Lost our minds

Joe and I have been fantasizing about getting a dog. Not just a dog, a puppy. Not just any puppy, an expensive full breed puppy. There are the three breeds we like most:


French Bulldog

Boston Terrier

Ok, talk some sense into us!! We totally know that the negatives list outweighs the positives list and
not to mention these
two main reasons:

we have a cranky cat

and we like to travel

But we also know that the work that a dog or puppy takes will be overwhelming.
But look at those faces! they are so cute, and we both LOVE dogs.
and we love the Dog Whisperer.
And we watch all those damn shows on TV about different breeds of dogs, AND
the Eukaneuba Kennel Club dog shows or whatever they are.

are we crazy??
is this just happening because I want a baby
and will substitute this need with a puppy??


  1. Can't help ya - I love dogs. I say do it.

  2. If you choose to adopt, go to the local animal shelter. Approximately 3-4 million dogs are euthanized each year!

  3. The only thing I'll say, is that love of travel and dogs don't go together very well. If the dog can't come along, you have to board him. Which is costly, and our poor dog always comes home looking like he's been awake since we left him. And, if you think you should take the dog with you, you will be surprised how many places dogs aren't allowed. We had to really limit everything we did on a recent trip to Tahoe when my sister brought her dog. And yes, you badly want to Mother a life. But consider when you do have a baby and the dog becomes 2nd fiddle. Sorry to be adding to the cons list. But on a positive note, that French Bulldog is soooooo cute! :-)

  4. I'm with LeeLu -- adopt one that's likely going to be euthanized! Puppies are cute, but if you get a dog that's already a year or so old, the nerve-wracking puppy days are gone, but they're still fun and silly and energetic. PLUS, you can probably find one of these breeds (or a mix) from a rescue group. I love dogs, and have adopted two myself. You should do it!

  5. I love out mutt. I never had a dog before and now that the empty nest stage of our lives is about to start I couln't be happier of the fact that this mutt adopted us (is a long story). Traveling is being "impaired" but I love her.

  6. I love boxers but they get BIG and may be a bit to handle when going on vacations. A boston terrier would be easier for trips and easier on the laps.

    I do like the idea of a rescue but that is not for everyone (my last 3 were). You may be able to find a local "specific breed" rescue who may have a puppy available.

    Just a suggestion. Good luck either way and enjoy...

  7. I adopted 2 border collies so I'm on the "Adopt a Shelter Pet" bandwagon as well. The fun part about that is the dog will actually pick you instead of the other way around. Sounds crazy but it's true. We added another dog to our family this February and went through the should we/shouldn't we discussions. There's always a lot of question marks when it comes to getting another pet but I say GO FOR IT!

  8. I highly recommend adopting, especially a mix breed. We adopted our dog Twila (boxer, pitbull mix) from a rescue organization in Fairfax, Va. Mix breeds have less health issues, plus adopting is so rewarding as you are saving the life of a dog by giving it a loving home! We never knew how much joy a dog could bring into our lives until we adopted Twila! Traveling does get tricky when you own a dog and don't have someone close by to dog sit. When we travel, we drive her all the way to upstate, NY to my sister-in-law's house (she has a farm) because we know Twila likes it there. It is a bit inconvenient, but worth the time knowing she is happy. Adopting a dog is usually the first step couples take before having a baby, so you are not crazy at all! Having a cat may be tricky. Refer to the Dog Whisperer for that. We watched all of his DVD's too-they taught us so much. Go with your heart!

  9. I say you are crazy!
    If you like to travel don't do it unless you have someone who can take care of the dog. Once you go for one you shouldn't change your mind and take it to the dog shelter. So many people do that without thinking how painful that is for those animals left behind.
    I love dogs, but after the dead of my german shepperd I decided not put more pressure on our already saturated life.

