Wednesday, December 3, 2008

So I splurged a little

I went out and bought a puppy a few days ago. He cost me a few hundred bucks which probably could have been used for other preps. I'm pretty well set in most areas, though. The only spot where I'm sorely lacking is the off grid retreat with fully functional bomb shelter so he didn't set me back too much from that goal.

Pets are something that I feel like everyone should have. I'm a dog person myself. Even if all you can get is a little one he'll be enough to at least warn you of trouble before it's on top of you. Some of them are even better at taking care of pests than cats are. They're cheap to take care of and, for the most part, can take care of themselves. They say that just petting a dog lowers most people's blood pressure a few points. They're definitely a good stress reliever for me. After a long day at work spending time with the dogs is probably my biggest stress reliever.
A lot of times I even prefer their company to people.

Picking a breed is important. Different breeds have different temperments and characteristics. Obviously, if you're allergic to dogs, then you've got to be much more careful about what breed you pick. Either that or you have to find a different pet. If you've got small children then you've got to pay attention as well. If you want a good guard dog that can do more than latch on to a toe and attempt to bark people to death then you don't want to get a chihuahua. the newest addition to my household is a shih tzu. They're great house dogs that are very hearty, great with kids and tough enough to be able to rough house with bigger dogs. They're not that yappy but they'll let you know when they think something's not right. I've also got a samoyed. They're a great, all around working breed. I have no illusions about mine. He's so old and spoiled that if I ever actually needed to use him as a working dog then I'd have to work with him 10x harder to have any hope of him being able to do anything useful. He's smart enough and eager enough to please that he'd try to figure out whatever I ask of him. I picked him because they tend to be intelligent, well behaved, protective without being overprotective and well tempered.

Make sure that you do some research before you pick the dog that you want. Make sure that you can take care of it. Don't get a teacup poodle if you've got 6 rambunctious kids. Don't get a great dane if you live in an apartment. Don't leave a brand new puppy home alone with your jealous pit bull. Don't feed them crap food. Figure out what you want out of a dog and then find a breed that meets those criteria. Educate yourself and it'll be easy to figure out what to expect. If you bring the dog home and then realize that it's not the right breed for you and your family then it's probably already too late for the dog. That's exactly how most dogs end up at rescues, in pounds or abandoned. This post might not pertain as much to urban survival but if it helps a pooch or two survive bad owners then it'll be worth it. Then again, I doubt that you guys are the types of people that dog lovers need to worry about.

9 comments:

Sam said...

I'm 60 and have had a few dogs in my day. I kept and loved them all their lives, of course. But only the last two were extra special, and this is how we found each of them.

First, apply the common sense in this blog and find a litter of pups that meet your criteria. Then visit the litter three times a week for at least two weeks, and keep it up till the puppies are ready. Play with all the puppies and enjoy yourselves. Your "just right dog" will pick you. Your puppy knows stuff you don't. Trust him/ her.

For the last 20 years folks have commented on how "lucky" we have been in getting such special dogs. The above is how we have been so "lucky".
Sam

scoutinlife said...

Congrats on the new puppy!

Anonymous said...

I think you are a very wise on survival topics, but your statement that dogs take care of themselves? PULEEZE don't be one of those bad owners who leaves their dog outside to bark all day at the wind...its cruel and completely unfair to your 'best friend' - don't be that dog owner ok?

The Urban Survivalist said...

That's one of the reasons why I got a second dog. My samoyed doesn't have very bad separation anxiety but I still hate to leave him home alone. The only time he starts barking is when he hears us come home. He's still probably pretty bored being home alone all day.

theotherryan said...

I am so jealous, what kind of dog did you get? After we move to Germany we are going to get a dog. I can't wait as I love dogs a ton.

Anonymous said...

why oh why do people get dogs and then leave them home alone all day? yes, I know we all need to work but I just would never get a dog if I had a full-time job...I think thats sad...I hope you won't have two bored and lonely dogs now...

Levy Goddess said...

anon...dogs are just fine with each others company....

You will love your shih tzu...I have one and she is such a joy...she is very spoiled but I will tell you she has bit at people before so they are good watch dogs and wonderful hearing so they will warn you when someone is walking on concrete in tennis shoes!!!! I have ended up with 4 small dogs, its a long story but I will tell you a burglar will think twice about coming in just because of the loud noise they make. I didnt think my DH would like a sweet cuddly dog...but guess what, she is in love and I mean love with him and he says she belongs to him...so they are joined at the hip....congrats

Noddy said...

Dogs are one of the greatest survival companions we can have. I have a hearing ear dog who's saved my life a few times, and I'm currently caring for my son's dogs while he's deployed to Iraq. Those dogs have helped me put up fences, dig gardens, hunt, and haul stuff too heavy for me alone to move. Getting a dog is not a splurge.

May your new shih tsu be all you hope for and more!

liz said...

I grew up with several samoyeds over the course of my childhood. They still are my favorite dogs. They are intelligent and extremely devoted and loving. They shed like crazy and require brushing brushing brushing, but that makes for good bonding time. Wonderful, beautiful dogs. I loved each one dearly.