We just fostered our first Dog, well actually, 8 month old puppy. It was only for one night, but it was quite the insight, as I have been thinking about getting a companion for Chico. My friend found the lost puppy, and needed an emergency place for “buddy” for only a night, as a foster in the neighborhood he was found would be available the next day. Buddy was clean, super sweet and loving, good with all dogs and kids, followed me around the house with or without Chico, knew that dog toys were good and stayed away from human stuff on the floor, appeared to be crate trained, and tho he wasn’t treat motivated, after he did his business outside, he looked up to me for approval and affection. I tried not to get attached, but that little bit there, bonded me to him. He was was definitely someone’s beloved pet.
Even though it was a short time, the whole experience made me think even more about what I would want in a companion, and what Chico needs. I do have it in my head that I want to get another Boston Terrier. but my heart wants to rescue every dog in the world.
Every breed/breed mix has it’s own unique, lovable personality traits. Boston Terriers are very spirited and interactive. I work alone a lot, I hike alone a lot. While Chico mostly sleeps when we are home, he follows me around the house or yard, and if I have been on the computer too long, he will come up and tap me with his paw. If it’s late and we should be in bed he will tap me with his paw and refuse to get on my lap. On the trail, after a few miles he will also interact with me, in his cute little clown like ways. This is good for me so I’m not always lost in my own little world. Some people prefer dogs that don’t follow them around the yard or house, and who are always calm, and don’t initiate play, and that is fine too, everyone has different needs.
However this foster also made me re-evaluate if I could handle a second dog. No, he didn’t do anything bad but Buddy either wasn’t trained, or didn’t know commands in English. Sleeping with Chico on my bed and Buddy in a crate next to it, I felt like we were leaving him out. I had to walk them separate, and I felt like I was also leaving Buddy out. Of course these are things that would change over time, but it is a lot of work to do things separately, can I really handle it?
I want a dog that can comfortably live in my space with another dog, probably 18 to 25 lbs , Chico’s size is 25 pds and he can hike 10 miles on a cool day if I have him leashed. Buddy was so adorable, but if I adopted him, he wouldn’t be able to hike very far with us, yes there are smaller dogs who can hike a fair amount of miles, but mini breeds often can’t do more than a few miles. Even tho we don’t hike longer miles all the time, it is enough that having a dog that couldn’t do it, would make me feel like I was ignoring him by leaving him at home. I’m the kind of person who plans my vacations around where I can take my dog:)
A puppy wouldn’t be able to hit the trail for the first 2 months ( until shots kick in), unless I carried him so his feet didn’t hit the ground, I wouldn’t want to leave the puppy out of the fun. A rescue I might have to work with alone on the trail for a few months, I don’t want to leave Chico out either. I for sure don’t want to end up with a dog that can’t go hiking at all. I’m confident that if I get a puppy, I can handle training him for the trail, and for home, in a shorter period of time which is better for my chaotic workload and schedule.
I am not so confident that I will be good at training an older dog whom might be set in their ways, and not good with an erratic schedule. I couldn’t get Buddy to sit no matter what I did, where as Chico did it the first night I had him home 50% of the time. I believe that a dog concentrates on the present, and doesn’t think of the past. I know as a human, if I do rescue, I can’t feel sorry for the dog…but am I emotionally capable? I also think of rescuing a senior dog, but I am looking for a play companion for Chico, and the dog needs to be able to hike so it doesn’t get left out. And again, I am not sure I could handle becoming so attached to a dog and have it pass after just a year or two.
And most of all, I have such a strong bond with Chico, like I have never had with any of my previous dogs, I worry that whatever dog we get, the bond won’t be as strong, and wonder, if that is fair to the dog. Yes the dog would be getting a great, safe home, and fun exercise, but still, what if I didn’t love it as much as Chico?
Well, if you made it to the end, thanx for reading my ramblings and insecurities. I am trying to make the best decision for both of us:) I will be doing a post on lost dogs soon.