  10. I love, love, love the Frenchies!! If I didn't already have 2 Chihuahuas & 5 cats (3 of which I'm fostering indefinitely), I would want a French Bulldog! I have to say, from experience, that having 1 dog is nice (having 7 animals is insane). And being a smaller bread, they are easy to travel with (most airlines allow them to fly under the seat as long as the carrier fits) & some hotels allow pets as well. They are soley dependant on you & a big responsibility, but they love unconditionally & like you said...LOOK AT THAT FACE!!! Good luck with your decision! And on a side note...you will most likely be able to find a breed specific rescue group in your area. Full breed puppies & dogs are turned in all the time! One man's unwanted pup is another woman's faithful companion!!

  11. Go to your local shelter and tell them what you are looking for, if they do not have any right now, ask to be notified if they get one. You already have a cat, so adding another furry will not be that big a deal as far as traveling, and of course the dog may love road trips too :-)

  12. Yay! Do it :) I have two rescue pups. We got Puppet a few months ago...she was about a year old. Very much still a puppy, but was easier to house break because older dogs can hold it longer! We travel a lot too...which is always a challenge, but so worth it! Check out petfinder.com- a site that links to local shelters.

  13. My "real" job is working as a pet sitter, dog walker, rescue coordinator and pet nutritionist. I personally have pugs and know an awful lot about the Brachy (flat faced) breeds.

    First of all, decide on which breed you would like and go through a breed rescue. You will get a dog that has been 1) saved from a bad situation and 2) a dog that has been evaluated, trained, neutered or spayed and has all of his temperament issues either worked out or at least known. Plus, you'll have the support of the rescue behind you.

    Second, all of the breeds you have pictures here are brachycephalic dogs - which means they can have breathing issues tue to their smooshed faces (add Pugs, English Bulldogs, Shihtzus, Brussels Griffons and Pekingese to the list). They cannot handle extreme heat for long periods of time (over 85 degrees) so you have to be cautious with them. They are all house dogs and not meant to live outside.

    Boxers are the most energetic of these breeds with the Boston being a close second. Frenchies can be a bit calmer as can Pugs, Pekes and the rest. They are ALL stubborn, but trainable. The Dog Whisperer method is usually NOT a good method of training for these breeds (I personally wouldn't use his methods on any dog). Victoria Stilwell is a MUCH better example of good training methods.

    The Bulldogs can be VERY expensive - not to buy, but to maintain. They come with a LOAD of health problems. Pugs and Bostons aren't quite as bad, but I would make sure they are on a VERY good diet of grain-free food with a variety of protein sources.

    There's a LOT more info out there on the interwebs. Make sure you research the breed and know what you're getting into and support rescue. Rescues save so many lives and place dogs in great homes usually at a great expense to the organization.

  14. Please, please don't judge me. I had a long post ready to go about our experience with pets, but I opted to just give you the short story. We saved two pups from being euthanized, and have had nothing but trouble with them (I'm talking about visits from the police and dog catchers, bites to children,severe damage to the house, horrible quarrels between the dogs themselves, etc). The kids that begged and begged for them are all but grown and have no time to take care of them so it is up to me. While we continue to give them love and attention, I know that when they are gone we will not be doing this again. I feel horrible about this because so many people have wonderful experiences with their pets. We were just unlucky--twice.

  15. Here are some suggestions---not trying to dissuade you---offered lightly:
    * I've heard of pure breed animal rescue, but I am not sure that they get many puppies. Something to check out? or not.

    * Many breed dogs have serious--$$$--health problems. You can now get health insurance for your pets ... might be something to consider?

    * Do you have the opportunity to do some dog-sitting? I find that after a stint of doing that I am not always so eager to jump into the fray. I know you know what a BIG COMMITMENT getting a puppy is.

    * Perhaps watch a dog-people movie or three (but maybe you've seen them all?)
    A Dog Year (most recent one that I've seen with Jeff Bridges)
    Marley & Me (not that good but ...)
    Hachi (the movie with Richard Gere)

    *Are you experiencing a biological urge? That makes the whole puppy-thang seem more reasonable.

    I love dogs. I have done A WHOLE LOT of dog-sitting, but have yet to have a dog of my own because the conditions haven't been right for that kind of commitment. So write up that pro/con list and then do what your heart dictates.

    Can't wait to see what you guys do!

