We’ll soon enjoy the pitter patter of little feet! Go grab your skates because Hell has frozen solid.

Oh, please.

Come on!

You’re not really expecting me to announce that I’m pregnant, are you?

As if.

I already have 850 glistening stretch marks. Any more and I run the risk of the mother ship spotting me from space and beaming me up before I find out what the hell finally happens on Lost. Not to mention that the mere thought of labor has my boy howdy cringing so hard, I think it’s turned inside out.

No, I’m not pregnant.

For all of you who are disappointed, saying Damn. Thanks for getting our hopes up. Here we thought you were going to do something productive with your life instead of just blogging the hell out it, I have two words for you.

HAVE YOU LOST YOURΒ  EVER LOVIN’ MINDS?

OK, that was seven. And they only include one of the two I was originally considering. You got me so flustered, I can’t count.

But I have to admit, there is a tiny voice inside of me whispering … wouldn’t it be nice to have another baby?

AAAAAAAAACCCCCKKKKKKK

**SLAM**

That was my uterus, screeching and careening out the front door and getting the hell out of Dodge, lest I up and get myself any funny ideas.

**GRUNT**

**UGH**

**OOMPH*

**OUCH, OW**

**OH MY GOD**

**UGH**

**WAIT UP!**

**SLAM**

That was Nate, wrapping his cajones in protective steel branded with the insignia HAZARDOUS WASTE, DO NOT TOUCH, and waddling out the door after my uterus, lest I up and get myself any funny ideas. And a jackhammer, hazmat suit and turkey baster.

So, I repeat: I’m not pregnant. I just look like I am, especially around the 27th of any given month.

However, with regards to the pitter patter of little feet, we did just have the following conversation the other night, which was a repetition of the same conversation we have had at least once a month for the past four years, save for one minor detail:

Helena: Can we get a dog?

Zoe: Can we get a dog?

Zoe & Helena in unison: Can we get a dog?

Zoe & Helena in unison in B minor: Can we get a dog?

Helena and Zoe in unison with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

Nate: OK.

.

I didn’t have much to add to this conversation, what with me laying on the floor and all, knocked unconscious by the ginormous pigs which flew into our kitchen and slammed into my skull.

So as of yesterday, we are on a mission to find a puppy. And I’m actually OK with it.

I know, right? If you ignore all the tics and twitching and the pulsating vein in my forehead and that weird thing that my left eye won’t stop doing, you’d never know that I was voluntarily entering the realm of potty training again.

And yes, for those of you who know me well, I am still prone to going into anaphylactic shock if dog slobber gets within five feet of anything on my body. Like, for instance, my aura.

Obviously, I have a few things I need to work on.

Here’s our criteria for a puppy, and when I say “our” I totally mean MY:

  1. Hypoallergenic, with as little shedding and dander as humanly, or caninely, possible.
  2. Is caninely a word? It should be.
  3. Must be on the smaller side, preferably less than twenty pounds. I do not want to wake up asphyxiated because it slept on my chest, having preferred something lumpier than the new puppy pillow we bought it. How am I going to cook dinner if I’m asphyxiated?
  4. It must be a girl. Or a boy. I have no idea which is better but it has to fall into one of those categories. If there’s any question, or if it falls into both, then it’s not the right dog for us. I’m still trying to figure out Facebook. That’s confusing enough.
  5. Must not eat poop. Like I told both my kids when they were pups:Β  THIS ISΒ  A DEAL BREAKER.
  6. Must use the toilet for waste management and teach my kids and husband how to replace the toilet paper roll.

That last one is negotiable. Maybe.

Our kids have been assigned the task of researching the breed that will best fit our family, as well as collecting information that will give us a good idea as to the cost associated with having a dog. Then, we’ll just do what we did ten years ago when we tossed around the idea of having a second child: add $536,799.82 to the total and plan to never retire.

This is our first foray into puppy rearing and I have no idea what I’m doing but that’s OK because I never know what I’m doing so this instance feels sort of comfy and toasty warm, like I’ve been wrapped up in a blanket made out of fleece and deja vu. Nate has never raised a puppy either but together, we have managed to raise two pretty good, healthy kids. Yes, there have been lots of broken bones in the case of our eldest and one near ear amputation in the case of our youngest but that’s because our eldest is uncoordinated and our youngest has to outdo her sister at all costs. The important thing is that the police have never been called to our house. THANK GOD FOR WITNESSES.

Throughout this puppy saga, I’ll probably be posting several questions to all of you, such as Is it normal for puppies to poop an amount roughly equal to quadruple their weight? In the linen closet?

If we spend more on the dog’s teeth than on our kids’ orthodontics, can we claim the dog on our tax return?

Why the hell didn’t somebody smack me upside the head when I first mentioned getting a puppy?

Until then, humor me:

Do you have a dog? What kind? Do you recommend any that fit our criteria? Most importantly, do you think a meteorite fell from the sky and bonked me in the head and my family hasn’t noticed yet?

.

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56 thoughts on “We’ll soon enjoy the pitter patter of little feet! Go grab your skates because Hell has frozen solid.”

