Dogs have been a pretty constant topic of conversation in our house for many years now. It started with stumbling upon a Chow Chow in the street when Poss was a tiny girl. It stole her heart with it’s soft, soft fur and lion like face, and so commenced a campaign that lasted years for us to add one to our family.
Let’s be clear. We have a dog. Her name is Lucy, she’s almost 15 and she’s a Maltese cross. We (or me, as Husband was slightly blind sided by her arrival) collected her, a tiny ball of white fluff, from a shelter and she immediately claimed me as her own.
She has tolerated Poss over the years; and Poss has certainly made her work for it. There has been all sorts of indignities forced on this dog and she’s borne each of them with the gentle kindness that is her nature.
However, even in her twilight years (and maybe even more so now), she just wants me. She’s too old for fetch, her hearing is going and arthritis is starting to cripple her movement. She shuffles around the house, settling at my feet wherever I end up, content to just be close. While I can look at her and see my dog in her old eyes, it’s completely lost on Poss.
We know all the benefits that come from a companion dog. We know that without a sibling, a dog might help fill part of that gap. We know that dogs can be wonderful for kids on the Spectrum. Or all kids actually.
So we’ve continued to kick it around. Not the dog of course, that would be cruel, just the concept of one. But it seems to raise a bunch of questions that we keep coming back to…
- Is Lucy too old for another dog to join the household? Is it simply unfair, or would it possibly give her a bit of a boost in her old age?
- Would another dog be ok with Hugo? Lucy is great with him, but who knows what another dog would do…
- Is Poss really ready for the commitment and responsibility of her own dog?
- Rescue or breeder? We would love to go with a rescue, but with a dog and a rabbit already in the house, it might be hard to find an older dog to fit in. In fact, one rescue group told us outright that Hugo puts us out of the running for them.
- And then the breed… Which one is best for our girl?
I guess none of these are easy to answer. And to be honest, we might just have to jump in and see how we go.
Today we visited the Dog Lovers Show and spent a few hours exploring the stands, visiting and petting all sorts of dogs. Pushing through the crowds of people, we watched displays, listened to presenters and people watched as they interacted with their pets.
We discovered a few breeds we hadn’t considered before, and took advantage of the passionate dog people around every corner to ask all our stupid questions. And even after all of that, I’m not sure we have any answers.
But we do have a little girl who really wants a dog. So that’s probably the best and only place to start.
Do you have a pet for your child? How did you choose?
Disclaimer: We were given the tickets to the Dog Lovers Show for free, however I was not asked, nor obligated to blog about it. I genuinely just want to talk dogs.