Monday, August 23, 2010

For the BirdDogs

As you may well know, I'm not a fan of animals. I respect everyone's ridiculous need to be covered in dog spit, cat vomit and loads and loads of animal hair...

I just don't roll like that. I'm from the school of, 'If I didn't give birth to it, I'm not going to clean up it's shit'.

Of course (because I am Damned), my children adore animals. Olivia writes little essays about how her life is not complete because she does not have a pet. Maxine literally convulses with delight every time we see a dog or cat on a walk. We visited a pet shop the other day and Rose pouted for hours afterward from being denied her request for, 'an animal for her room, any animal'. Elijah is a little more nervous around dogs than the Olivia or Max, but he's constantly pretending to be a puppy, complete with panting, butt shaking, licking and barking.

Jeremiah also loves animals. And because I am Damned, like I mentioned previously, he loves cats in particular.

Which means I am eventually going to have to add 'care for an animal's needs' to my already bursting at the seams list of chores and duties. If I have to take one for the team (There is No 'I' in team, but there is an 'I' in dogshit), I would prefer getting a dog.

I know you're thinking this is a crazy speak, but I grew up with a lovely dog who was in my life for 18 years. I have never liked another animal as much since, and although she was a huge pain in the ass at times, she was really a part of our family.

So here are my criteria for the type of dog I would be kind of sort of okay with.

  1. Big enough to withstand my offsprings' youthful enthusiasm, small enough to pick up, sturdy enough for outside activity.
  2. Little to no shedding. And I know that there is no such thing as a hypo-allergenic dog, but the closer to that impossible status, the better.
  3. A smart, easy to train dog, but not too smart that it's constantly going to get away with sneaky things all the time. Like Max.
  4. Cute. Very cute. It really has to be worth the extra effort and I want to show it off on walks etc...etc... Like Max.
  5. An even temper. My kids will be all over this thing. All over.

Any suggestions? Salutations? Ideas for a more efficient way to make my life a living hell?


liz woodbury said...

i am smitten with my dog, as you may know. he sheds a ton, but he's adorable. from my experience with various breeds, i've found spaniels to be the most loyal, family-motivated, food-motivated (which makes training a lot easier), fun, cuddly, and goofy. depending on the one you get, they can be pretty smart too. please consider checking out petfinder before you go to a breeder (and do NOT go to a pet store, please!). there are so many great dogs there, seriously. also, a mix of breeds rather than a purebred dog can very often be healthier and less neurotic.

nova said...

We`re looking for a dog with kind of the same criteria. The best thing we`ve found is a bulldog. French or English. But like Liz said, mixes are better. Bulldogs have crazy breathing problems if they`re too inbred.

Ange said...

I know JUST the dog for you; a robotic dog!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I suggest a terrier of some sort, they are mid range size, short haired, and good with kids.

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

We have a small beagle (yes, they come in sizes) and she is wonderful. I grew up with a beagle. My husband and I had 2 dogs prior to this one (not beagles) and we know for sure this one is the smartest, most gentle, loving creature. She is 14 and we've had her since she fit in my hand. I can't say that she never sheds...there are a couple of times a year she does. It isn't awful, but one of those little lint rollers if she is going to be on the furniture is necessary at certain times. Just my opinion, but when she is no longer here (sob) there will be another baby beagle coming to live with us.

Missy said...

I have two cats and two dogs that meet all of your criteria. When do you want to pick them up?

Mei said...

Mmmm cat vomit is my favorite way to start the day....
There is a dog that would work very well for you, the standard poodle. They aren't nearly as "special" as you would think, and if you don't groom them stupid they are a pretty cool dog with less health problems and no drooling. :)

erin said...

Liz, I don't like dogs but for some reason I love yours! ;) A friend recently suggested a maybe that's the way to go.

Chiefy, Jeremiah likes bulldogs a lot. I have been around a few and they seem really super slobbery. Ick.

Ange, Robotic is always better. Except when it comes to men (ahem).

Doc, I do love the way terriers look. And for some reason they just seem like cleaner animals. I like Welsh and Scottish terriers the best so far.

Sue, My dad's childhood dog was a beagle and they are on our short list as well. I saw a beagle/basset hound mix on petfinder the other day, she looked so precious.

Missy, No cats. No way. :)

erin said...

Mel, Olivia wants a poodle. I think we'll meet in the middle with her and get a poodle mix of some sort though. I think they're cuter!

Alison said...

I've heard that dogs like Labradoodles ARE hypoallergenic? Or, at least they don't shed (it's the poodle in them?)

Sada said...

I'm allergic to everything with fur (even frickin' poodles), so I've got nothing. But I know you're jealous!

p.s. My unborn children probably already hate me.

Wupppy said...

sounds like you're looking for one of those stuffed ironic :D

Mom said...

Oh dear lord, no cats! Get the dog so you don't have to have a cat! ;-0


Angela Christensen said...

Dear me, Erin, I thought I'd already told you. Oh, wait, I wrote hat dog post for your kids, didn't I?
Our Boxer Sheba (I didn't name her, but I will tell you the story sometime) was the "Nana" of Peter Pan fame to our boys for about 15 years of their lives. Boxers are sturdy, solid dogs, they shed very little, they are loyal and affectionate with kids, and I can't recommend them highly enough. That said, I agree with Liz strongly: NO PET STORES, and consider a rescue organization. Local ones will usually work really hard with you to find the right match for your family.

As an aside, I have a new photo for you of Rodney wearing the ultra-cute Boxer hat you made for him, and will contact you separately to order more.
Love, love,
Angie at Eat Here

Nanc Twop said...

Erin, still thinking poodle-mix?

Then I'd check out a 'schnoodle',
its a poodle /schnauzer mix.

Good luck!

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

A Wheaton terrier, mayhaps?

Hypo-allergenic, no shedding, smart, nice size.

We found a great Wheaton mix off Petfinder.

You'll get used to the feeling of warm poop against your fingers through a plastic bag. After a few months, it's like a hot parrafin treatment.

otherworldlyone said...

Don't.Do.It. For the love of God, just say no.

We got the mothereffing Mastiff puppy and I HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT. (But it's so cute.) BUT I HATE IT.

There is most certainly an "i" in dogshit. And you'll be reminded of it daily.

steff said...

well i LOVE my cat but clearly i'd be barking up the wrong tree {crickets} trying to push for a feline here.


seriously tho, ive had tons of pets in my life and one of the hands down BEST dogs would have to be a boxer. they are smart and strong, medium to large build sturdy animals and GREAT with kids. they have very short smooth coats so they dont shed very much at all but they DO slobber.

otherwise, i suggest a spaniel as well. they are incredibly loving dogs but require a LOT of grooming.

i also agree that i'd stay away from breeders/pet stores and "pure" breeds bc that can often mean insestuous lineage which equals PURE INSANITY and will likely make YOUR life a living hell. mutts are really where it's at.

every animal is different and some, no matter how much research you do, will likely never fit into any one mold.

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

my vote is to adopt a shelter pet. there are so many great pups who need homes bc their stupid owners never got their parents fixed, or bc their owners had to downsize due to the economy, or bc of any other long list of reasons.

mixed breeds tend to be healthier and have more even tempers, from what i've noticed. and there are SO many shelters with tons of beautiful dogs to chose from.

i hated dogs, but bc my ex wanted one, i caved. now i have two and i LOVE.THE.SHIT.OUTTA.THEM.

it's embarrassing, really.

ferabeth said...

Yes, Virginia, there *is* a Santa Clause: