Thursday, March 19, 2009


So... now that we're buying a house, and getting a yard, I'm really interested in finally getting a dog. Nathan's none to pleased about this current fixation, but I'm hoping I can ease him into dog ownership by fostering rescue dogs for a while.

As with all my interests, Google has become my best friend... I probably spend far too much time researching different breeds, breeders, rescue groups, genetic disorders, behavioural issues and the like. I've narrowed down the breeds I'm interested in, but as I browse PetFinder for rescue dogs, my heart strings are pulled by more and more breeds...

- Non-Drooling: I know some people can overlook this, but I have a deep aversion to drool

- Shedding/Non-Shedding: This is no longer a concern for me -- it was before I had cats, but now... The only annoying thing would be dealing with allergic guests.

- Terriers & Hounds: I'm just not a fan of small terriers and scent hounds. Terriers are usually non-shedding which is a pretty solid redeeming quility, but hounds tend to smell, well, like a hound. Overall, The only terrier I have much experience with is the Schnauzer (my cousins' had the cutest personality), the rest I could live without.

- Unusual: I don't want a golden retreiver/chocolate lab/german shepherd... I'd rather be asked a dozen times on a walk "What type of dog is that?" than have a breed that's too popular for it's own good. I was leaning towards Portugese Water Dogs (aside from the health issues), but then I found out Obama's getting one for his girls... greeeaaat.

- Size: I like *some* small dogs, but really, I prefer the large /x-large breeds. They're more expensive to feed/vet, but.. they're real dogs.

- Athletic: I want a dog to run with me... maybe do some agility or flyball.

- Low prey drive: I absolutely love the look of Salukis, but sighthounds and cats just seem like a *very* bad recipe -- Butters moves too quickly, and suddenly she's lunch. A pointer would be preferable *lol*

- Rough & Tumble: A beefy dog to wrestle with. I love my Mum's poodles, but you can't roll them on their back...

- Child-proof: Not entirely breed specific, but some breeds are just better with children (ie. pain tolerant, protective, etc). The more research I do into (American) Staffordshire Bull Terriers (aka "pit bulls"), the more annoyed I am with Dalton McGinty & Ontario for enacting Breed Specific Legislation.

Great Dane: Absolutely gorgeous, big sucks, but bloat really scares me.

Irish Wolfhound/Scottish Deerhound
: Stately, but more independant than Great Danes, bloat

Black Russian Terrier/Standard Poodles:
My Parents poodles have really grown on me. I guess it helps that my Mum is an expert groomer and makes her dogs look abolutely splendid (modified puppy cut, not a show cut). Too bad Nathan *really* hates them...

Bernese Mountain Dog/Leonberger:
huge wooly creatures to satisfy my facination with carting

German Pointers/Catahoulas:
Not big dogs, but having lived with both these breeds, they've definitely grown on me.

Gorgeous, but not rough & tumble, problems with off-leash, bloat

Shiba Inu/Chow Chow/Husky:
Very pretty. but can have issues with aggression/dominance

Fluffy and fun

Rottweilers/AmStaff/Bull Terrier: Huge sucks, good with children, unfortunately American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier & anything else that even *looks* like a "pit bull-type dog"= muzzle in Ontario

On the smaller side, there are a couple breeds I wouldn't mind looking into. TBH, I see them as a starter breed to ease Nathan into the idea of dog ownership. They don't require as much exercise, they don't cost as much to feed/vet, and they can curl up on your lap more easily. On the down side, because they're so small, their training is more easily overlooked (Small Dog Syndrome), and... they're small >.>

Whippet/Miniature Pinscher:
tiny but elegant, cute personalities

(Toy/Miniature) Poodle/(Miniature) Schnauzer: Probably biased, having grown up with these breeds

Lhasa Apso/Lowchen/Shih Tzu: My Gramma had the sweetest Lhasa, and I just love the overall look and temperment of these little dogs. Being related to an expert groomer is probably influencing my opinions of these dogs... I know how good they can look with a great haircut!

I have to say -- I'm leaning towards the "pit bull" type. There are a couple 4 year olds available through rescue groups/humane societies. I would love to have a well socialized, happy "pit bull" as a spokesman against BSL. Having to muzzle the dog would be annoying, and I worry about how negative reations would affect her socialization skills. Not being able to play with other dogs in an off-leash park -- would she learn proper play techniques? I'd have to invite dogs over to my fenced backyard for unmuzzled doggy playdates.


We bought a house in Kingston!

And it's huge! Ok, well, when you've been living in 2 bedroom apartments for 4.5 years, *most* houses are rather large by comparison, but still... >.>

It's a raised 1950's 3-bed, 2 bath bungalow with an half-finished basement, and room for a decent workshop (yay). Now I just need tools >.>

It also has a pretty darned big yard (the lot is 70'x180', so the backyard is probably 70'x100'), which I'm hoping to fill with flowers, vegetable gardens, fruit trees, a playstructure and a green house.

I'll also need space for the dog(s) I'm hoping to get by next year. Aside from reinforcing/replacing the current fence, the only major obstacle to that goal is my Dear Husband. If you know him at all, you'll undertand why that's a pretty big problem... *sigh*

Who ever heard of a man who prefers cats to dogs? I mean seriously... he *really* dislikes dogs. According to him, they're ugly, slobbering, stinking, loud, & expensive, and you have to do responsible things like walk & feed them several times a day, take them to the vet, and board them when you go away for the weekend. Cats, on the other hand, are adorable, don't slobber/smell, they're quiet (well, more so than dogs), much less expensive (no obedience/agility classes), they don't want to be walked (trust me, I tried), and a large bowl of good food will last a week. You change their water and litter every day (ok, every couple days), and (let's be honest) who really takes their indoor cats to the vet for regular checkups/shots? Ok, maybe if you fed your cats Iams/Eukanuba or some other crap you'd have more reason to go to the vet, but's a lot easier to just feed your pet better food in the first place...

((yes, I am a pet snob -- purebred, genetically tested, sound animals from responsible, kennel club breeders (or rescue mutts) fed healthy diets and given proper training, motivation, care & excercise. There is no reason to purchase an animal from a pet store/mill nor backyard breeder. If you don't know what genetic defects your dog/bitch is carrying, DO NOT breed them -- neuter/spay them ASAP))

Anyway, I digress.... we move in May 1st! We bought a decent fridge, a a fairly new secondhand stove, and pine buffet/hutch. We're on the lookout for a nice sofa set, dining table & chairs, microwave, toaster oven, washer/dryer. printer, and possibly a second queen bed for the guest room. We'll have to wait on painting until we have a better idea of the whole colour scheme we're going for. We still don't know what style we want (Nathan says we *have* a style -- I keep telling him "cheap" is not a style >.>), so finding furniture is a bit of a pain. We found the perfect brown leather sectional at Sears (not shown -- it's a rounded corner wedge with a loveseat on either side), but we just couldn't justify spending $$4100 for the equivalent of a sofa and loveseat... plus, we can't spend that kind of money when we don't know how badly our cats could scratch the leather (not necessarily on purpose, but just jumping up, and running around they tend to dig in their claws).

The absolute best part about buying a house is having a dishwasher again :)