Today's proof that I have totally lost the plot


People ask my advice about getting a dog fairly regularly. Almost without fail, I tell them to adopt a young adult dog from a rescue. I have repeated at least a hundred times that puppies are an excessive amount of work, and that there is no reason to put yourself through that work unless your heart is set on a particular breed that can't often be rescued as an adult, or the puppy is going to require some sort of specialized training (like an assistance dog). For a regular pet dog, get an adult. It just makes more sense. Let someone else handle the destructive phase and the part where they aren't house trained.

I already held this position before we fostered seven Lab puppies from their fourth week to their twelfth, but even if I hadn't, doing that would have solidified it. Those pups were a shitload of work. They were, like, an infant-level of work. Up every two hours, feeding with bottles, constant crying, and a mess I can't even describe. Though the experience remains among the very most rewarding of my life, I've always said I would never do it again.

You know where I'm going with this, right?

Today we were in a big box pet store, buying cat food (yeah, I know, but I'm damned if I can find a local anything here, much less a local pet store). And there was a rescue group there with several litters of puppies. Lab mix puppies. Shepherd mix puppies. Husky mix puppies. All sort of medium-to-large mutt puppies. Dogs that are going to be infinitely easier to adopt out at this cute puppy stage than they would be as very average looking adult dogs. Dogs that are likely not house-trained, probably chew everything, and may well cry all not.

I wanted one so bad I swear my ovaries twinged. It was just like baby lust. Their bellies! Their noses! Their too big paws! The way they tripped all over each other! I very nearly squealed.

And then I got to thinking about it, and it would actually be fairly reasonable to get a puppy now. Well, maybe not now, since we're going away for Christmas, but in the new year. I'm home all day, in a perfect position to house-train and spend as much time as is needed with all the basic puppy care stuff that made me crazy with the Labs. Ata is a gentle and patient dog, but also an Alpha--he'd be great with a puppy. The cats are used to rescue dogs, but aren't aggressive in the least--they'd do fine. We really could adopt a puppy and have it be OK.

The thing is, everybody wants to adopt puppies. No matter how much I tell them that they'd be better off with young adult dogs, puppies adopt out much faster. So would it be wrong for us, people who know about taking in adult and even elderly dogs from shelters and aren't afraid to do so, to get a puppy instead this time? Would it be a cop-out? And if not, is there any chance in hell I could talk Mark into it?

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April 2012

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