  1. replace Zoe and Helena with a 29 year old man- baby, and you pretty much have the same conversation I’ve been having with my hunny for the last year. At first it was a pig. he wanted a PIG. This was until I realized that pigs can last 20 + years and can cost a fortune a take care of with special vets etc and I demanded that if he was going to stick me with a whining slobbering money sucking dependent for the next 20+ years, he better drop trou and plan on giving me one with 23 pairs of chromosomes. He very quickly decided that a golden retriever would be just fine by him. So now, the puppy hunt begins at our house this week πŸ™‚ see, I win! lol Good luck!

  2. Oooooooooh! *squeal* We’re getting one too! It’s been over a year since our 2 lunkheads died, and I think I’m ready for the heart-wringer again… In researching what kind of dog we wanted (Sheltie/Collie, I think; although there are some Golden Retriever pups going cheap from a colleague), we found this site invaluable:

    http://www.terrificpets.com/dog_breeds/Affenpinscher.asp

    That’s the first breed listed, but you can use the dropdown menu to see any of them. Factors to look for:
    -How much time are you willing to spend with them for exercise
    -How much time they’ll spend alone in the house
    -How much hair do you want around
    -How good will they be with the kids
    -How prone are they to congenital defects
    -What kind of outdoors accommodation you can give them

    Oh, I can’t wait to see stories about this!

  3. We had dogs as children bu tmy hubby absolutely refuses to let us have one – I AM SO JEALOUS – oh and yes, I did think you were pregnant (despite all the evidence against this being even vaguely likely) – in the time it took to work out the age of your kids and then think of your age, then remember your joy at labour and stretchmarks……I ended up at the “WTF?” stage!
    We had dachshunds and basset hound……do not get either of these! Dachshunds – CAN be snappy and domineering (ours werent but hey!), on the good side they enjoy exercise but dont have to have too much – ooooo but another bad side is their shape – they are prone to losing the use of their back legs and having to be put on wheels – ok stop laughing =- this is serious (well it was for our dog anyway!).. Basset Hounds – oh the hair, oh the slobber! Absolutely brilliant dogs to have with kids – brilliant – but can be a real pain to train – at the time we had ours we couldnt even FIND a training place that would TAKE her!!! But brilliant with kids. Oh and we used to have to use a clothes peg to peg her ears up when dad gave her curry (just dont ask – they really do eat anything!) otherwise she stank of curry for weeks even after we washed her ears.
    Anything poodle like would sort out the hair side of things for you – labradoodles are “meant” to be fab – bit big though perhaps? Retrievers, labradors etc although fab have waaaay too much hair!
    Thats about the extent of my knowledge on dogs! Have a great time – and I AM SO JEALOUS!!!
    rx

  4. Oh Brilliant – if ever there was a case to read through a post…..”we had dogs as children” – no we didnt have them as child substitutes – we had them when we were children!

    Not even gonna bother reading the rest – have to go to work through the snow!

    Rx

  5. had dogs when a kid and one at my mums home as no space in the house i now live in πŸ™ mainly had german pointers, collies and a poodle πŸ™‚ poodles i.e toy poodle these are small but can be mean so you must train them very well!

  6. We have a Shitzu cross with a Maltese – the cross is called a Malshue I think. Great little house dog that doesn’t shed hair but requires grooming (haircuts) every 2 months and that means she get more haircuts a year than me. Lovely natured, loves kids and great company. Only problem is she gets separation anxiety when we leave her alone.

  7. Rather than a specific breed, I’d recommend checking out the SPCA. Yep, you can often get puppies, though don’t underestimate the lure of a slightly older dog–already potty trained! Growing up, all our dogs were from the SPCA but one pure-bred Cocker Spaniel. What an unpleasant dog with myriad health issues! I’d steer clear of cocker spaniels. My parents now adopt older dogs…I was worried at first that they were going to get “bad” dogs–I mean, someone already gave them up! But they have 3 wonderful dogs now that had all been surrendered to the SPCA as adult dogs. Besides the low cost, another benefit of the SPCA is that you can meet the dog and play with it, take it for a walk, decide if it’s a good fit. Good luck with your search!

  8. What she said up there!! Also, if you find a breed that seems perfect, Google that breed plus the word rescue, and you’ll find groups who rescue that specific breed of dog. Then you can get a dog that needs a good home, instead of contributing to the serious pet overpopulation problem!
    I’m so excited for you, I LOVE dogs! My SIL has all sorts of allergies, and they have a shi-poo which is a shih tzu/ poodle cross and she doesn’t give her any problems.
    Good luck!

  9. Hold on a moment- what happened to the kitten idea? I totally thought *that* was where you were going with this, not pregnancy or puppy!

