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    Former MSE Debs
    Real-life MMD: Pet dog or doghouse?
    • #1
    • 2nd Nov 12, 10:48 AM
    Real-life MMD: Pet dog or doghouse? 2nd Nov 12 at 10:48 AM
    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 Former MSE Debs; 06-11-2012 at 3:41 PM.
Page 2
  • Inge Preston
    I can't really give advice on this, I got suckered by my kids into getting a dog. Yes mum we'll take our turn to walk it, feed it, clean up after it. So I had a discussion with hubby and we came to the decision, that yes we would get a dog, but it would be my dog for my birthday. We were under no illusions about our kids, daughter has taken Tilly out about hgalf a dozen times in the year we've had her, son is somewhat better, but has to be nagged for at least an hour before taking Tilly out for less time than it took to get him to take her.
    since getting Tilly I've lost 2.5 stone as I walk her at least twice a day and hubby has lost over a stone too, the best part of having Tilly is that the evening walk with her is done by my husband and myself together, no interruptions,no tv, no computer,just me and him walking , chatting and chucking the ball for Tilly. It's the best hour of the day.
  • Woofie
    Hi get an old unloved dog, there lots of fun and don't wee and chew up
    Your house . Still have buy pet INS ! Dogs are great , but make your life happy, but there's always horrible feeling when you leave them at home all day or looking for someone you trust to look after then when go for days out or holidays ! It like getting an extra furry child .Our son was 8 years old when we got our boxer , and they both grew up to be big strong best pals , he always took him out first thing and when ever asked . I think summer best time to get puppy . But do look at older dogs that need good home . Breed too ! Some cost 350 ..Have fun on holiday
    Last edited by Woofie; 07-11-2012 at 9:29 AM. Reason: Add more
    • silverswan
    • By silverswan 7th Nov 12, 9:27 AM
    • 34 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    Firstly I think it's important to sit down with the wife and son and maybe even a dog owner to spell out all the worst case scenarios and the pitfalls of owning a dog.e.g. having to walk it in ALL weathers whether you feel like it or not; picking up the poop;home or personal possessions getting chewed in the early stages; the tremendous expense of owning one and finally the death to deal with. Apart from all that there is the unconditional love that goes with ownership too and the sense of responsibility that could be instilled into the young son if he is mature enough to take it all in.
    Getting a dog doesn't necessarily mean the end of the wonderful planned holiday. The dog could be put into a recommended good kennel (and there are lots around,)so it would be like a holiday for him too. Like others have said, it's important to try the local rescue centres first as there are thousands now waiting to be rehomed - due in part to our throwaway society.
    Goodluck with it all anyway. Having recently lost our beloved cat, we suddenly find ourselves free to go away overnight and 'stay out late' etc and we don't intend to get another pet ever....(I'm being strong, but hubby is weakening fast,) but I have to say that the house isn't a real home without one!
    • samsie
    • By samsie 7th Nov 12, 9:49 AM
    • 54 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    we had a similar dilemma last and the boys wanted to adopt kittens but hubby saw them as an unneccesary expense and an inconvenience to us goin off on hols.we got the kittens,now fully grown..yes they were expensive to keep..yes it did inconvenience our hols..but they were LOVED and when tragically one was killed this yr..yes we were devastated but my hubby realised how much the cat meant to him too and his attitude to the other one has more moaning bout costs etc..hes realised hes a family member.why not tell your wife bout the hol and talk it thru...a holiday will bring joy for a week a pet could bring joy for years.
    • pennypinchUK
    • By pennypinchUK 7th Nov 12, 10:21 AM
    • 382 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    Your question, I suggest, says more about your relationship with your wife than whether your son should have a dog. You've been saving in secret, you have a difference of opinions about your personality and you're planning a major purchase without involving your wife.

    If I were you, I'd sort those matters out before making any decision about a dog: you need to have a good conversation with your wife.

    Then, do what you can afford. Don't just do something that will win you short term popularity.
  • last emperor
    some people like dogs more, some people like holidays more. i don't think you will get the answer to that question on the forum, as it's an entirely personal thing.

    however, as others have said, it sounds like you need to be more open with your family about finances. whether that includes your son i can't really say, but certainly your wife. a big decision that affects you all shouldn't be made by yourself in secret (unless you can be really sure that you know what they want). being more open will also get rid of the negative sentiment you refer to.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 7th Nov 12, 10:36 AM
    • 29,262 Posts
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    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?
    Originally posted by MSE Debs
    Honestly? You're upsetting your son because you can't give the real reason why you don't want to get a dog. You're upsetting your wife because you're being stingy with money - when she finds out you've been saving for a surprise holiday, how is she meant to feel - happy about the holiday, guilty because she's been cross with you about the money?

    Be a family - talk about stuff!
    • nhampson
    • By nhampson 7th Nov 12, 10:46 AM
    • 123 Posts
    • 420 Thanks
    Speaking as.....
    A guy with two dogs belonging to the kids I would say think carefully

    They are too busy to walk them, feed them etc etc. Now one child (now adult) has left home and the other will shortly and we will keep both dogs.

