Adding a shelter dog to the family
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|Wed, 12-21-2011 - 11:16am|
My husband has agreed that I can finally get a dog as my "Christmas" present this year - though I'll more than likely choose one sometime in January.
That said, I have two indoor/outdoor cats, and a 15.5 month old son. One cat has never really been around dogs. He's fearful of new things, but eventually comes around. His favorite person in the world (next to me) is my son. They enjoy fighting over my lap, messing with the others feet (the cats nibbles the baby's toes, and the baby "tickles" the cat's paws). Seriously just a tolerant cat who I've had since he was 6 weeks old, and he's 2.5 now. The other was a shelter cat we brought home in September. She was adopted as a kitten, then relinquished back to the shelter after 10 months because she meows too much. I don't know her history with dogs at all, but she's finally coming around to our other cat and the baby.
As for my son, he's been around multiple dogs. We have friends with an airdale/chow/? mix, others with a boxer/rottie mix. My mom has 5 feists. He has no fear of them being near his face (though I don't encourage licking), no fear of barking or them jumping. He barks back. We also leave very close to our local humane society, so we visit once a week, so he's exposed to different dogs.
So, all that backstory to ask, what's the best way to select a dog that fits our family? The HS is ok with me bring Peter to meet the dogs first, so I'm less worried about him. He won't be left unsupervised with a dog, regardless. I'm more worried about the cats. They do have a screened in deck to escape to outside, and doors can be closed inside to block off part of the house. A small dog is out; my mom has had 3 litters in the last 18 months, and my husband was anti-small dog. Otherwise, I would have had one of them in a heartbeat. I grew up with a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and a Bloodhound, so I'm more comfortable with bigger dogs.
Also, what age is best? I tend to gravitate toward the adults, just because everyone wants a puppy. But then I wonder if a younger dog would be easier to raise in our household right now.
Sorry for the novel; I just really want to make sure we make the right choice for us, and for the dog. Pets are forever in my mind, so this isn't something I want to jump in to without having done the proper research (hence the reason I don't have the black and tan that was available a few weeks ago!).