    You should totally check into Cockapoos. Despite their rather unfortunate name (in Sweden they call them Spoodles, which I don’t know is any better, and I’ve also seen them called Cockerpoos which is definitely worse…) they are a fantastic, fantastic type of dog, as I’ve learned from doing hours and hours of research into dog breeds and mixes etc while waging the same battle with my own spouse-n-child. Except in our house he’s the one saying no while I’m the one saying “wouldn’t that be the best birthday present, like, EVER for the kid this summer?” Teddy, the dog I blogged about last fall when we dogsat for him (http://nobody-but-yourself.blogspot.com/2009/10/phriday-photo-phiesta-doggone-it.html), is a Cockapoo and is simply the best dog EVER. (And I say that having grown up my entire life with dogs ranging from tiny miniature poodles to ginormous Great Pyrenees and Komondors. I have been a dog person for more years than I haven’t in my life.) http://dogtime.com/cockapoo.html and http://www.americancockapooclub.com/train_info.asp have good basic info on the breed for a starting point. (Yes, I have bookmarks – told you I’ve been researching…) I know one dog does not a breed standard make, but from everything I’ve read on the breed, it seems like Teddy is the rule and not the exception. Plus, Cockapoos are smaller, hypoallergenic, low-shedding, healthy (or healthier than purebreds as a whole) and have a longer lifespan than many breeds. Kiddo’s grandparents got Teddy from Lollypop, by the by, and as a bonus, he was a little bit older (just over a year) so he was already housebroken. We’re dogsitting again for him on Saturday if you want to meet him up close and personal… πŸ˜€

    On the other hand, if you want all of my hubby’s reasons why we should NOT get a dog in the next 12 months, I’d be happy to list them for you as well. He has temporarily quashed my dream and will be breaking Kiddo’s heart when summer rolls around and a dog does not magically appear in our magically newly fenced-in back yard.

  10. I have a shih tzu and she is great! She is two years old now. She is hypoallergenic, but her long hair is a pia, so I keep it short! She is great with kids (she plays so good with my two year old nephew, she has never bitten anyone, and loves to play with toys. She runs around, gets herself super tired, and sleeps like a champ! The only thing..when she was a puppy, she ate her own poop. My husband freaked out. I was not happy. So we just had to watch her when she used the bathroom and made sure she came to us right away when she was finished. When we did that she didnt eat it anymore. Seriously disturbing, but lots of puppies do. Anyway also she house trained really well too. She never uses the bathroom in the house, but we also let her out on a regular schedule too. We did crate training to help house break her. I could go on for a million years, if you have any questions email me! I’d love to help out!

  11. My boyfriend just got a dog himself right before Christmas. It was a gift from me to him. He did a lot of researching online, and found a shelter nearby that had a German Shepard. The cost t ‘adopt’ a pet there was $150 which may sound steep, but that included shots, spay or neutering, microchip, and 30 day insurance of up to $750 just in case. They also tested for heartworms. My boyfriend headed over there to pick up the German Shepard, but found a mix breed that he ended up liking better. He is 1 year old and was housebroken already. Since we’ve had him he has never had an accident in the house. He is fed twice a day and taken outside shortly after his meal. According to my boyfriend (because I don’t know a lot about dogs) that’s a large part of housebreaking them. Hope this helps!

  12. We have 4 dogs & I’d have another 40 if my husband would let me!!! πŸ™‚

    I personally through the years LOVE the breed of an Australian Shepherd, but they are VERY smart & have a way of OUTSMARTING their owners sometimes… so with already having children & their ways of outsmarting parents, maybe that isnt the best breed for you πŸ™‚ I’m sure no matter what it is, it’ll be hard at first – puppy stage is VERY hard… but you’ll have a ball of fur for many many years that will love you!

  13. Go ahead and have another real baby — at least there is the hope that it will grow up and take care of you in your old age. A dog (no .. it won’t stay a “puppy” and WILL become a dog) never, ever, gains the ability to take care of itself. Someone …. in other words, YOU … will always be caring for the dog … feeding it, cleaning it, cleaning up after it, making sure that it has care when you might get a wee vacation.
    Consider this a slap up side the head!

  14. With all your OCDisms you’re getting a dog? I think one of those pigs hit me in the head too. They have a book Puppies for Dummies. I’m not sure how effective it is, but it’s out there. I’d buy it if we were getting a dog. Thankfully I never have to have that conversation with my kids as my oldest son and I have been skin tested and we are both not only allergic to dog dander but also saliva. Nothing furry in this house.

  15. God bless you! I can’t imagine taking on a puppy! I have a lab/shepherd mix that we adopted but luckily she was already potty trained when we got her. My “temporary” caretaking of my sister’s Yorkie has made me wish we had gotten a smaller dog.

    Especially when you consider we live in an apartment so small that my dog’s tail nearly knocks over everything she walks past….my carpets used to look nice before several cups of coffee were overturned from the end table by that vicious happy tail!

    Good Luck! I’ll be more than happy to bonk you upside the head when the time comes!

  16. We have two dogs: a pug/beagle (“puggle”) mix and a soft coated wheaten terrier. The wheaten might fit your criteria. They’re a *little* high energy (but not nearly as much as a boarder collie, for instance). They don’t shed, but will need to be clipped/groomed. Ours is about 30-pounds but I swear it’s mostly fluff because he feels like he weighs nothing. (Our puggle, on the other hand, weighs 35 pounds and feels like a little TANK when she jumps on your lap.) Wheatens make wonderful family dogs, are very smart, and eager to please.

    … That being said, we adopted both our dogs from rescues when they were 2 years old. I never had to go through the puppy-phase with either of them and they were both already housebroken. HOORAY! I’m not good with puppy-rearing so it was an ideal solution for us.

