Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Must Love Cats

We've been thinking for awhile of getting another dog. As I've blogged about before, we currently have the Best Dog Ever - a lab mix named Homer.

But the truth is, Homer is lonely. Oh, he won't say it in so many words. But as an outside dog, he spends his days looking in the window or waiting at the door for someone to come out and spend time with him. And although we do play with him every day, when I'm at the computer for hours writing, Homer spends a lot of time at the window. Waiting.

But it's hard to find another Good Dog. We don't want a puppy, and I'd never get a dog from a breeder, because there are too many wonderful dogs waiting at the animal shelter that need to be rescued. Still, we have a lot of qualifications for a new dog, and we're picky. Here's what we're looking for:

1) Must Love Cats. Have you read Kathi Appelt's wonderful book called The Underneath? One of the characters is a hound dog named Ranger, who adores and protects cats and kittens. Our dog Homer is like this (all of our four cats LOVE him) and we need a dog who has been around cats and won't chase them.

2) Short hair, low maintenance, must live outside (except for brutal weather conditions when we do bring our animals inside.) Size - medium to medium-large.

3) Must be good with livestock, and not inclined to chase donkeys or horses. (For obvious reasons.)

4) Must be all around good natured, with no biting, fighting, or excessive barking.

5) Must stay home. We don't allow our dogs to wander, and we much prefer a dog who just likes to lie on the porch and sleep. *grin* A bit on the lazy side is just fine.

Yes, that's what we're looking for, and hopefully it's a dog that Homer will like and get along with. If the dog is still young enough and not too set in its ways, maybe it can learn from Homer how to be another Best. Dog. Ever.

I'll let you know how the search goes.

So tell me - do you have a good dog?

How did it end up coming to live with you?


Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

I love this post and I love The Underneath--what a great novel! And hurray for shelter dogs! I'm sure you'll find the perfect companion for adorable Homer.

We have a pound puppy, too, although he's 17 years old now (hardly a pup).

Good luck!

Linda Benson said...

Thanks, Cynthia. Yes, I'm hoping to find one from a shelter, too. They can make very good dogs! If yours is seventeen years old (wow) then you know. Wish Homer could talk, and he could tell me which one he'd like. ;)

Gone2theDawgs said...

Hi Linda,

Are there certain breeds that you lean towards? Alot of the purebred dog rescue (as in Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue) state whether they are good with cats etc. I also know a gal that rescues many types of breeds/crossbreeds and would give you an honest opinion of any of the dogs she takes in (all of them get her wonderful training...I trained Kylie with them for over 3 years). Also if you go to the humane society and see a dog that gets your interest...they may have a laid back cat they can check them out with. :) Good luck! and if I can be any help let me know.

Linda Benson said...

Thanks, Tammy. I don't have any special breed in mind. Another lab might be okay, or a smaller breed or even a mutt. I know we'll find the right dog. There are lots of them out there needing homes. I'm even thinking an older dog might work out. It just has to be one we all get along with!

Dreaming said...

Homer sounds like such a sweet dog.

Tucker, our 1 year old Australian Shepherd has flunked all 5 of your requirements! Well, he'd love to chase the maybe he does love them, but perhaps for the wrong reasons! His major fault is he won't come when called and being a puppy, he wants to explore everything... and being fast, he can get wherever quite quickly!
We used to have a super dog. He was a pound puppy - 85 pounds and sweet as could be. He had to be put down last May after having had lymphoma for 10 months. We had previously had an Australian Shepherd, which we rescued, and decided to get another. They are such smart, fun dogs. So, one rainy day when we had nothing better to do we visited a farm with a litter of pups.... Some day I am hoping we can look back and remember when this dog was so bad (in contrast to being so good in the future!)
Good luck in finding a friend for Homer.

Linda Benson said...

Dreaming, I hope Tucker turns into a Super Dog as he matures. I think Australian Shepherds, like labs, sometimes take a while to settle down. But they are very loyal, aren't they? It's hard to find a good dog, and hopefully he'll turn into one as he gets older. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Look into english shepherds- not to be confused with the other breeds of the last name... They are largely the American Working Farm Collie of the past. not on the purebred breeding registry, but a genuine breed. We have 2 rough collie/english shepherd mixes, and one purebred english shepherd, and they do everything you list, 100% with an A. We farm. We don't fence our dogs in... they stay. They feel it is their kingdom, their job... because they love us... and every animal we "properly" introduce to them, no exceptions. We searched for dogs that had qualities you name. That's how we found them. We are very satisfied. Google them.

De De Carlson said...

Wow, your dog situation sounds so much like ours! Tammy's dog Molly died over a year ago at the ripe old age of 15. Tammy and I were wandering a mall one year on her birthday and came upon the Oregon Humane Society setup, well we returned home with the cutest puppy you ever saw - the vet thought she was Samoyed and German Shepard, she looked like a big fuzzy bear actually! And, oh what an escape artist she was! We finally had to hotwire the yard! That did not stop her, she realized there was no hotwire around the barn and dug out that way! So,now our son's dog is very lonely, he moves very slowly these days at the ripe old age of 16! Rocky is a black lab mix. We started bringing him in at night last winter, but here it is spring and he still barks at the patio every evening around 7:00, so he got spoiled very quickly!

Linda Benson said...

Anonymous - Thanks for the info on English Shepherds. I did google them and they are beautiful dogs. Maybe we'll have one some day.

DeDe - When a dog gets older, it's sometimes hard to bring another one into the family. Our dog is seven, and if we wait too much longer, he might not like a young interloper hanging around. ;) Yes, Homer got spoiled when we were bringing him in last winter, too, but now that it's warmer at night he's happy to stay out.

After bringing home a nice 8 year old female lab who met ALL of the above requirements, except that she CHASED CATS! (we gave her back to the original owners)I think we're not going to ACTIVELY look for a dog right now. There's a lot of dogs that need homes, and with any luck, we'll just stumble upon the right one. Sometimes I believe in fate. :P

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