Tuesday, July 22, 2008

NJ and Dogs

I could tell you about my week in NJ. On the plus side, I got to spend time with my son who has Down syndrome and I visited an amazingly wonderful group home. On the down side? Driving a car on the freeway after midnight when a tire had been down to 12 pounds earlier in the day (that my ex forgot to warn me about until the next day). Toilets overflowing. Pipes spewing water all over the laundry room (and into the carpeted family room). And so on. I think I'd rather talk about dogs.

I'd like to have a dog. I'd love to have a collie but I'm not sure I can handle a dog that big any more. So maybe a sheltie? Of course, in Austin, both shelties and collies are hard to find. Well, with the heat we get and their long fur....need I say more?

So I'm at a bit of a loss. I'm not sure whether to look for a sheltie or consider another kind of dog. But if not a sheltie or collie, what breed? Generally I'm more drawn to dogs with long rather than shorter fur. Since I'd probably have the dog inside more than outside and take it for walks, smaller is probably better than bigger. A mellow temperament would be a bonus.

I'm not asking for much, am I? I have checked out dogs for adoption from shelters and rescue groups. Nothing clicked and I'm not about to adopt a pet lightly. I'd rather not get a dog than get one I'll regret.

So who knows? I may get a sheltie or I may not get a dog at all or I may find a mixed breed I love.

Anyway, I'd love to have suggestions on types of dogs—both warnings and recommendations!


lcward said...

April: I used to have a sheltie, whom I loved dearly. Wimsey was sweet and beautiful, a miniature Lassie, but he had some major health problems, arthritis and hip issues, that were probably a result of overbreeding. (When we bought him in 1976, I'd never even heard of puppy mills.) One thing I learned after getting Wimsey was that shelties have a shorter-than-usual average lifespan, about eight years. Wimsey was closer to eleven when the time came to have him put to sleep, but he was very, very ill, with what I think in retrospect must have been canine diabetes. (There are treatments now for that sort of thing, insulin shots, etc.) Anyway, in my experience shelties are beautiful, gentle, loving animals, but they're fragile. If you do decide to get one, make sure it comes from a trusted breeder, and have your vet do a thorough exam before you commit. Otherwise you're asking for heartbreak.


April said...


I know that both collies and shelties have some specific health issues to check out with a breeder. Hips, eyes, etc. I'm still collecting information and mulling it over.... I'm so sorry about Wimsey. It's tough to lose our beloved pets and tough to watch them when they are ill.

Lee R. Duncan said...

April, I'm in the market for a new dog, too. Not right now, but probably before Xmas. And, having inherited my son's and then my daughter's Black Labs, I decided this dog would be 'mine'. So, I made a list of the things I don't want in a dog. It can't 'snort' all the time -- that rules out the boxers and pugs and even those wrinkly dogs. It can't 'yip' all the time -- no peeks, no chihuahuas, no little terriers. I don't want to spend more time grooming the dog than I spend on my own grooming so no Lhasas, no Collies, none of those dogs with the corkscrew braids. We have a day care next door. That means no pit bulls (they snort anyway) or any of the other breeds on the insurance no-no list. And I'd like something that doesn't have a 3-year toddler stage (chews on everything that isn't nailed down...and some things that are). So no more black labs, greyhounds, collies -- big dogs. Oooh, nothing smarter than I am -- so no border collies. Hmmm, that leaves beagles and bassetts, both of which can raise a ruckus. I showed my list to dear hubby. He suggested I get a nice parakeet instead.

April said...


ROFL! I know what you mean. My daughter is impatient with me and thinks I'm being too picky. But really, every pet deserves to be chosen by someone who will fall deeply in love with them, right? So...I'm still looking. Have you looked into Papillon's? One drawback is that they are relatively rare and therefore very expensive but...so cute and intelligent and seem (from what I've read) to have surprisingly good temperaments for dogs that size. Oh, hmmm, they do have long fur, however, which might mean more grooming than you'd like.