  17. I’m not a dog person but we have one thanks to 8 years of relentless campaigning by DH. We got her from the shelter. She was about 1.5 years old, housebroken & had some basic training already. You might want to consider that option. She’s about 40lbs and is assorted hound. She just won’t stay on a lead or in the yard but out here that isn’t too much of a big deal. The thing about dogs, unlike cats, is you can’t just go off for a couple days & leave them with a bowl a food & litter box. You have to get someone to take care of the dog even if it is just for 24 hours and that I find incredibly annoying.

  18. OMG you’re hilarious. I have a Boston terrier and he meets all your criteria except the last one (and I’ve never really pushed him). Despite spending my entire savings on his dental work last night he’s the best dog in the world. Always happy, full of life and love and the king of cuddles. They are just VERY high energy!

    Look into them. Oh and get pet insurance. For serious!

  19. PLEASE rescue a dog, rather than supporting backyard breeders or puppymills. A quick google search will give you more information than you ever needed about the pet-overpopulation problem we face. Pet store puppies, aka, puppymill dogs, (unless through an adoption event with a local rescue organization) are raised in crowded, tiny cages, born from mother dogs who often never see sunshine, feel the love of a family, receive little healthcare, etc. You do not want to support these people by buying one of their pets (supply and demand!). YOUR BEST BET is to find a local rescue organization, especially one that places dogs in foster homes, because they will be able to really match you with a dog whose temperment, behavior and training will be a good fit for your household. We have two dogs that we adopted from a local rescue organization and they are the BEST little members of our family, and they reward us daily for giving them a warm, safe home. UNTIL THERE ARE NONE, ADOPT ONE! Also, please spay/neuter your dog (this will REALLY help with behavioral issues too!), and keep them protected with regular preventative veterinary care.

  20. Okay, as a person who absolutely hated dogs my entire life and NEVER wanted one, I think that I have the perfect breed for you.

    We got a miniature schnauzer last year (because my husband wanted a dog and he grew up with schnauzers) and I can honestly say she fits every one of your criteria, and has me completely wrapped around her little finger, err, paw.

    Addie is hypoallergenic, does not shed (has hair, not fur), is small but not obnoxiously small like a chihuahua (she is about 14 pounds full grown), she is VERY smart and we trained her to ring a bell when she needs to go potty along with other important tricks like “roll over” or “play dead”. She does not eat her own poo, does not drool or slobber, and while schnauzers are supposedly a “barky” breed, Addie is not. We trained her from the get-go not to bark, and so, well…she just doesn’t bark!

    I think you should definitely consider a schnauzer. On top of all the aforementioned aspects, schnauzers are SO stinking cute πŸ™‚ You can see pics of our pup on my blog if you click on the “Addie” label!

    I feel like I just wrote a theme for school: “Why my dog is the best: An essay” By Allison R. heh

    Good luck!!

  21. I have a dog whom I absolutely adore and he fits pretty much none of your criteria. If you know half of what I’ve been through with him over the span of his 7 1/2 years on this Earth you would change your mind about getting a dog so fast your head would spin. If I could go back in time and NOT get my dog, I still would get him. I love him whole-heartedly. My advice to you is to not get your hopes up about finding a dog that meets all your criteria. Just like kids, no dog is perfect. It’s going to pee, poop, throw up, chew, run, bark…but it will love you unconditionally and in the end, it’s all worth it.

  22. As far as I know, the only dog that is truly hypoallergenic is a pure-bred poodle, and a toy poodle left with normal hair is a cute fuzzy teddy bear; and not to mention smart, with tiny little poops…

    I can’t commit right now to a pet because I can’t deal with the notion of flea/tick/heart meds every month; putting organophosphate poisons around a pet’s neck, right where my children want to hug them, does not sit well with me, and neither do fleas overtaking my home…

    I don’t blame you if you delete this comment.

  23. As usual, I shared this hilarious post with my dh.

    He raised his eyebrows and said “She’s a wee bit wacky, isn’t she?!”

    So there you go, an official diagnosis from a medical doctor – thought you might like to know that they are on to you!

  24. we had a dog but had to give it up when we moved to the desert. To old and whiney would tolerate it at all.

    In search of a new one..a dog that is…not a husband. Just because he and I argue doesn’t mean I would trade his old, grumpy, and orny ocd butt in for anyone else. yes, folks your heard it hear first.

    psst I got an award today..check it out.

  25. Here is a great article I read and wanted to share. Puppies are awesome but they require a lot of work. Please consider an adult rescue – there are 10 great reasons below.

    “Top 10 Reasons You Should Consider an Adult Rescue”

    10) In a Word–Housebroken. With most family members gone during the workweek for 8 hours or more, house training a puppy and its small bladder can take awhile. Puppies need a consistent schedule with frequent opportunities to eliminate where you want them. They can’t wait for the boss to finish his meeting or the kids to come home from after school activities.
    An older dog can “hold it” much more reliably for longer time periods, and usually the Rescue has him housebroken before he is adopted.

    9) Intact Underwear. With a chewy puppy, you can count on at least 10 mismatched pairs of socks and a variety of unmentionables rendered to the “rag bag” before he cuts every tooth. And don’t even think about shoes! Also, you can expect holes in your carpet (along with the urine stains), pages missing from books, stuffing exposed from couches, and at least one dead remote control. No matter how well you watch them, it will happen–this is a puppy’s job! An older dog can usually have the run of the house without destroying it.

