Getting a dog for a dog

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Last year, I lost my best dog ever. I packed on weight in the raw and blind grief I experienced after.

Once I'd healed a bit, I found room in my heart and home for a new dog, and adopted my current dog from a great rescue group. I've blogged about him before. He's a flopsy shepherd mutt who sticks to me like glue.

Now I'm ready for a second dog. My dog is dog friendly, and loves girl dogs. He seems bored, and isn't the type to entertain himself, at all, ever. He's kind of like furniture. Unless I am actively engaging him, he just vegetates.

I'm hoping I can find him a slightly spunkier, but not so spunky as to be annoying, companion. My GF has set some ground rules- the dog must be female, she must be smaller than him because apparently 2 70+ pound dogs is too much dog, she must be an adult, she must not want to eat cats, she must come from the same rescue he came from, and she must be able to be house-trained. I think all this is achievable.

The rescue I got him from only keeps 6-14 dogs at a time, so it is taking time for just the right dog to arrive, but I've got my eye out. I want a female 20-50 pounds, and well out of puppyhood and into adulthood. I don't care about breed or coat care or any of that. I'd take an older dog, or even a dog with medical needs. I don't really care. It's more about the dog's personality and whether the both old dog and the new dog would be happy.

I'm hoping this doesn't turn out to be a mistake, but the reason why we are going to use the same place we got him from is because they had him a long time and know his temperament and who he'd be compatible with, and they allow you to try out dogs to see if it works without punishing you if it doesn't. They really want the right dog in the right home and understand it might not always work out between 2 dogs. So if things went badly, I could (tearfully) return the newcomer, and either try again, or decide that my current dog wants to be a singleton. And, as they aren't a kill shelter, I would not feel like I was returning the dog to an uncertain fate.

But, I've never returned an animal in my life, I keep them forever, even if they are bad (I have an awful but lovable cat and have had him for the past 14 years!), so I have my fingers crossed that I'll make the right choice the first try.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Yes, it's so important to let the dog have a say in choosing a new family member. Your couch potato might benefit from someone slightly more active, but could be totally turned off by a little Miss Whirlwind. (A visitor brought her very active puppy to visit, and while our dog enjoyed it for a few hours, after awhile she was looking at us as if to say, "Doesn't this thing have an off-switch?") I agree with you that it hurts to have to take an animal back to a shelter or rescue, but think of it like -- if it isn't a good fit for you and current dog, it probably isn't a good fit for the new dog either. Kind of like having a permanent roommate foisted on you; it just makes everybody miserable.
    Best of luck finding the right canine companion. emoticon
    3527 days ago
    It cracks me up when I read your description of his tendencies. "Like furniture" Are you sure he is not part cat in some bizarre, biologically impossible way? :)
    3531 days ago
    Yes, they will let me bring him up for a meeting, and I plan on doing it. That's a great suggestion. They're getting new dogs today, hopefully one has my name on her!
    3532 days ago
  • LHUP7546
    Will they let you bring your dog to visit the new one at her place? Several of the rescue groups in my area encourage it. I am fostering Great Danes and had a prospective adopter come visit her at my home. She didn't have another dog, but I loved having her visit the dog in her "territory". That way you wouldn't get too attached, and your dog gets a say in the decision on more neutral grounds.
    3532 days ago
    two dogs are definitely better than one!
    3533 days ago
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