    Dont get me wrong, they are part of the family but now we are in a position where we can be spontaneous.... We can't as we need to think of the dogs.

    I am not saying don't get the dog, just think what it means if you have to walk it, feed it, take it to the vets, kennel it etc for the next 10, 15 or even 20 years!
    Opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one.
  • gilly99
    It would be very good to know where multi dog families are welcome. The rest of us could then be sure not to go there.
    • Rolandtheroadie
    • By Rolandtheroadie 7th Nov 12, 11:15 AM
    • 4,841 Posts
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    It would be very good to know where multi dog families are welcome. The rest of us could then be sure not to go there.
    Originally posted by gilly99
    • scoobydoobydoo
    • By scoobydoobydoo 7th Nov 12, 11:36 AM
    • 111 Posts
    • 262 Thanks
    If you have any doubts at all, dont get the dog.

    Its easy to say "Oh he wants one, lets get it" but the cost is far more than the just the dog. Vets fees are expensive so you will need to commit to the monthly cost of insurance, there's food, grooming costs for some dogs, and the time commitment of caring, walking it etc.

    Saving up for a holiday is a nice gesture but if it is causing friction (ie, your wife thinks you are being stingy) then maybe you should tell her about it.

    But stand firm on "no dogs"!
    • liz545
    • By liz545 7th Nov 12, 12:00 PM
    • 1,713 Posts
    • 16,706 Thanks
    If you're considering getting a dog, it has to be something that everyone in the family wants and is committed to. A rescue centre might be a better option than a breeder - they do a lot of work in matching the right dog to your circumstances, dogs are usually neutered/vaccinated first, and there are a lot of dogs that need good homes. (Full disclosure - I volunteer for a rescue). A puppy, if you haven't had a dog before, will be a lot of work and needs more time than an adult dog.

    I'd suggest sitting down as a family to discuss the issue. If your son's old enough, maybe he could start saving up from his pocket money for the first year's insurance? This will help him understand the responsibility and costs of dog ownership. You could also ask him to research the costs of ownership - insurance, food, vets bills, kennels - so you can make an informed decision together as a family. This isn't the kind of decision you should rush into, and before Christmas isn't really the best time, but it can be very rewarding and fun!
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    • A.Jones
    • By A.Jones 7th Nov 12, 12:43 PM
    • 506 Posts
    • 441 Thanks

    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).
    Originally posted by newpuppy

    The vet will not be poor.
    • Augustus the Strong
    • By Augustus the Strong 7th Nov 12, 2:33 PM
    • 298 Posts
    • 309 Thanks
    Augustus the Strong
    As several people have advised, TALK ABOUT IT! Why do things in secret? Your wife might not even want the holiday you're planning. Discuss things and be open - it saves a lot of trouble all round.
    • Victoria Meldrew
    • By Victoria Meldrew 7th Nov 12, 3:04 PM
    • 768 Posts
    • 1,930 Thanks
    Victoria Meldrew
    Well I'd get the dog but only from a rescue centre - yes it will still cost but you'll be giving a home to an unwanted pet and the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.. You can always save up again for a holiday but bear in mind the costs of putting the dog in kennels (if that's what you have to do).
    It's 5 o'clock somewhere!
  • dancingbillie
    EVERYONE in the family must want a dog, and the adoption of a dog shouldn't be "either a dog or a holiday."
    Go on holiday. Enjoy it.
    • tallgirld
    • By tallgirld 7th Nov 12, 5:57 PM
    • 473 Posts
    • 312 Thanks

    Get the dog when you get back
    • dave2
    • By dave2 7th Nov 12, 6:20 PM
    • 261 Posts
    • 134 Thanks
    I didn't think dogs were very expensive, unless you buy pedigree. Mongrels probably cost nothing especially if they're a rescue, and they tend to be a lot healthier due to having a gene pool.

    The main issue is that a dog would be a new family member and requires a lot of commitment taking care of. A lot of attention, regular feeding, walks (a medium or big dog requires a LOT of exercise), more house cleaning and so on. You'll need someone to look after it if you go far away on holiday. All this for many years, likely beyond when your son leaves home and probably can't take dog with him. A dog can be a wonderful addition to a family IF the family is appropriate one throughout its life.

    If you do get one go through a reputable source, particularly if a rescue. They should make sure you are prepared and that the dog is suitable, especially for a first-time dog owner. These days I think they come and check out you and your home to make sure its suitable.
    • tinkerbel*79
    • By tinkerbel*79 7th Nov 12, 6:23 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    Ask neighbour with a dog if the lad could walk it and see if rainy days and cold weather put a dampner on his enthusiasm to take it out. teaches children responsiblity so its a good thing, best of all your child gets a new best friend.
  • colirv
    Why keep the planned holiday secret from your wife? You might enjoy surprising her but you're depriving her of all the fun of anticipation between now and then. Tell her what you're doing and the problem will be solved whether or not you get the dog.
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