    8) A Good Night’s Sleep. Forget the alarm clocks and hot water bottles, a puppy can be very demanding at 2am and 4am and 6am. He misses his litter-mates, and that stuffed animal will not make a puppy pile with him. If you have children, you’ve been there and done that. How about a little peace and quiet? How about an older rescue dog??

    7) Finish the Newspaper. With a puppy running amok in your house, do you think you will be able to relax when you get home from work? Do you think your kids will really feed him, clean up the messes, and take him for a walk in the pouring rain every hour to get him house trained? With an adult dog, it will only be the kids running amok, because your dog will be sitting calmly next to you, while your workday stress flows away and your blood pressure lowers as you pet him.

    6) Easier Vet Trips. Those puppies need their series of puppy shots and fecals, then their rabies shot, then a trip to be altered, maybe an emergency trip or two if they’ve chewed something dangerous. Those puppy visits can add up (on top of what you paid for the dog!). Your donation to the rescue when adopting an older pup should get you a dog with all shots current, already altered, heartworm negative and on preventative at the minimum.

    5) What You See Is What You Get. How big will that puppy be? What kind of temperament will he have? Will he be easily trained? Will his personality be what you were hoping for? How active will he be? When adopting an older dog from a rescue, all of those questions are easily answered. You can pick large or small; active or couch potato; goofy or brilliant; sweet or sassy. The rescue and its foster homes can guide you to pick the right match. (Rescues are full of puppies that became the wrong match when they got older!)

    4) Unscarred Children (and Adults). When the puppy isn’t teething on your possessions, he will be teething on your children and yourself. Rescues routinely get calls from panicked parents who are sure their dog is biting the children. Since biting implies hostile intent and would be a consideration whether to accept a “give-up”, Rescue Groups ask questions and usually find out the dog is being nippy. Parents are often too emotional to see the difference; but a growing puppy is going to put everything from food to clothes to hands in their mouths, and as they get older and bigger it definitely hurts (and will get worse, if they aren’t being corrected properly.) Most older dogs have “been there, done that, moved on.”

    3) Matchmaker Make Me a Match. Puppy love is often no more than an attachment to a look or a color. It is not much of a basis on which to make a decision that will hopefully last 15+ years. While that puppy may have been the cutest of the litter; he may grow up to be super-active (when what you wanted was a couch buddy); she may be a couch princess (when what you wanted was a tireless hiking companion); he may want to spend every waking moment in the water (while you’re a landlubber); or she may want to be an only child (while you are intending to have kids or more animals). Pet mismatches are one of the top reasons Rescues get “give-up” phone calls.
    Good rescues do extensive evaluating of both their dogs and their applicants to be sure that both dog and family will be happy with each other until death do them part.

    2) Instant Companion. With an older dog, you automatically have a buddy that can go everywhere and do everything with you NOW. There’s no waiting for a puppy to grow up (and then hope he will like to do what you enjoy.) You will have been able to select the most compatible dog: one that travels well; one that loves to play with your friends’ dogs; one with excellent house manners that you can take to your a long day’s work and spend your time on a relaxing walk, ride or swim with your new best friend (rather than cleaning up after a small puppy.)

    1) Bond–Rescue Dog Bond. Dogs who have been uprooted from their happy homes or have not had the best start in life are more likely to bond very completely and deeply with their new people. Those who have lost their families through death, divorce or lifestyle change go through a terrible mourning process. But, once attached to a new loving family, they seem to want to please as much as possible to make sure they are never homeless again. Those dogs that are just learning about the good life and good people seem to bond even deeper. They know what life on the streets, life on the end of a chain, or worse is all about, and they revel and blossom in a nurturing, loving environment. Most rescues make exceptionally affectionate and attentive pets and extremely loyal companions. Unfortunately, many folks think dogs that end up in rescue are all genetically and behaviorally inferior. But, it is not uncommon for Rescue to get $500 dogs that have either outlived their usefulness or their novelty with impulsive guardians who considered their dog a possession rather than a friend or member of the family; or simply did not really consider the time, effort and expense needed to be a dog caretaker. Not all breeders will accept “returns”, so choices for giving up dogs can be limited to animal welfare organizations, such as Rescues, or the guardians trying to place their own dogs. Good Rescues will evaluate the dog before accepting him/her (medically, behaviorally, and for breed confirmation), rehabilitate if necessary, and adopt the animal only when he/she is ready and to a home that matches and is realistic about the commitment necessary to provide the dog with the best home possible. Choosing a rescue dog over a purchased pup will not solve the pet overpopulation problem (only responsible pet guardians and breeders can do that), but it does give many of them a chance they otherwise would not have. But, beyond doing a “good deed”, adopting a rescue dog can be the best decision and addition to the family you ever made. Rescue a dog and get a devoted friend for life!

  26. If you want small, hypoallergenic and, I’m assuming, cute, I recommend just about anything crossed with a poodle. Poodles are wicked smart and don’t shed, but when you cross it with something like a labrador or maltese, they get a lot cuter.

    I also recommend the television show “It’s Me Or The Dog” on Animal Planet. The woman on that show is a freaking genius and makes excellent facial expressions.

    Good luck!

