Real-life MMD: Pet dog or doghouse?



  • Just think its wrong buying an animal for someone else, even if another family member.
  • I have only read the first page of replies, so please forgive me if I'm repeating what others have said. Dog question aside, if my husband had stashed away enough money for a swish foreign holiday without me knowing, unless it had come from an unexpected one-off bonus, I would be more than a little p****d off! It has undertones of secrecy and dishonesty, which are never healthy in a relationship. Any money coming in should be known to both parties, even if they maintain separate finances and accounts. It would seem that the wife is trying to involve him in the decision of getting a dog, whereas he is making the decision of booking a holiday on his own. If he was a wealthy man that could just book a holiday as a surprise without saving up for it, then it may be a different matter, but as it has to be saved for then she should surely have some say in how the money is spent. The fact that he is aware that it makes him look stingy is also really worrying. I'm inclined to say you may need the savings for a good lawyer once your wife finds out. I mentioned this to a couple of friends and they were of the same opinion (so its not just me :) )

    Getting a dog is a huge decision. You have to commit for a minimum of 15 years and often more. They are a regular financial and time commitment (and do not get one without getting it insured, as even the most basic treatment is an arm and a leg, unless you are unemployed and qualify for certain benefits). That said, they are fantastic companions and become part of the family if you don't just get one on a whim. It is all very well saying get one from a rescue centre, but despite owning our own house, having a large garden, being a stone's throw from excellent dog walking fields, someone being at home 24/7, we still don't qualify at a lot of rescues, because we have a child under 10/11/12/14. We also want a dog under a year old as we also have chickens and rabbits and it is obviously important to us that we can train the dog not to torment/hunt them. Have had a mistreated dog before and couldn't get her over her dislike of babies and young children - which got worse when she was an old dog. Just be really careful who you get a dog from as you only have to have a brief look through the 'Many Tears' rescue website to see how poorly dogs on puppy farms are treated.
  • Nice to know that you are at least giving some thought about this dilemma:). I have worked in veterinary practices as a receptionist and this helped clarify things on this subject. There is a well known saying "If you can't afford the vet, don't get the pet!" This is not as "A Jones" mistakenly believes because "the vet will not be poor!" I have been very fortunate to work alongside some very talented and wholly dedicated vets AND vet nurses who believe me are not in the job for the money - thank GOD!
    Considering that a newly qualified vet after 5 years physically and mentally hard studying, may start on a salary of just over 20k illustrates that many are far from wealthy. But yes, veterinary care can be expensive due to the high standards that a veterinary practice needs to provide (many use hospital standards equipment), together with the costs of drugs supplied by the companies they have to order from.
    This does mean that Pet Insurance is a MUST and it should be borne in mind that the policy should be for LIFE COVER, otherwise you may find that the insurance companies will only cover up to a certain financial maximum per condition.
    My advice is that a dog can give the most marvellous companionship, but that as an owner we must be prepared to financially provide food, adequate shelter and veterinary care at all times it is needed, together with the willingness to provide adequate physical AND mental stimulation for the dog each day. I agree that buying a puppy is not always the best thing and to give a rescue dog a home can be worthwhile PROVIDING you discuss your suitability honestly with a dog rescue of the particular breed you are interested in (ie: don't buy a hound then scold it if if wants to go off on the scent, offering you selective hearing etc!) Crufts can provide you with a list of breed rescue centres throughout the country and if you look on their website you can contact them for advice. They would much rather you discussed your situation honestly and will tell you if they think the breed you have in mind may not be the most suited to your needs.
    There is a type of dog for everyone, but do your homework thoroughly to be fair to the dog and yourselves as a family.
  • If you're undecided about getting a dog or really don't like the idea of one, go for the holiday. You may look stingy for now but a dog is exteremely hard work and if you didn't want one in the first place it's likely you'll end up resenting it.
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