Comments: A Choose Your Own Adventure Dog Story (HELP!)

That's a hard one! Our last kitty I was not enthused about getting (I mean, he's #4!) but the kids were set on him and they said it was my birthday present (because it WAS my birthday the day we saw him). But I love him now in all his meowing through the house every afternoon looking for other cats. If it were me, I'd try for another meeting.

Posted by Laura L at June 9, 2007 11:30 AM

Good day. The world of dogs and their owners is complex. From the experience of having doggles most of my life, I offer the following:
Since Scott is a part of your family (right?), it is important that he be just as content with a new addition as you and the cat and Maisy and Bagel, etc. So there is nothing wrong with another Meet & Greet. In fact if I was the owner of your crush-dog, I'd hope that you would take every opportunity to make sure that this would be the right fit. You would not be a buttpain--you would be acting responsibly for both you and the potential new doggy and the family will appreciate that. They want to get it just right too! If, for some reason, on the second meeting everything is not kosher then I'd advise you to keep looking. There are great dogs in need of great homes EVERYWHERE and you have TIME on your side so don't rush into something that could potentially ruin the lovely flow of your family and home.
I think dogs come to us as furry angels that can teach us a lot about ourselves and our worlds, if we actually listen with all our senses. Just like Bagel, there is another furry angel out there for you. Could be the beagle, could be another. Use all your senses and you will make the right decision at the right time.
Good luck, and I'm looking forward to hearing what happens.
Lise & Rufus (Pooch Extra-Ordinaire!!)

Posted by LiseB at June 9, 2007 11:43 AM

What I want to know is, how did you get Scott to go from "No dog" to "two dogs." Seriously. Share the secret.
Also, although Crush-dog is adorable, I'm trusting Scott's initial instinct. After all, he chose you - proof he chooses wisely. Just sayin'. ;)

Posted by Amy-Go at June 9, 2007 11:52 AM

I'm sorry, darling... but I would opt for number 1. I trust Scott's odd vulcan mind-meld with all things in your universe. Not that I don't also trust you, but he's the anchor, yes?

Meeting that dog on his own turf (again) may or may not tell you something different, but it will for sure get that family's hopes up and make it even harder if you then opt to walk away.

Your second dog is out there. He just may not be the one you just met.

Posted by Mir at June 9, 2007 12:05 PM

Yep, I vote for #1 too. Scott spotted Bagel, so that's a good start. And since it makes you happy to see Scott like Bagel, think how much happier you'll be when you see Scott actively liking Dog #2... (And then if dog #2 has weird issues, you can blame him. That's always a plus.) Good luck!

Posted by Diane at June 9, 2007 12:31 PM

Could a possible #4 (or maybe this would be more like #1b) be for the whole family to take a trip to where you got Bagel (or another shelter if another is near enough) and see if any other dog catches Scott's eye?

I like #2 also, but I think if you went for #2 you'd have to be very clear with the current family about what's going on, so they don't get their hopes up too high in case Scott is still unimpressed. Hopefully they'd be glad that you're taking the match-up seriously and not just taking their dog in the hopes that it'll all work out. If I was looking for a new home for one of mine, I'd hope any potential new family was taking the process that seriously! But that's me and I have no idea if these people would feel the same way or would just be exasperated with you. You've met them, so maybe you have a sense of which way that would go.

Sadly, I don't like #3 because if it doesn't work out that way, then you have NewDog and Scott tolerating each other instead of loving each other and I believe you can all do better than that.

Good luck with it all!

Posted by DebR at June 9, 2007 12:38 PM

I say #2, then #1 unless you find during #2 that you cannot live without this dog, then follow #2 with #3 because, hey, you have instincts too you know!

Be honest with the family. Tell them you know the dog was excited and you would like to see him on his home turf to get a better picture of his personality. What is wrong with that? Then, if Scott is still on the lower end of his enthusiasm scale, let it go.

Posted by Em at June 9, 2007 1:10 PM

I'm not going to weigh in with an opinion, except to share our personal experiences.

Our first Humane Society refugee was Pepper, who behaved like a complete lunatic when we brought him home. And he was ALL OURS by then, since we had no other dog to stir the mix. Pepper was so freaky that he ran all over the yard and house, ending up on the couch by the front window, staring out with frantic intensity. We called his name. Then we called his name again. After we called his name a third time and got no response, we started to figure he was deaf.