  27. First, I too like to consider the pitter patter of little feet… both more baby feet and paws… and then I think to myself, like you, what am I NUTS???

    As for getting a dog, AMEN on getting a hypoallergenic one. I would suggest a bichon. We have one (our adorable Ducky, there are a few pages of her with our family on my blog’s sidebar), and she is definitely hypoallergenic. That dog NEVER sheds. And they are adorably cute, and small! The only downfall is grooming costs, but if you keep their hair short, even that can be manageable.

    ~Elizabeth
    Confessions From A Working Mom

  28. Can you get away with just a stuffed dog, ya know, as in stuffed animal?? Do you think the girls would notice the fact that it never barks and just stares like a zombie into outer space?? Yeah, I didn’t think that would float either….

    We don’t have a dog, just a cat. Our neighbors rescue dogs and try to find them new homes. Everytime one of those dogs has babies, the neighbor comes over and tries to tempt me intoo adopting one. I made a deal with him….if he adopts one of my kids, I’ll adopt one of his puppies. Sounds fair, right?

  29. Oh my, I was cracking up so much reading your post. I might have even cried a little too. My DH and DS think I am losing it too. Ha so funny. Good luck w/ the search. I have 4 hotdogs, 2 male/2 female (the females were easier to potty train). The males are more playful, and the girls just lay around on the heat vents. Little shedding, keep pretty clean too. Thanks for the laugh and good luck.

  30. Hysterical, as usual. I’ve had a dog much of my life… my dad had a police partner (so not really a pet)… then we had a big dog when I got married. He was the awesomest, and didn’t really cause us a minute of grief. He was Kato…and was a Australian Blue Heeler/Australian Cattle Dog cross. Big… about 90 pounds. Not fat… very fast and strong. And extremely gentle. And obedient. And loyal. A pack animal. He kept the family together on walks. funny. Today? After putting Kato down at 13 (sad sad sad day)… we went almost a year before we recovered enough to get…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..Beauregard… The Problematic Puggle of Perpetual Need. I need to stress PERPETUAL NEED. Or maybe I should stress PROBLEMATIC. It’s a toss up. Anyway… I digress. Beauregard… he is unbelievably sweet, attached, bossy, and everything ridiculous and funny. Either dumb as an ox (I like to think that rather than the other more probable truth) or self absorbed and king of all he peruses… and much too smart for us. Yeah. It’s most likely the latter. He will learn something that serves him, very quickly. Attitude. Now.. if you consider the new breed of puggle (pug and beagle mix)… please know that the first 8 months is perhaps going to be somewhat difficult. (see the downplay here). This child… er dog… is his or her own man. The sites all told us this. They said after a year… this dog will become your bestest friend on the planet… and boom. One year in? We fight over him. He comes to the office with us every day. He sleeps under my desk. He sleeps between hubby and me. And I am in the middle of doing a layout of him… and the title of that layout? LITTLE NAPOLEAN. And it suits him to a tee. (you can see Beauregard on my blog).
    Big dogs can hold their pee and poopy longer, if you are prone to going out without them. However… little dogs can be trained to go inside too… a tray/box with sliced up paper or training pad. (but training pads can be expensive). So… that’s my little pointers for you on doggies. I cannot imagine my life without Beauregard, the Problematic Puggle of Perpetual Need. He sits beside me right now, on the sofa. Sleeping, of course. OH… one last thing. puggles are very much oral satisfiers. Um, yeah. Very motivated by food. You can translate that to you may never have a quiet dinner again, without having a squeeky whiner under the table going ummmm ummmmm ummmmm ummmmm ruffff. Yeah. Good luck with that.

  31. DO NOT, repeat DO NOT get a basset hound! We have one and she’s the most gorgeous, loving caring, huggable animal in the universe. She’s also stinky (no matter how much we bathe her), she steals food, she’s loud (burst eardrums anyone?), she sheds like a yeti, she is untrainable (professional references available upon request), she chews everything (including christmas trees), she drools continuously and she has back problems. If she was a person she’d be Carol Burnett…say no more!

  32. oh my gosh! I’m so excited for you!! We HAD a cocker spaniel for 13 years, but when she died, we went for a mutt from the pound. She’s part King Charles Spaniel, and part next door neighbor–unsure, but her mom definitely lived in an integrated neighborhood!!
    She was 5 years old when we adopted her–and she’s the BEST 37.50 we’ve ever spent. She came fixed, microchipped, licensed, and all shots!! And she’s perfect!! Her previous owner gave her up for adoption–they told us at the pound they said they couldn’t afford her. We love her so much–
    Good luck with your hung!! Check out the pound–they are cheap, and lovely lovely dogs!!

  33. Yipee! Yipee!
    I’m probably as happy as the kids!
    This is great!!!
    You will be so happy and yes at times maybe not so happy.
    The final feeling will be happiness. Your girls,my granddaughters must be sooo happy!!

  34. We adopted a bichon/poodle mix over the summer. I have a lot of allergies and can’t tolerate 99.9 % breeds. Both bichon’s and poodle are hypoallergenic. He does not shed at all. You need to be aware of one thing with these sort of dogs though, they require frequent grooming.

