New Motivation for a House: I want a dog

Posted by in Articles, personal finance | 23 comments

New Motivation for a House: I want a dog

Three years ago I started this blog with the intent to journal our quest on becoming home owners. I’m still not a home owner, but continue to work towards that goal. Along the way, I might have gotten side-tracked (went back to school), couldn’t decide where I wanted to live (still don’t know), and haven’t saved up the sufficient amount needed for a down payment (I’m working on it!) However, I haven’t lost focus of what I want: a house.

Now I seem to have even more motivation to reach that goal sooner than later; I want a dog!

This might seem silly, but before I ever owned my cats I felt that certain things needed to be in order before I could be a cat owner. Dog owners I’m sure are moaning, “Cats are so easy!” and they are. But I’m a very responsible person and wanted a secure place to live before I made the commitment to own a kitty or three. In college, I yearned to own cats and had many “strays” visit my 5-roommate rental house, but I felt I was moving around too often to own one of my own. So I just borrowed the neighborhood cats (seriously, at one point I had 10 – 15 cats surrounding my rental on any given day – they all had permanent homes, but loved visiting me for the attention. But I’ve always been known for my animal magnetism. :) )

Hence, I feel this way, if not more, about owning a dog.

Owning a dog takes a lot more time, effort, and attention than owning cats…or at least it does if I want to be a good dog owner. From my knowledge of family and friends owning dogs they require dedication and time for proper training (becoming the pack leader isn’t easy from what I’ve read) which most people neglect in my experience.

It also requires a yard. Along with consistent walks, a yard is only fair for most dogs with boundless energy. Since many landlords shy away from tenants with dogs (completely understandable – but it’s usually the owners fault, not the dog’s, when damage is done), having my own dog still may be a few years away.

Waiting is also a better option since unlike cats, dogs appear to cost a lot more. They eat more, take up more space, need more toys and accessories and seem to need regular visits to the vet. Where my cats are perfectly content playing with an aluminum foil ball or shoe string (and sleep half the day away), dogs tend to keep human hours and need consistent human companionship.

Not that a house would fulfill all of my requirements for owning a dog, obviously I’d need to dedicate my time and energy, but having the extra space is a definite must.

So as I drool over the breeds I find online and weekend Petco adoption days, I’ll work even harder to reach my goal – own a house!

Do you own a dog? Did you wait until you owned a house? What breed do you prefer?

23 Comments

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  1. Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog

    I do have a dog, and the dog is so much fun – love having her around! my wife and I waited until we lived in a house, and picked one out at the local shelter – that was more than good enough for us. We got a medium sized dog that fit well with our house and didnt need too big of a yard.

    • Little House

      @Jeff – I’m not against picking a dog out of the shelter. However, I have 3 cats and it would have to be a dog that likes cats (and that doesn’t mean likes to eat cats!), or a puppy that is raised around cats (which is to say I’m leaning towards a puppy).

    • Little House

      @Kathleen – We have in the past and could again, but a lot of landlords don’t like the idea of dogs and that’s understandable. I’d rather own my own place first I think.

  2. krantcents

    You could say the same thing about children! Our first dog which coincided with our first child was an Irish Setter, next came a series of smaller dogs (Cocker Spaniels). We still have a Cocker Spaniel and now we live in a townhouse. Just a patio, no yard. We walk him 3 times a day.

    • Little House

      @Krantcents – I’ve looked into the cocker spaniel breed and they seem like pretty good dogs. However, I’m leaning towards the smaller retrievers like the one in the picture (Nova Scotia Duck Toller Retriever) and they need a yard to run a bit and 2-3 walks a day. But yes, I could apply this to kids too. ;)

  3. Lance @ Money Life and More

    Adopt a dog when you get around to it! Don’t pay the puppy mills. A dog is definitely a commitment and their medical expenses when they need them can be quite expensive.