But no. He was just utterly discombobulated. He settled down in a few days and has been our bestest boy ever since.

When we decided that two dogs were better than one, we went back to the Humane Society for a "pet meet" with Oscar, another Flat-Coated Retriever mix, like our Pepperoni.

It did not go well.

There was dominating and growling and nervous circling. The Humane guy suggested we refrain from adopting Oscar. We left him there reluctantly, but later that night I was scrolling through the doggie faces on the website, and I saw that Oscar had indeed been adopted!

Which led us to our diabolical DeeJay of the shoe-fetish. He and Pep had a love-fest when they met, and have been BFF.


I guess I'm sayin' it could go either way.


Posted by Lisa at June 9, 2007 6:06 PM

My only thought is that you may run into some dominance issues with two males, that is what you saw with the humping. Even with them both being neutered, they are still boys. Bagel may be more accepting of a female dog.
Good luck!

Posted by Heather at June 9, 2007 6:53 PM

I too won't vote but I'll add several stories from our pet history that might give you pause for thought.
After losing our dog we had been dogless about a year when I decided that it was time for a new dog. I wanted a SMALL dog. And a young puppy. We looked and looked, saw lots of dogs, some of them small. And then one day I found this 5 month old boxer/lab mix at the pound and she and I both just KNEW. She wasn't a young puppy and she wasn't small, but she was definitely our dog. Even when we had to leave her with friends for seven months less than a year after we got her, she still knew she was our dog and when we came for her she jumped in the car with no confusion whatsoever or even a thanks to our friends, who had loved her and taken great care of her in our absence. We'd been looking for a new dog as a family, but I found Maybe on my own and convinced the family that she was the one. They didn't meet her before I brought her home, but they were excited and all went well.
Several years later we were living in the wilderness and I decided that Maybel needed another dog to be her companion and to help keep away the coyotes and to spend time with her. We got this cute little beagle/spaniel puppy and life was good. Until Chloe somehow ate something poisonous and died. It was really sad. A few months later we tried again and I brought home this fuzzy little thing the vet best guess is that he is part shepherd/coyote/terrior. Buck did a good job of being Maybel's best friend (well, they had some dominance issues as they are both strong willed dogs) BUT suddenly we didn't have two dogs, we had ONE double dog called Maybel/Buck. And we had to deal with them as ONE unit. If you petted one you had to pet the other. They were tied at the hip. And since they had completely different personalities, that complicated issues. Buck was a runner so Maybel became a runner. Maybe did well inside, Buck didn't. We were forced to kennel them both and they weren't OUR dogs anymore, they were each other's dogs and we could only have them underfoot for short periods each day without it being TOO MUCH WORK.
Maybel died several years ago and suddenly we had just Buck and he got a lot more attention from us. We saw realized what we'd known all along. They were both good dogs and easy to live with individually. But together the chemistry was exhausting.
Now we have Buck and Rosie and they enjoy each other but both of them have remained first attached to their people and only secondly to each other, treating each other like siblings instead of their other half. So keep in mind that your relationship with Bagel could and probably will change depending on the personality of the other dog. You want a nice balance between them being bonded to each other and bonded to the people in the family.

Last but not least, we have Rosie. Rosie was a mother's day present to me because my family wanted her and so even though I made it very clear that it was not a good time for another dog and if anyone brought home a puppy there would be heads chopped off, they did it anyway. And I was right. It's been a TERRIBLE TERRIBLE time for another dog. And I spent a long long time depressed(but for reasons I won't get into here there were some very legitimate psychological reasons I couldn't not accept her) and angry at my husband, who was the ringleader, thinking it would all be well if he just brought her home. He believed we'd all live happily ever after. He was only partly right.
Rosie IS my dog. She loves us all, we made sure she was bonded with us all, but she is first and foremost my dog and she loves me and I love her and it's embarrassingly true that I've become this strange old lady who treats her dog like she's a baby. Not completely, but true enough to be embarrassing. But it's also true that it's caused a lot of issues in our family with the stage of life we're in and in the stage of our marriage and if I had to do it all over again, if I could erase knowing that I'd adore her so much, I would not have gotten another dog right now. It's caused all sorts of limits at a time when the world was suddenly becoming available again. I try to move past it, what's done is done and I can't imagine life without her, but I don't know if I've really forgiven my husband still. So. Just like having another kid - do you want your husband to be an unwilling new dad to this new "kid", or do you want him to be on board as much as you are? Because even though he might grow to love the dog, it's still different. I don't know if this is as much an issue for you as your family is young and in a different stage, but it's still something to contemplate.