    If you have a minute visit mypost on Sebastian http://www.lifeinthebatcave.com/2009/10/meet-sebastian.html

    My husband was completely against getting a dog. I got him to give an inch, embarked on my dog hunting and a week later brought Sebastian home (much to hubby’s surprise!). He is both a joy and a handful! (the dog, not the hubby)

  35. I cannot wait to read your adventures!

    I am also going to ask you to PLEASE consider a rescue dog, from someplace like the ASPCA. If you find a breed you absolutely have to have, check with the ASPCA and on the web for a breed specific rescue. They are out there for almost every breed you can imagine. You can definitely find puppies at rescues as well.

    We adopted a chow/shepherd puppy when he was just 10 weeks old, and about 3 years later added a 3 year old shepherd/lab mix to out home. When we divorced, the ex took the chow mix, I took the lab mix. Sadly my boy got cancer and after surgery and drugs, he just couldn’t beat it. He died a couple of years ago, and I still miss him. Be prepared, dogs have a way of getting into your heart and never leaving it.

  36. Judith, before I get to the point, allow me to shoot off on a tangent. This is my first visit to your blog (Tip o’ the hat to ProBlogger for the link that snuck me in here), and you have been bookmarked! I love your writing style. I figure Nate either considers himself the luckiest man alive, or he’s ready for some heavy meds. Maybe both, I don’t know. Anyhow, GREAT blog!

    Back to the point, I think Judith makes some excellent points regarding adult dog rescue. I have rescued three, and have been ecstatic over the results every time. You really ought to at least consider it… it will save you a LOT of those SHIT, SHIT, SHITs you say your daughter never learned from you.

    However, regardless of the direction you decide to go, I’m going to recommend a couple of breeds worthy of your consideration. I’m not certain if either is hypoallergenic, to tell you truth, because I never asked them. And one of them does shed. The main reason I recommend them is for their intelligence. Loyalty, I think, comes with nearly any breed, unless they’re so inbred they tend to bump into walls a lot. And even then, they might still show some loyalty…my brother-in-law bumps into EVERYTHING, and he’s not only loyal, he’s housebroken! But superior intelligence, you don’t find in every dog (or my brother-in-law either).
    First choice: Australian shepherd. Blue heelers are close cousings. They run in the 20-25 LB range, are exceptionally intelligent, very fast learners, protective of the family, and very affectionate. Downside, they’re not known for being very accepting of other animals. Nate should be okay, though. As long as you don’t show any anger toward him.
    Second choice: Miniature schnauzer. They run in the 15-18 LB range, and are possibly even more intelligent than the Aussies, and will literally train themselves. My schnauzer, Casper, actually taught himself to gather all his 15 or 20 toys that were scattered around the yard, and put them in his doghouse, smirking at my amazement the entire time. That was on the third day we had him, at about 12 weeks old. No kidding! He understands more spoken commands and sign signals than any dog I have ever seen. And if you’re nice, he’ll even obey them occasionally, just to keep you from losing interest in the game. (I’m kidding… he’s very obedient!)

    As to male or female, I’d say it’s about a wash, kid. If you get a male, he’ll spend all his time licking himself, and try to mount the occasional visitor – they all do it.
    If you get a female, she’ll usually start spotting about the time you’re expecting guests for dinner, the day after you put in that new white carpet. What WERE you thinking? Either way, you need to have a good fence. If you get a male, it only has to be high enough to keep him in. If you get a female, It needs to be high enough to keep a Boeing 727OUT!

    BTW, as the only male posting here, is my sexuality now in question?

  37. You should SOOOO get a Havanese! That is my dream dog. Trust me. I heavily researched the perfect puppy, and I dream of the day when I actually bring one home. Bring one home and let me live vicariously through you!

  38. I echo all the commenters who said rescue one, for sure, rather than buying from a pet store or breeder. As for specific types, mine have all been mutts, but the two I have now are essentially a blue heeler and a daschund. I love them both, but the blue heeler is quite a handful. And for the record, I was never a dog person either, until I got a dog. Now I love them. All of them.

  39. Oh guess what???? Congratulations on becoming a mommy again! You know raising a dog is like having another child right? Right! Be sure to adopt, it is the best way to go. We used Forever Home, not sure if you have that where you are.
    Good luck!
    P.S. I now work at yours and my favorite grocery store…Wegmans!
    Woo Hoo!

  40. We have a Yorkie-Poo. She hardly sheds at all, is very sweet, and weighs exactly 10 lbs. She isn’t well housebroken but that’s because she has a rare medical condition and we cannot let her outside. She considers the puppy pad just a vague suggestion. Yorkies and poodles are wonderful, though…

  41. I’m not big on dogs myself. I’m definitely a cat person, but we had two very successful dogs, one of which is sleeping on my husband’s feet right now. However, they were both St. Bernards. I know they don’t fit your size requirement, but honestly, they are the BEST darn dogs! Just mellow and easy-going. I’ve never had them bite anyone, jump on anyone, or go to the bathroom in my house.

  42. Use http://www.petfinder.com to search for available rescue dogs in your area! (Zip code search) You’ve gotten a LOT of good recommendations on here – and don’t feel like you can’t find a hypoallergenic dog through rescue – you can and you should! Especially right now, there are a lot of people dumping pets after the holidays. Good luck and keep us posted!

