Thursday, September 30, 2010

The real expense of owning a dog. Is there such a thing?

Okay, dog food is going to be expensive. I should know. I own 4 cats and buy canned Friskies food for them and frequently pay a dollar ninety-nine for an 18 oz. bag of dry food. Dog food prices are comparable. And during a recent visit to PetSmart, I've found that prices aren't necessarily cheaper and that so-called good brands are not featured, but are likely to be more expensive when they are.

That takes care of food, a major expense no matter which way you look at it.

Another expense involves visits to the vet for examinations and shots. If the dog (or cat) becomes ill, there's an added expense right there at a time when money is tight to begin with. If I were pressed for a specific answer, I would definitely factor in routine vet visits.

Other items include a dog bed, toys, leashes, collars, medications, etc.

And last, but not least, a dog must be licensed, so a yearly fee must be paid to the local municipality.

Add the costs of these items and you'll get a pretty good idea on what you'll be paying to own a dog. I already have and believe me, it isn't cheap. Not that I ever believed that owning a dog would be cheap. More like a careful consideration of what's involved, expense wise. Have to be practical.

"Lessons" learned about liking and wanting a dog

Here they are:

- A little dog that looks so cute is going to annoy you sooner than later with its shrill barking. (Examples include the little white terrier who lives with his masters around the corner and the terrier that my aunt once owned and lost many years ago.)

- Once you own a dog, you have a friend for life. Once you love a dog that's not yours, you could have a friend for life. It all depends. My dad loved Chloe and she stayed by his side always. There was definitely a connection going on. Then when my dad was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer, Chloe practically never left his side. Talk about loyalty!

- Being around dogs, even though you don't own them, teaches you about unconditional love. As you get to love a dog, you become a better and more loving person for it and also learn how to be patient and appreciative. I learned this from being around dogs like Cooper and Roxie.

How I Learned to Like Dogs

As a child, I enjoyed watching "Lassie" on television. To me, Lassie was a beautiful, loyal friend to her owner, Timmy (or was it Tommy). Someday, perhaps I would own a dog like Lassie. The dog would probably be a collie.

As the years went by, I got to learn about and like other types of dogs also, such as rottweillers, German shepherds, poodles and terriers. My high school chum owned a big shaggy dog named Mitzi. Mitzi used to become very excited about visitors and jump all over them when they entered my chum's house. She made it difficult to receive a pat on the head and she wouldn't stop jumping until she was called off. But her owners loved her and took good care of her. They never allowed her to leave the house at random.

Then my sister owned dogs that were larger in size than Mitzi. One of them, a rottweillor named Roxie, was a sweetie who always walked nicely and never tugged at her leash. She liked to be petted too. Another dog was a mixed breed and stray that my sister adopted and named "Cooper." Cooper was very friendly and liked to do things that people did, like dressing up for Halloween. When those dogs died, my sister adopted a husky-dog mix whom she named Chloe. Chloe loves to run and go for walks and get treats from the neighbors. She's all white and has blue eyes.

As you can see, I've been around dogs for much of the time. The problem now is choosing a dog to own, care for and love.

When the weather's bad, do you still walk your dog?

As a would-be dog owner, I often wonder how a lot of dog owners seem to have no problem in walking their dogs every day, regardless of weather. If it's pouring outside and there are puddles everywhere and you still get soaked in spite of holding up an umbrella, how much motivation do you have for walking your dog in that weather? Or does your dog seem to intuit that he or she will also experience a lot of discomfort?

When it's hot and humid, where's the motivation?  Or do you just grin and bear it and walk your dog anyway?

When it's snowing or sleeting, where's the motivation?  What do you DO?

I'm sure that love has a lot to do with it. But isn't there some point in which love is replaced by a greater need to stay indoors until the uncomfortable weather changes?  That is, do you just opt to stay indoors and hope that your dog does the same?  Just wondering

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Pet Haven: 50 Terrific Tips (& Tricks) for DIY Pet Grooming

The Pet Haven: 50 Terrific Tips (& Tricks) for DIY Pet Grooming

Have dog - Make New Friends

Sometimes as my sister and I take her two dogs for a walk, we happen to see one or more neighbors who know the dogs and pet them and even offer them a treat occasionally. I shouldn't be surprised, though. One of the dogs, Chloe, already has a reputation in the neighborhood. She receives lots of praise about how beautiful she is, lots of petting from neighbors who  are outside and happen to see her. As a result, my sister has made friends among the neighbors. A few of those neighbors have dogs or cats of their own.

So I've concluded that if someone takes his or her dog out for a walk every day, sooner or later, he or she will get to know the neighbors hopefully in a good way. A lot of people like animals and don't mind chatting about them with a dog owner. It isn't very long until a dog knows all of the "snack stops" and looks eagerly forward to going to each one.

Why am I not surprised?

My Dream Dog

I have an idea of how my future dog will look. It will be about the size of a human infant. It will have scraggly white fur and a face with button eyes and little ears. Of course, my dog would bark, but only if he needed to. For example, he'd bark to warn me about strangers and so on. .