.!!! And they are a huge tie...however , as the owner of 5 I have to say that I would take their permanent love and companionship all year round over any 2 week foreign break - tho' would be good if more holiday homes in this country accepted multiple dog families!!!
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# 12
Ebenezer_Screwj
Old 07-11-2012, 7:24 AM
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If your wife is so keen to get a dog then let her go and buy one herself - surely she is not asking you to use your own money on a dog that you do not want ? You should also make it quite clear that you will be not paying for food and vets bills and you will not be taking the dog for walks. If she still calls you stingy, cancel the surprise holiday and buy yourself a new laptop, or camera or anything else that YOU want with YOUR money . . .
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# 13
Avon2001
Old 07-11-2012, 8:02 AM
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You don't mention how old your son is but since you say he's been wanting one for years I'd guess at least 10, so what happens when he becomes an adult? Landlords in general are often chary about young people and very few of them will accept pets, so what happens to the dog when he wants to move out? Unless you and your wife are happy to keep the dog when he goes (and he's happy with that), I'd suggest it's a bad move.

On a side note while I appreciate you want to surprize your wife, I think it would be better to have open discussions about your finances and your goals and perhaps as a part of that agree personal allowances which you could use to surprize your wife if you wish. I have often had the impression that parents are most keen to buy their children things that they want/wanted themselves so you may find that actually your wife would rather have the dog than the holiday and might be quite happy to keep it after your son moves out.
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# 14
scotsman4th
Old 07-11-2012, 8:05 AM
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After a couple of years resistance and filling the gap with a couple of goldfish and 2 budgies, my wifes finally got her way and we got a dog over the weekend.
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# 15
hutch610
Old 07-11-2012, 8:47 AM
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Doesn't say how old son is. But does read as though you want to just take your wife on holiday as a surprise. So assume son is old enough to stay behind and could look after the dog. Everyone wins.

Dogs are so loving and bring lot to a family but are a tie if you have a hectic life and go away alot.

But a dog is a family member also, when you have one and should be included. Ideal for us as it was a case if the dog can't on holiday we don't but we have a caravan so she goes everywhere we go.
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# 16
BNT
Old 07-11-2012, 8:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebenezer_Screwj View Post
If your wife is so keen to get a dog then let her go and buy one herself - surely she is not asking you to use your own money on a dog that you do not want ? You should also make it quite clear that you will be not paying for food and vets bills and you will not be taking the dog for walks. If she still calls you stingy, cancel the surprise holiday and buy yourself a new laptop, or camera or anything else that YOU want with YOUR money . . .
They are married, so I don't think 'his' and 'her' money is relevant.
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# 17
newlands23
Old 07-11-2012, 8:49 AM
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Default dogs are good for teenagers

After years of pleading by youngest son, we finally got a dog when our boys were aged 10, 12 and 14. Surprise - they all helped with the dog walking (we had a rota so that it worked out fairly). Biggest benefactor was eldest son, who was a bit of a Kevin in his teenage years, but would always react well to the dog and accept love from him even when he seemed to hate the entire rest of the world! It was a good move and when that dog eventually died, we got another one within months.
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# 18
newpuppy
Old 07-11-2012, 8:51 AM
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Default Pet dog or doghouse

Trust me, this is a no brainer. If there are any doubts whatsoever about getting a dog, then DON'T.

A dog's only link to a decent life is its owner, and if there's not total commitment, there will be problems - for the dog, yourself, your family, the rescue community and possibly the poor vet who has to put the dog to sleep when things hit rock bottom (check out the figures for unwanted/problem dogs if you need a shock).

Getting a dog is rarely a happy-ever-after experience that can be achieved just through handing over the asking price. You will need to be prepared to spend massive amounts of time and money for as long as the dog lives, and constantly be on the ball, adjusting your lifestyle and making compromises for the sake of the dog. The puppy stage is quite taxing; old age and infirmity are more so.

Please think carefully. Dogs are not pawns in the game of families, and if you make the wrong choice, it will soon come back to haunt you.

After nearly 50 years of dogs, I think they are wonderful AS LONG AS YOU DON'T WEAKEN. You need to be 100% committed, otherwise things will go pear-shaped.

Stick with the doghouse. I wasn't allowed a dog when I was at home, but I didn't hold a grudge and I sure as hell made up for it once I left!
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# 19
BNT
Old 07-11-2012, 8:58 AM
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As with nearly all these MMDs, you will never know what the right answer is if you do not talk to the people concerned. Why not just tell your wife that you have been saving for a holiday, but if she thinks a dog would be more appropriate for the family you're happy to reconsider? It will be no less of a surprise if you tell her now than it would be if you told her after booking the holiday.

There seems little point spending money on a holiday, no matter how nice it is, if she would rather spend it on a dog.

If you buy the dog because you have caved in, rather than because you have talked it over and agreed it between you, you are never going to feel particularly happy about having the dog around the place.

It will also allow you to have a sensible conversation about getting a dog without it coming back to you being accused of stinginess.

Last edited by BNT; 07-11-2012 at 9:01 AM.
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# 20
scarlet macaw
Old 07-11-2012, 9:04 AM
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Why is this a diemma? Before making such a life changing decision as aquiring a dog there needs to be a full and frank "all cards on the table" discussion between you and your wife. Now is the time to explain to her that you have been saving to enable you to go on holiday together and make it clear that it is an "either or" decision. Would she want to give up the holiday to get your son the dog? Then you will be in a position to make a difficult choice.

Incidentally there is so much information we do not know; how old is your son as others have asked? When were you last able to go on holiday - is this just the normal annual holiday or haven't you been away for years? Is there just a need to save for a 'normal' holiday because of your financial circumstances or are you saving for the 'holiday of a lifetime?' and do you just have concerns about the cost of a dog and the financial priorities or do you actively not want a dog yourself? (I know that I would not have a dog in the house if you paid me!)

All of these factors will influence your ultimate decision, but it must be a decision taken jointly with your wife, where she knows the full options as well.

Last edited by scarlet macaw; 07-11-2012 at 9:08 AM.
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