Posted by Laume at June 9, 2007 7:40 PM

#2 as an avenue to either 1 or 3. As someone who has given dogs away, I think they will appreciate that you are trying to determine if this is your dog or not. But #1 is my next choice. I think you (and Scott) might regret #3.

Posted by jennilynn at June 9, 2007 8:37 PM

I'm thinking number one is a good option, and keep on looking. What does Sam say?

Posted by Cele at June 9, 2007 8:42 PM

This is a tough one for sure. With "our" first cat, hubby picked her out. I'd had my heart set on a siamese, but then he took out "our" cat and she crawled up on his shoulder and cuddled him, and he said "I like THIS one." and that was that.

Our dog, I found him, fell in love, but hubby loved him too.

Our 2nd cat, we adopted from a friend, who took to our daughter immediately.

So...I think you need to love the dog, of course, but go with your gut about your hubby's feelings on this one.

And I think it's your fault I'm set on getting a Puggle or a labradoodle. You mentioned one of them here and I had to google it. Big mistake.

Posted by Angel at June 10, 2007 2:13 AM

Gotta go with #1 on this one. It sounds like your family goes with the heartstring tug decisions- which are best felt in person. May I suggest making the Pet Co, PetSmart weekend adoption runs and don't forget your local shelters. I love how you are an animal lover and one who rescues. You have a generous soul.

Posted by linda at June 10, 2007 10:16 AM

Do the eveil trick our old acquaintances did on us to get us to take their psycho-kitty: They were moving halfway across the country, couldn't take her, and were having her put down if nobody would adopt her. Well, then, we HAD to do it, didn't we?

Posted by Brigitte at June 10, 2007 2:29 PM

Oh, dear.

Maybe put Scott on the Internet and let him find a crush of his own? But you'd have to give up on what seems a promising "maybe" dog.

Every time we (okay, I) introduce a new canine into the household, I endure 24-48 hrs. of my man biting through his tongue to avoid asking, "What the HELL were you thinking?"

And then he falls in love (with the dog) and back in love (with me).

But your mileage may vary.

Posted by margaret at June 10, 2007 2:30 PM

I vote for a pink poodle.

Posted by rams at June 10, 2007 5:35 PM

Option 3 . but I am a selfish bitch who does what she wants most all the time with zero regard for the man in the house. :)

Just kidding, sort of.

Posted by ScottsdaleGirl at June 11, 2007 7:23 PM

Option 1. The dog is going to be the dog he is with your cat and your other dog and the gerbils. He's not going to be a different dog if they are there. And your hubby sounds like a patient and nice man. Find a dog you both feel great about. There are many dogs. Don't get yourself into an alliterative state here (beagle bagel)... wait for Mr/Ms Right Dog.

Posted by parrotzmom at June 12, 2007 10:26 AM

And you also have to keep in mind that you're looking at Bagel as though he's a human with human sensibilities. As far as he's concerned, he HAS a pack. It's you and Scott and the kids, and to a smaller extent, the cat and the gerbils.

Anyone you introduce into that pack is going to be an interloper in his eyes, not a buddy. all means get another dog, but please be honest about the true reasons for it. The new dog is for Joshilyn, and not for Bagel. A new dog won't improve his behavior. In fact, it will probably make it worse. Then you'll have the "It's it's mine...growl, growl...snap...attack" kind of behavior that can drive a human slowly out of their mind.

Good luck, whatever your decision, but as the "mom" of four dogs, all of whom were obtained using your excuse of the other dogs "needing a friend", I just wanted to add my two cents. My four couldn't care less if the others were around. In fact their happiest moments are when one of them gets singled out to share the 'rents' bed on their own. Right now they're all sacked out at equidistant points of the living room in their own private spaces.

All I'm saying is that Bagel's behavior has nothing to do with loneliness. And two dogs just means double the chewing and destruction, particularly if they're puppies.

Oh...and toy dogs (of which I have three) tend to rule the household, and poodles can often be mean to little people who they consider to be threats to their place in the pack order.

But they do look good in pink.

Posted by Rachie at June 12, 2007 1:30 PM

Wow. This is a truly tough dilemma, but unless you are just bonded with this dog beyond any doubt... I think #1.

I brought home 1 dog of the 130 that we had in our rescue population after Hurricane Katrina. It was simply because of my bond with the dog. She was miserable and I could not live with that. I named her "Joy" as an aspirational name.

Our Basset Hound of 6 years was NOT HAPPY to suddenly have our attention split between her and this younger model of hound. Joy had survived a Hurricane and has a very "bad ass" side to her that brings out aggression in the home. She barks at the 6 and 7 year olds constantly- it is annoying!! They don't care for her so much.

It is still a challenge almost 2 years later as everyone "tolerates" the situation (USUALLY) and the dogs refuse to bond as sisters. The three adults in the house LOVE Joy and LOVE Sarah and LOVE the children-- there are no issues there - so...

I have no regrets about adopting Joy and she has lived up to her name. But she and my family are a tough match, and the only reason I allowed it to happen was because John and I were totally smitten with her before we ever introduced her to the other dog - and I think if you have the ability to find a good fit for you and EVERYONE in the pack... that is a luxury you might want to explore.

Lots of luck in whatever unfolds!! And I always have to mention - I LOVE READING EVERYTHING YOU WRITE. If you ever dispose of grocery lists or post it notes -- maybe I'll bid for them on E-bay!!! ; )

Posted by Chris at June 12, 2007 3:17 PM

Not meaning this in a negative way, but is there an animal you don't like? Scott is obviously harder to please, so maybe it's not a good idea to pick one he's meh about, when you'll probably love whichever one he eventually falls for.

Posted by ZaZa at June 13, 2007 2:47 AM

After going back and re-reading your June 6th post-- How big is this new dog? Is he big enough or will he become big enough to drag Maisy after rabbits? He looks a lot like Bagel.

In light of Scott's unenthusiasm and Maisy's desire for a small dog, should you wait for another dog?

Or should you just get a grey parrot? ; )

Posted by Elizabeth at June 13, 2007 9:03 AM

Oops. I guess that dog in the picture WAS Bagel.

I keep forgetting to think before I post....

Posted by Elizabeth at June 13, 2007 9:09 AM

Your second dog is out there, sometimes they just come to you. My mom has been wanting a dog for the longest time and my dad was not exactly into the idea. However, my dad is a huge softy and when it comes to making my mom happy he's easy to pushover. So when they recieved a call from an old neighbor saying that they knew of a dashound puppy that needed a good home, my mom said she would have to talk to my dad first. So, my dad comes home from work and my mom tells him about the dog. She tells him that the owner could not keep the dog because he was too much for her with two little kids. She had never had a dog before and her first thought was to take him to a shelter. My dad heard this and told my mom to call back the neighbor and say they'd take the dog. My mom calls back and the neighbor's daughter says that the woman had given the dog away. My mom tells her if the woman who they gave the dog to changes her mind call back. The next night my mom recieves a call the woman changed her mind. He's a beautiful miniature red dashound with big blue eyes. He came with a name, but my parents didn't like it and so they changed it to Oscar. He's the light of my mother's life. She adores him and he adores her. My dad says he is my mother's dog. So you see the right dog will come to you. I think it is fate especially since a day or two later my grandmother passed away. Oscar was exactly what my mom needed at that time. It was all about the timing. So my advice is go with the flow, keep looking and when you meet the right dog you will know and so will your husband.

The same thing when I met my cat, Delilah. I went to visit my cousin for a week and met all four of her cats, Delilah was the one who slept with me every night that I was there. She followed me everywhere. As I was leaving I just had a feeling that I'd be seeing her again and this time I wouldn't be leaving her. A few months go by and my cousin calls me asking if I can take Delilah and of course my answer is yes. One year later she has managed to attempt to take over my apartment and torture my roommate's two adorable, sweet male cats...she has done everything from having standoffs with them in their litter boxes to just wacking them. The reason is because she is the ONLY female and she lets them know she is boss. However, the younger of the male cats is the alpha male and he has let Delilah know that she is NOT the boss, she just thinks she is. It's hysterical!! She fits right into the crazy chaos of my house.

Posted by Cindy at June 13, 2007 9:14 AM

I vote for #1 or #2 (including being open with the new dog's family about why the second visit), but definitely not #3. With Bagel, you have proof that Scott has "first love" instincts, which apparently are not present with the new dog so why force something that should be very natural? After all these opinions, are you sorry you asked?

Posted by Deborah P at June 13, 2007 10:42 AM