  16. Oh how funny that our posts coincided like that-so glad you pointed that out to me ;)

    My worry about taking her on right now with 3 kids, weekends away at art fairs, travel,etc had me worried-that and the fear of losing another...but with the kids and hubby begging I had to jump in headfirst.

    Go for it-you have the love to give and it's great to expand your family. Looks like we're both in love w/ "smooshy faced" dogs...Our family all the way back to my great grandfather being a child has had Bostons-they are wonderfully smart & active and just have great personalities. There are rescue sites as well-find them by state or region. We were having bad luck finding one-it was important to us to start w/ a young one since we had kids-just happened that my cousin's friends Boston had pups and the timing just worked out...

    Wishing you the best! Can't wait to see what you end up doing :)

  17. I love dogs. I have three, all of whom were rescues from the local SPCA. Personally, I would take another dog into my home if the county regs didn't limit us to three. I would probably never get a purebred dog, since there are already so many fantastic dogs already in need of a good home.

    That being said...it can be hard to travel if you have a dog. We don't travel, but that may be due to the fact that we have three *kids* as well as three dogs (and 3 cats...).

    I'd go for it. Unless having a baby is on the horizon, and then I'd say...one major commitment at a time. ;)

  18. Not many have commented about the cat aspect...so I'll give my 2 cents worth on that part. We introduced a puppy to our house that already had a cat. Definitely better if it had been vice versa! But since that is what you are working with (and what we had too), let me just say that I felt like we had made a BIG mistake at first. However, after several years (yes, YEARS!), the cat has finally begun to tolerate our dog. There is not much love between them, but tolerance is acceptable!

    And my tip on the travel thing...find a friend with whom you could swap dog-sitting services. Make certain that their dog gets along with yours, and make a proposal! Good luck with your decision!

  19. That is a tough decision. Dogs most definitely change your life (as children do), all for the better in my opinion. We've had 3 dogs in our lives. #1 was a great dog, #2, unfortunately, lots of trouble, thought we wouldn't get another, but only 7 months after we had to put down #2, we rescued our current dog, who is the best anyone could ask for. There is nothing like coming home to find your dog at the door, welcoming you home. Life is so much better with pets, especially a dog. Recues usually are not puppies, so you have the house-training problem solved. Think about a rescue, they will love you back forever. Do your research, best of luck to you! Let us know what you decide.

  20. Anonymous8/16/2011

    I love dogs! I do dog rescue work, mainly coordinate with rural shelters on what will be euthanized and work with several rescues on their availability. I then transport the dogs from the shelters to the rescues. It is so sad at the number of wonderful animals that are left behind and forgotten. The look of loss can be seen in their eyes and it breaks my heart. I can't say enough about rescuing a dog. Like others have said, so many are euthanized to no fault of their own. I have five dogs and must say they have rescued me way more than I have rescued them. I also have a baby on the way. I feel children and dogs go hand-in-hand. :)

    If you are set on a specific breed, there are pure breed rescues out there. Petfinder is the best place to look for all animals in need of a home. Any dog you help in a rescue opens up more room for another. So, you can't go wrong with the local SPCA or a rescue.

    I don't think you are crazy at all! I say go for it if you love dogs.

    Good Luck,
    Angela Buschmann

  21. I dont think I can add much more than the great advice here! But watch this and it may sway you! LOL



  22. Im totally a dog person and would recommend having one but ONLY if you can spend the time with it that it needs. So many have the idea of putting it in the yard while they are at work, or don't want it around. The three breeds you are looking at are VERY social and would become menaces if left alone. That is not to say you can't go to work, but when you are home your dog should be with you.

    A note on the frenchies which I absolutely LOVE!...I checked into one a few months back and found puppies from a good breeder (important) are $3000 and up. A boxer or boston would be awesome and I am sure a local or near by breed rescue could set you up with one that is already trained and is looking for a forever home.

    Good luck..make the choice wisely, not emotionally and it'll be the right choice for you.

  23. I have two dogs, one is a rescue and I'd probably have more if my husband would let me. My vote is for going the rescue route, I'm sure you could find a breed specific one. That said, if you are going to travel a lot, or even have an irregular schedule, think twice. It's like having toddlers that never grow up. They can never feed themselves and never pick up their own poop. lol. (Guess you figured out that I don't go away often and I like schedules!)

  24. We have two Boston Terriers and LOVE them. We too travel alot and are very busy people. Just a though, get 2 dogs, they help train and entertain each other. Yes it's a little more work up front, but way less in the long run.

    My husband wanted a boxer and I wanted a French Bulldog (my counsin breeds them) but after researching the breeds we found that Boston's suit us to a tee. Low dietary maintenance, low exercise maintenance (they take care of entertaining themselves), and low grooming maintenance (baths a few times a year is all that is needed).

    They have wonderful personalities and everybody who meets them falls in love with our babies. We don't have children but these two act like people. They pout, give the cold shoulder when we come back from a long vacation, they give kisses, cuddle, hog the bed, smile, act cute for treats, have their favorite toys, love to play and be with people. They have big dog mentality in a smaller dog size, so they aren't yappy ankle biters. They are couragous, will tackle bigger dogs if needed, great with kids, arn't timid, but not aggressive either.

    We wouldn't trade them for the world! They make us laugh, they comfort us when we are sick, and always cheer us up when we've had a bad day.

  25. All of the potential pitfalls in getting a dog are simpily problems to be solved; it simplly depends on whether you're willing to deal with what it takese to solve them. If you have good friends who could dog-sit, you simplly make it a point to have the dog become very comfortable around them from the beginning. Etcetera.

    The one real issue that I'm concerned about, is that sometimes dogs and babies do not mix. Some dogs become very territorial and resent the presence of the infant, and heartbroken owners find themselves getting rid of the dog because they fear for the child's safety. In my experience, more often than not the dog becomes very protective of the child and there aren't really any serious jealousy problems. I simply think that if you want to get a dog, you go into it with your eyes open. Make sure you understand as many aspects of the downside as possible, and that you're willing to deal with them. I'm in agreement with those who are suggesting a mixed breed. My friends who've gotten dogs of a specific breed have ALL had to cope with medical issues caused by bad breeding practices.

  26. all the above comments are great..
    if you are going to be traveling a lot and perhaps starting a family maybe the timings isn't that great for the extra time required to create a good dog..
    see my blog for my latest foundling.. mine are rescues..

    oh..a FYI.. it's not unusual for them to scratch up hardwood floors, get on the furniture..chew stuff>siding off the house, garden tools,door mat..get into anything left on the counter..liquid laundry soap over the floors,chocolate powder tossed over the kitchen..dig big holes in the yard...get on the table eat the flowers and throw up on the newspaper,take a bite out of grandmom's coconut cake.. love dogs but just sayin'

  27. I think you should offer to "borrow" or even foster a dog for a while. There are many no-kill shelters looking for temporary homes and that would be a great way to see if a dog really fits into your lifestyle.

    Oh, and just because you travel doesn't mean you necessarily have to board your dog. There are pet-sitting services that will come to your house while you're gone or there might be responsible young people in your neighborhood who want to take on the task.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!

  28. Boxer, defintely a boxer. We share our home with two boxers, our girls. Yes, when we travel it is tough on them, that is why we always have two, so that they can keep each other company. But find a house/dog sitter and they will love you for it.

  29. I also wanted a puppy & a baby at the same time. I'm so happy I got the baby! The thing about a dog - beyond the traveling issue, which is major (this coming from the kid who constantly had to watch her parent's dog) - when you do get the baby the dog takes a back seat & may become less joy, more burden. Baby's take a lot longer to get, but are sooo worth the wait!

  30. I have super strong opinions on this but it looks like everything I would say has already been covered by various commenters. Rescue groups are the best...if your heart is set on a particular breed just search for their specific rescue group. At any time I can find at least 5 adoptable Golden Retrievers that I would take home in a heartbeat through our local Golden rescue. The best part is they've all been fostered first and temperament tested so you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Puppies do come along as well, you just have to be patient.

    The travel thing is totally a consideration, I literally read on our rescue site today that a beautiful 2 year old Golden was given up "because the owner was going on vacation and didn't want to have to find someone to watch her". The most common thing on there? "Had a baby and no longer has time for the dog" Breaks my heart.

    Good luck in your decision, it's a huge commitment! I respect that you're giving the potential cons fair consideration :)

  31. Brenda8/16/2011

    Get a second cat instead! I once was a dog person, am one no longer.
    Our son was born and our dog passed away when our son was 6 months old. We got a cat shortly afterward and then a second cat. Dogs are wonderful, but they are a lot of work. I like to travel, also. At least I can leave the cats for a few days and have a neighbor check on them. Can't do that with a dog. Nope!

  32. Sorry, can't talk you out of a dog. We are cat and dog people, although we have no cats right now. My dogs are my babies (the human kind are all grown up). Our old boy Bob was actually 'raised' by a cranky old cat. They learned to love each other. As a pup, all cranky Walter had to do was give Bob a good talking to and they became best mates. Travelling isn't such a huge probem for us. Most of the time our two dogs go with us. Lots of hotels accept dogs. And ours are reasonably large dogs. When we can't take them with us they go to our vets. They both love the vet. We just tell them they are going to the spa and they get all excited. Like I said, I can't even begin to talk you out of a dog. I've loved all of the cats I've ever had. But all of my dogs have loved me in ways that my cats just didn't. Best of luck in your decision. It's a big one.

  33. Dogs-we have 3-an AKC black lab, a shepard hound mix and an australian cattle dog. I love them all. My daughter has an AKC boxer and he is comical. He's not to big and loves to cuddle and completely unware of himself. They live on a military base and take him to the dog park-I call him the official greeter-every dog that enters, he runs over to say hi! He does snore very loud. He travels very well. When they come home to visit it is about a 12 hour ride and he just sleeps. He needs to be grated when they go out because he will rip stuff up-separation anxiety-or potty all over the house. AKC dogs, in my experience can be more demanding than a mix. You will know when the time is right and which dog is right-you will feel a connection.Best of Luck.

  34. Female boxers are absolutely the best family dogs! Hands down, had them for years, never a problem...do not crop their ears tho!

  35. Do it! I vote for the Boston Terrier or the French Bulldog...way too cute! I love all animals. I'm not going to talk you out of it. When my sister and her hubby got their 1st puppy, they got pregnant less than 6 months later!

  36. Wow! Did you have any idea you would get this many comments on this post!!
    Since my hubs didn't want a dog, we had to pray for one. Took a year to find the right one for our family. We've had her for 8 months, and she is "just right" for us. We love boxers as well, but needed a smaller inside dog. Hubs wanted a "non-shedding" breed. Which had me looking at pure breeds. Expensive. Our girl is a rescue, and yes, a pet is a lot of work. Most things that are worth it in life are. Best wishes for your decision. :)

  37. Go for it! My daughter is a vet and owns a Frenchie. They are impossible to potty train. You need to the time and patience to train them. They will urinate right on you.

  38. Anonymous8/17/2011

    Whoa great load of comments.

    I am a firm believer that before a couple has a baby they MUST definitely raise a young animal - preferably a dog! It is wonderful grounding for parenthood as it teaches them patience, duty, responsibility, how to mete out discipline, how to agree on training and of course the joys of unconditional love. (At a lot less work too.)

    We still have our first daughter a 14 year old cross bred - free to good home (believe me nothing in life is free least of all a pet) and an almost 3 year old purebred German Shorthaired Pointer. Oh in between 2 children who have grown up avid and caring animal lovers - we also volunteer at the local Stray Dog Shelter and the kids love it. When we go away one boards at a great free range kennel and the 14 year old at my parents as she is old and special. They are an intrinsic part of our family and I can't imaging a life without dogs or my children growing up without them as they are our loving companions.

    And lastly - memories of my youth - my parents (also dog people) had a Boxer when I was young. This is not politically correct these days but my brother learnt to stand up by grasping onto his jowls and pulling himself up (never a growl however maybe that's whats wrong with my brother!) Ceasar was so faithful and loyal that 40 odd years later Mum still tears up when we talk of him. (Remember though Boxers are high octane for 3 years just like my GSP.)

    Go for it Lorelei what ever you both decide and ENJOY.


  39. I can honestly say that I love my dog - a Yellow Lab - more than most people. He is 10 years old now - I also had his littermate, who died last year. Both dogs - purebreds - have had severe health problems throughout their lifetimes. We have spent over $30k on surgeries for both dogs over the past 9 years. As much as I have absolutely loved raising my babies (I have no real children), I am literally "housebound". I have put off many potential travel plans, as I cannot bear to board him - it just breaks my heart! It is truly a life changing experience - one I do not regret. However, when he decides to join his sister over the Rainbow Bridge, I am done!

  40. If you want love, choose a boxer ;) My little baby is a boxer girl. She's 3 and a half year now, but still my little baby(even though she's not so small anymore). The only thing you should think about is... are you prepared to fall so incredibly in love with a breed that you'd never want an other type of dog for the rest of your life? :)
    Just look at this face: http://bilder.vgb.no/29888/3col/img_49175b94a1fa3.jpg
    Who could possibly say no to a face like that?

    Ok, I admit it. I'm a big boxer fan.

  41. Get the Boston Terrier they are good natured or a mixed breed small dog, so if you go on a day trip you can take them along.
    When we travel we have a dog/house sitter, someone we know well of course, that way the the house is occupied and the dog is taken care of in their own environment.
    I would also consider a mixed breed from the humane society, a lot less vet bills. The pure bred dogs come along with a lot of medical problems, because of the breeding.
    We have many friends with boxers and they have consistently had heart problems and not had a very long life. Our mixed breeds have lived a quite healthy life into their teens.
    Taking care of a dog is a great way for couples to prep for a family.

  42. Get a dog! Their benefits far outweigh their drawbacks!

  43. Aww All I have to add is we had a Boston for 15 years - best dog ever he was loyal, sweet, happy and loving very easy to train and never once lost his patience with the kids. They are the small dog that doesn't know it's a small dog he loved everyone and before we had kids the neighborhood kids would knock at the door and ask if Dudley could come out to play. I can't recommend them highly enough!

  44. Oh and I forgot to mention we brought Dudley home to 2 old crotchety cats and after the first day really not a problem. He loved them they tolerated him ( I don't think he ever noticed)

  45. Oh Lorelei, think twice!!! I have ever had dogs all my life and I can´t live without them! But a dog will need your TIME! Sorry to say, but I have seen "crazy things" with dog in US :(

  46. Definitely consider adopting a puppy from a local shelter or even a breed rescue. We just got two adorable terrier mixes, they are without doubt the best dogs I have ever owned. They are so grateful to have someone love them and so incredibly sweet. Any breed you want has a rescue and often has puppies.

    Good luck! Dogs are a LOT of work and puppies especially, but they're definitely worth it.


  47. Anonymous8/29/2011

    There are many good posts here. IMHO, what it comes down to is this: anything you choose to take on in life is going to take work, including a dog. I have two big dogs, and can tell you that any effort I put into them is rewarded back to me 1000%. I love cats and dogs, and have usually had both together, but there is an added depth to a relationship with a dog that cat's can't match. The love, the intelligence, the desire to interact with you, the adventures you can have with a dog - priceless, and worth EVERY bit of energy I put into them! :) I do have several suggestions: adopt and save a life, either from a shelter or a rescue. Don't get a puppy - they're more work for you by far, and with a dog a few months old or older, you can tell what personality you're getting. Try a breed-specific rescue group. Get a smaller dog, which will be easier to control physically once trained. Commit to training it - makes your life easier, and dogs are so eager to please! Socialize the heck out of your dog, with people and other dogs - prevents problems of aggression and enriches your dog's life. And don't buy into the "boarding is mean" BS -my dogs LOVE to be boarded -it's play time! woohoo! I take them with me when I can, and when I can't, they're safe and happy at a good kennel. Last, prepare to give your heart completely, and receive theirs in return. You will never find a love more unconditional or more rewarding. Your dog will make you a better person. :)


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