  43. SPLAT!!!!! That is the sound of me hitting the ground!! As much as we’ve talked about your aversion to anything living that slobbers, sheds, chews, poops?? and NO I’m not talking about Nate πŸ˜‰ LOL!! Anyhoo…you know about my dog. 115lbs of big black slobber puss… He’s a mess, we just gave him a bath that might very well have left me disabled AND I just got Jim’s sock out of his jaws but we love him πŸ™‚ He’s in the house right now full time again due to the cold and I have to admit my floors have never looked so good!! He’s a GREAT vacuum cleaner, even paper and dirt!! LOL!! Talk to me! I miss you and YES sometime around June maybe I’ll get your xmas gift in the mail πŸ˜€

  44. Love the let the kids do the research idea! As for suggestions? Anything crossed with a poodle (though they tend to be yappy) is about the size you are looking for, rather intelligent, soft and non-shedding. Terriers in general also fit into that category (mini schnauzer, scotty, west-highland, wheaton, norfolk, etc there’s a bunch to choose from). We’ve had several different breeds of dogs (including terriers and poodles) I love the terriers. Great personalities, smart, fun and loyal family dogs. Pretty low key and are generally happy with a little activity or a lot. They are adaptable. I know a few people have recommended australian shepherds or border collies. . . do it only if you want to spend A LOT of time focused on the dog. They are high-intelligence and high-energy. Great dogs but you really have to be committed to lots of time spent on them.

    I’d also echo the ‘look for a rescue’ refrain. Or make sure you get a very reputable breeder, not a backyard puppy person who has no idea what they are doing and doesn’t care except for the fact that they are making money. And they still generally charge several hundred dollars per pup. No pet stores (those are often dogs backyard breeders couldn’t sell and often have problems). If you buy from a good breeder the pups will generally run several hundred to thousands of dollars each. Rescues are significantly less expensive. :}

  45. LOL This was totally me! A mere … 6 weeks ago! My children have been begging for a dog ever since they could talk. I always said NO. Somehow they made it through the armor I’d built around my husband and he told them yes. I was SO NOT HAPPY. In fact I’m still NOT HAPPY.

    I went with them to pick out the nasty little creature and was very civil to the woman that my husband paid $500 for the little poop machine. He is a white and black AKC registered Lhasa Apso. I run a costume business from my home. He does not shed. He does not come in MY work room. We’re back to baby gates and messes on the floor (only one yesterday and none so far today – knock on wood).

    It has not been fun or cheap. After the initial investment (my husband is an accountant) we’ve had to buy a bed, a crate, a pen so he doesn’t ruin stuff when we’re gone, food, toys, leashes, collars, shots, treats and in 6 more weeks he’ll have an appointment to be fixed.

    The research I did before we got him included talking to a friend that has several dogs. 3 Poodles and 1 Maltese. She said we ought to get a male. I don’t know why but that’s what she recommended and that is what we ended up with. Rescue animals is a nice idea but we discovered that in Vegas they either come with tags that say – No Children or they are yappy Chihuahua’s.

    I’m not sure if we’re doing something right or if we’re lucky but our dog isn’t really barky. He sometimes whines and cries at night when he’s left in the family room and we all go to bed but we’ve found leaving on a low light and a radio seems to help.

    I’m not a dog person. I doubt I will ever be a dog person. Every time he licks my foot I shout and kick him away. Every time he licks my children’s faces I make them go and wash.

    All that said he seems to make my family happy so I guess I’m at the grin and bear it phase of my life.

  46. We have 2 dogs and I know you said (wrote) you would prefer a smaller dog but our Lab is the best buddy to my son that a kid could ever have. Our Golden Retriever would a great dog too if he would stop eating his crap and quit being such a spaz. I’m not a big fan of puppy care either but it will probably earn you the Best Mom of the Year award or at least vito something you said/did that put you on the list of nominees for Worst Mom of the Year award.

  47. First of all….I didn’t not stop laughing through out this entire entry, you’re hilarious!

    My husband and I have two pugs. They’re on the smaller side (about 25 lbs), they’re very calm dogs. Only one of them barks (the other one we’ve heard her bark only once and it was when she saw her own reflection in the glass doors in front of the fireplace! Lol), the one that does bark will bark anytime she sees any kind of animal on tv…she actually looks on the side of the tv, she’s waiting for the animal to run out of the side of the tv! Lol…

    All in all they’re pretty good pets! They’re good with children too. They do shed a little bit, but it’s not so bad that I can’t live with it!

    Good luck! I look forward to hearing what you finally decide to get!

  48. After out last dog passed away I said that’s it, no more pets. Hated cleaning up after it, refuse to pick up dog poo in a little plastic bag when out for walkies, whenever you decide to go away for holidays it’s either a kennel (pricey) or relying on friends or relatives to look after it. Vet bills, grooming, flea stuff, heartworm tablets etc. the list is endless. I’m sure it’s much cheaper to have another child. Andy, don’t do it!

  49. Yorkie Poo… Meets all the requirements except the last one…We got one and he’s adorable, small, and doesnt bother my sons asthma.

    Oh and I just found your blog and LOVE it!

  50. I’d definitely suggest talking to rescue shelters, although you might have trouble with the hypoallergenic variety.

    Just don’t get a hairless dog… that is so wrong.

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