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Caring for a pet

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    Caring for a pet

    Hello, I am a T3 para and quite lonely at night, so I am considering a dog or cat. I am more a dog person but I am concerned with the maintenance and cleanup of one. I am looking at miniature goldendoodle or labradoodles.

    For those of you living on your own, is taking the dog out 3-4 times daily and picking up the poop a large burden? That is the part that has me nervous.

    Is it difficult to maintain a dog by yourself? Should I concede and just get a cat?

    You're tlalking about two breeds that need more than 3 or 4 walks a day. Those dogs are highly active and need to run. A dog needs grooming, bathing, regular vet visits(if needed) and a good fenced in yard or dog park to run in. We've had everything from Old English to now, Havanese. They all require much more maintenance than our cats. We're down to one Norwegian Forest Cat,14 yrs old and two small dogs; a 14 yr old Havanese and a 11 mo. old Havachon. We live on two acres with 1/2 acre fenced in. My wife is out there every other day scooping up dog poop. It'd be a big hastle for me because of the grass and uneven ground. Plus in the winter and rainy season, I'd sink in the ground. Would hate thinking about scooping and trying to get around in inclimate weather.

    My cat Forest is my cat. she bonded with me, sleeps on my side of the bed curled up in my arms and is totally loving. She is much lower maintenance and independent. We live in the country but have had litter boxes handy if we needed to leave them for a day or longer. As long as the cats had water, food and a place to dump, they were happy.

    If I lived in the city or apartment on my own, it would be a cat. I'm a dog person also but know first hand the hassle of owning a dog, especially a larger breed while on my own. I suggest a cat. They are loving, less hassle and curl up when you need them most. If you are thinking dog, get a smaller breed. I can put my Lucy on my lap while lounging in my lounge chair and brush her from there. With my bigger dogs, I had to either get on the floor, or have them lay down on the stair landing to brush. It got to be so tough I finally stopped brushing them and took them to the groomers more ofter at 90 bucks each.


      I miss having an animal companion so much. But the last three (a dog and two cats) we had became so ill with lymphoma, kidney failure and toxic hepatitis that it convinced us not to go there again - there's no way my elderly husband and I could wrestle an animal into a carrier, drive to the vet on a regular basis, pay for MRIs and bloodwork and meds, special diets, etc.

      It is TOUGH to live in a house without animals. I agree with Patrick that a cat is easier to manage than a dog - still, without my husband I couldn't manage pet care. And I'm old enough to worry about dying with a helpless animal in the house. If a cat or dog stays healthy throughout life and dies in his/her sleep, that's one thing - but nowadays, it's typical for a beloved companion animal to develop chronic illness that is not immediately deadly, yet almost impossible to cope with physically and financially (and for me, the guilt that would come from NOT managing would be more than I could handle). There are lots of variables to consider.

      I don't say all of these things in order to make this post be about me, but to raise some of the hard issues that might have to dealt with. Many - perhaps most - of us do fine with animals, and there's no question that they boost our quality of life and bring untold gifts to us. Whether to have a companion animal or not is such a personal decision, based on so many factors, and it's not possible to know in advance how things will go. Whatever you decide, I just want to say that I empathize and wish you the best as you weigh this decision.
      Last edited by Bonnette; 24 Apr 2016, 8:24 PM.
      MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions