Thinking Of Making A New (Furry) Friend

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So, i'm past that "new house" phase.

The condo is great, I really like being a homeowner, even with the increased headaches. Like the other day, a water heater broke on the 4th floor, and i'm on the 3rd. Water was everywhere. The management called me at work, and told me that my apartment "may be flooded". I ran home from work, and found that I had some water damage, but it wasn't as bad as my imagination let me believe. On another day, my closet door decided to seperate from the joint, so I need to stop by Home Depot and get some glue to fix that.

So things are chugging along. I'd like to try to cook more, but often I find that i'm eating out more. I bought a new book "The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook", which so far has been outstanding. Lots of pictures, very easy instructions and straightforward.

I have also noticed that after living with roommates for the last 12 years that i'm....

...hold on, need to check a thesaurus to get the right word here...

More "isolated". I didn't want to use "lonely", because I don't feel lonely. That conveys a sort of sadness, and i'm not sad. I just miss having friends when I get home from work to chat with, or little Layla to roughhouse.

I have grown used to the idea that i'd come home and see someone. I have had mostly good roommates and some bad apples. But I miss the interaction. I'm more isolated now, in my apartment it's just me and my PC and TV to keep me company.

I thought about it a bit, and i'm considering making a new friend. A new furry friend. A puppy.
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I know that somewhere out there a red headed reader just rolled her eyes at that last sentence, but it's true. I think that dogs, some dogs, not all dogs, are good to have in Hoboken, if you have the right living situation.

I feel bad for those dogs which are cooped up all day by owners who don't pay them any attention. The owners treat their dogs like an object, and buy a dog based on a whim. They don't think about how the dog will like living in an apartment, without a yard, or without an owner who doesn't exercise the dog enough.

Which is why i'm considering it, and trying to look at all the angles to make sure if it is right for me and if my situation is fair for a dog.

My first thought was "What kind of dog should I get?"

Well, I had to think about who *I* am, my lifestyle, and my home and the kind of dog for it.

Getting a "high energy" dog would be a bad idea, in my opinion. I don't want to get a dog that needs to be outside all the time, like a Australian Border Collie. I think they are great dogs, and very smart, but not right for my situation. I also grew up with an Afgan Hound named Leia. Leia was a very gentle and kind dog, but we called her "The Living Rug". She would lie around all day, eat, shit and go back to sleep. She didn't do any real "dog" like things - fetch, play or even show excitement. She was one aloof dog. Maybe she was just a really big fluffy cat and I didn't know it. Anyhow, I don't want a dog that is just....there. I'd like a dog that has a good personality.

Then I thought of "Me" and what I like - I like being more inside my condo. Watching TV, playing video games (can you believe i'm still single ladies - wow) and I do like going outside, but I can't say i'm out rock climbing each weekend.121007b.jpg

I kind of need a dog that fits those two ideas: 1) Don't have a big house or yard, 2) Low to mid-energy, 3) Doesn't mind if I make him wear things like a Philadelphia Eagles dog collar or dog sized jersey, 4) Isn't a extremely small dog, because i'm not gay (not that there's anything wrong with that) and i'm kind of a tall guy and it would look strange if me and my Chihuahua were hanging out.

My favorite dog is a Boxer. I have liked them since I was a child, and always wanted to own one. The one negative thought is that I really wonder if a Boxer is an "apartment dog". I spoke to other owners in town who swear by their Boxers and say that they are a great pet, even for Hoboken. I feel like a Boxer is a more mid-energy dog and i'm thinking that if I had a house in the suburbs, it may be a better fit.

The next one i'm interested in is an English Bulldog. They have a low energy level, love apartments. Fit my kind of lifestyle. Only issue is that they snore, slobber and are gassy. It would be like I invited the dog version of my brother to live with me. Also I heard that bulldogs are a bit high maintence, like cleaning their facial folds every other week to prevent infection. I like the Bulldogs, and if I found a good litter, I may consider it.

The last one is a French Bulldog. 121007c.jpgI think they are just adorable, with their bat ears and small, compact frame. From what I understand, they have a great temperment, if a bit stubborn, and also they can be extremely expensive to own because of problematic health issues.

I mentioned this idea to a friend and they mentioned about using the ASCPA or a "dog rescue". I think this is a fine solution for the right home. My sisters have adopted dogs, and I think in the future i'd look into this. Just isn't a consideration right now, because of my living situation. I really am interested in a specific breed of dog, and also interested in getting a purebred puppy that I can train from the start, rather than someone else's dog. I certainly think that rescuing a dog is a noble cause, like Oscar from Hoboken411! Adoption just isn't part of my plan right now.

Again, i'm just thinking of it. Much like any big decision, I try analyze it from all angles. My main concerns about getting a dog right now are the following:

1. I have to recognize that i'm nearly 36 and this is a friend i'll have with me for the next 8-15 years (depending on breed). Sure, right now i'm single and in an apartment...does that change in the next 3 to 6 years? Who knows?

2. I lose a slice of independence. I have a new family member that will depend upon me to walk them, feed them and be there. I dread the idea of walking up every morning for a walk, since i'm NOT a morning person. Others have told me that they simply have gotten used to the routine of dog walking.

3. I'm kind-of-sort-of trying to save money. Dogs can be expensive. My financial situation has stabilized (thanks to a bonus from Corporation X in October), and i'm trying to knock out some bills (PSE&G, mortgage, etc). None of those issues are "urgent". I keep thinking that maybe I should wait another year or two, but then keep thinking that it would be one or two years that I was without a puppy. I'm trying to balance those thoughts.

In the end I don't know a lot of dog owners that regret owning a dog. They bring a lot of love, fun and merriment into people's lives. Kristen remarked to me, "It's funny - it is hard to remember what my life was like when I didn't have Layla in it. I love her so much!"

What do you think?

1 Comment

I think you should get a cat

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on December 7, 2007 9:11 AM.

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