  4. 20's Finances

    We are in the same boat. I have finally convinced my wife to get a dog, but she says we have to wait to have our own house. I want to get a comfort retriever (also known as a golden cocker retriever or other names). It’s the cutest thing ever!

    • Little House

      @20’s Finance – The dog in the photo is a Nova Scotia Duck Toller Retriever, I’ll have to look up the golden cocker retriever. I love retrievers, but would like a medium sized dog not a big one like the traditional retrievers.

  5. Untemplater

    I love dogs…when somebody else is taking care of them lol. I’m way more a cat person but currently have neither. If I worked from home I’d probably get one though because it’d be so much easier to care for them and interact. Right now my schedule is just too crazy!

    • Little House

      @Untemplater – Cats are easy to care for, I admit. I love my 3 cats; and they’re not aloof like most people assume. Perhaps you can get a cat when your schedule calms down. ;)

  6. Joe @ Retire By 40

    A dog is too much work for us at the moment. The cats are so much more self sufficient. Our building allow dogs and we have enough fun playing with our neighbors’ dogs.

  7. Crystal @ Broke-Ass Mommy

    We adopted Miss Doxie, our Dachshund, from the Houston SPCA in 2005 while we were still in an apartment. She was 7 then and was perfectly happy with the smaller space. We adopted Mr. Pug in 2009 (he was 6) after we moved into our house, but he would be happy in an apartment too (not really an exercise partner, lol). But you are very right about waiting until you are ready financially since my dogs have been a definite luxury expense.

  8. Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals

    First of all, I applaud you for deciding to wait until you’re in a house before getting a dog – they are too much of a hassle (and sometimes a nuisance to neighbors) in an apartment or rental. We did the same thing almost 6 years ago – bought the house, then got a dog the next week.

  9. Maggie@SquarePennies

    Is there even such a thing as a house dog? I’m retired & could keep it in the house most of the day. Then let it out to run in a fenced yard for a while every day? I’m not opposed to taking a walk with the dog, but once a day sounds more reasonable to me than 2-3 times a day.

  10. Andrew @ 101 Centavos

    As much as I complain about our dumber-than-dirt Boxer, she’s a great companion on our daily walks, and laying down under my desk as I type this comment. Dogs are an expensive proposition, no doubt, but great friends.

    • Little House

      @Andrew – You’re not the first person to say that Boxers are dumb. My SIL said that their Boxer was the dumbest dog ever. But, my cousin has a boxer and I think they often hide their intelligence. Recently, my cousin had baked muffins and put them in a ziplock bag. The next morning they were gone – no crumbs no bag. She was positive that the dogs hadn’t gotten them. A day later, she found the bag stuffed under a chair without any muffins. Her boxer had gotten them out of the bag, ate them all including the crumbs, and hid the bag under the chair. Now that’s intelligence! So maybe your Boxer is just playing coy?

  11. Funny about Money

    You can often rent a townhouse, patio home, or garden apartment with a small fenced area, which is all some breeds of dog require.

    Greyhounds, for example, are couch potatoes. My grey liked to go for daily walks, but he didn’t like to hang around outdoors and much preferred to loaf around the house. Look them up — google “greyhound adoption” and your state. This is one of the most wonderful, calm, and companionable dogs you can adopt. Some greyhound adoption groups vet the dogs for tolerance of cats and small dogs.

    My present pooch is a corgi. She also is quite content in the house, and in fact when I sprung her from the dog pound, I concluded she must have been an apartment dog: she truly does not want to spend any time in my large, pleasant, shady fenced yard than absolutely necessary to do her business — a daily walk suffices for her. She dotes on cats and wants nothing more to go up to them and try to smooch them on the nose.

    • Little House

      @Funny About Money – I’ll definitely look into Greyhounds. And that’s very sweet about your Corgi and cats. I’m open to adopting an older dog (young, though) as long as it’s used to cats. I wouldn’t want to bring home a cat-eating beast. ;)

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