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My son is a boy who needs a dog

LotusGrowsInMud posted 9/21/2018 01:42 AM

Hi, I havenít been around very much but used to read this forum everyday.
Have been divorced a couple of years and had a fairly cooperative co parenting arrangement for the past 5 years, until the ex decided to tell my boys they have to meet his new girlfriend...and then told them to lie to me about it.
Anyway, thatís neither here or there.
Whatís on my mind at the moment are DOGS!
My 9 year old son loves loves loves dogs but we have never had a pet. I grew up on a farm and had every pet you could imagine: horses, dogs, cats, chickens, ducklings, lambs and calves. Breaks my heart that my boys are living in a 2 bedroom apartment and have never had a pet. At least we are in Hawaiíi I suppose...Iím stuck here until the boys are grown, my family all live in my home country.
Back to the dog: Is this a good idea? We are out of the house 10 hours per day, no outside area.
Does anyone live in an apartment and have a dog that is alone most of the day?
Iím an over thinker and would feel bad about leaving a dog alone so much...but on the other hand I could offer a dog that may not get rescued a home. My sons would love it and would be responsible for helping to care for it. I think in particular my youngest boy would benefit because his fatherís latest escapades have been very trying for him. I work in a school so actually only work 9 months of the year. We do travel, but usually only once a year.
I think a dog would be healing for me too.
Your thoughts?
Thank you!

I.will.survive posted 9/21/2018 05:22 AM

Aww, I love dogs, too and agree that a rescue is a perfect place to get one!

However, being gone 10 hours a day is the exact reason I DON'T have one anymore. When I was married we had 2 and my husband worked from home.

Now that I live alone, I would feel terrible if it had to be stuck indoors that long and also bad if I left it outside that long. you think you could hire a dog walker? Is that in the budget? If you could have someone come over and play with your dog and take it for a walk during the day, maybe that option is still available?

EvenKeel posted 9/21/2018 07:17 AM

There are many city-folks with dogs so it is definitely do'able.

Really search the breeds because some dogs require MUCH more activity than others. Some are just not conductive to a lifestyle you have. While others are. My dog was 15 when she passed and did VERY well alone. In fact, on weekends when we were all there the entire time she looked at us like "aren't you guys ever gonna leave so I can nap?" lol

My DD played sports so there were days she was alone from morning until almost bedtime. I felt bad but she didn't not seem to mind. I envisioned she was laying on the couch watching Animal Planet all day

She was also a rescue so we really didn't know what we were getting so we were very lucky!

So look for one with a very laid back personality and one that does not require a big farm for endless running.

If you end up with a dog that needs 'more', many areas have places like doggie daycare that they can go a couple days a week to break up their alone time.

[This message edited by EvenKeel at 7:18 AM, September 21st (Friday)]

josiep posted 9/21/2018 08:34 AM

If there's a dog rescue near you, visit them and put in an application and describe your situation. They'll be happy to help you find the perfect match for your family. And they'll be happy to take the dog back if it doesn't work out. Their goal is to find a good home for the dogs so they're generous-hearted and kind people. Reach out to them. They understand.

Good Luck!

Catwoman posted 9/21/2018 09:05 AM

I purchased a high-drive, high-energy dog and I'm gone much of the day. We have good walks morning and night, and he loves to retrieve, which we do daily. I've had no issues, but I wouldn't recommend it.

A low-energy dog would be best. I also support breed rescue vs. a shelter. Breed rescue concentrates on a certain breed, and most of the rescuers are knowledgeable breeders who can give help and guidance.


Sananman posted 9/21/2018 10:25 AM

A rescue dog is a great idea and there are plenty of dog breeds that do very well with 'alone time' during the day. Most dogs (unless a highly active breed) will sleep most of the day and if you invest the effort into proper house training they will learn to use 'potty pads' so you can avoid messy cleanup whe you get home. Additionally once they are on a feeding, walking and bathroom schedule - most dogs are good to go even with multi hour gaps during the day.

If you live in an apartment make sure you check your lease for pet deposits and weight restriction on animal size.

Good luck!

lilies21 posted 9/21/2018 10:52 AM

Thank you for posting this, LotusGrowsInMud (BTW: I love your name!). I'm in the same spot and plan on taking the advice given here too. DS and I are gone 10 hours a day on a good day when he doesn't have an evening activity. I want a dog so badly but I hate the idea of leaving it home alone all day. Doggie daycare is more expensive than child daycare and I'm not comfortable with giving someone keys to my home to walk said hypothetical dog. Plus, I just recently moved and my association doesn't allow dogs. My counselor has been advocating one as an emotional support companion (severe anxiety...I'm completely different when I'm with a dog) and she will write a letter in a heartbeat but it still feels like cheating. We've filled our home with hamsters, fish, hermit crabs, and plan on getting a tortoise but there's just something about a dog....

stubbornft posted 9/21/2018 11:16 AM

We had an older pug that didn't mind being home alone for long stretches as long as we gave him a lot of attention when we were at home. He got older as we started being away from home more so it worked out, but he passed away 2 years ago

If you decide that you are gone too long and it wouldn't be fair to a dog (this is my current situation), could your son volunteer at an animal shelter? He could walk the dogs and help care for them while they are waiting to be adopted.

WorldTraveler23 posted 9/21/2018 11:19 AM

My son needed a dog too, so I know how you feel.

There are good animal shelters in Hawaii so thatís good! And I think youíd be great parents to a slightly older dog. Maybe 5 or 6? They often donít get adopted so youíd definitely be doing a good deed. And older dogs arenít as wild. I think big dogs are generally lazier too so thatís a plus for an apartment! Little dogs are often quite hyper.

I say go for it.

ChewedMeUp posted 9/21/2018 11:33 AM

I have a Cane Corso (large Italian mastiff breed), now 3 years old, who is crated in my bedroom from about 8-6 every day. She does fine. Sheís got some chewy things in her crate, and basically just sleeps all day. When she was a puppy, my DS was in college and would take her out midday for a potty break and running around the yard, but she no longer needs that. Sheís not good on walks (she has issues with being scared of people Ė I got her at close to 6 months old and it seems she wasnít socialized properly), but we do a lot of ball throwing for exercise.

However, sheís inherently lazy as an adult. Sheíll catch and retrieve balls for as long as weíre willing to throw them, but after about 15 minutes or so of running, I can see she starts getting overexerted and Iíll call a stop. All she really wants is a spot on the sofa in front of the tv with me for a few hours every evening, and some ball throwing during potty interludes. So yes, it is definitely possible to have a dog that can handle long stretches alone.

GiveTimeTime posted 9/21/2018 18:28 PM

I do a lot of volunteer work with dogs.

Just a thought... maybe you can search local rescues for a bonded pair of adult dogs. You obviously don't want to get very young, energenic dogs that NEED a ton of training and exercise, but you probably don't want to go TOO old either, because senior dogs often need special care and can't go that long alone.

I'd suggest you do some research on breeds that are better suited for small spaces. It's an easy google search. Like, start here:

and then look at adoption sites like and and of course if you have a local shelter or local rescues in your area, go visit them....

But a bonded pair of dogs might be a good bet for your family, since they can keep each other company while no one is home, and you'll be doing a beautiful thing by adopting best friends who might have otherwise been separated or not adopted at all.

Good luck!!!!

[This message edited by GiveTimeTime at 6:29 PM, September 21st (Friday)]

LotusGrowsInMud posted 9/21/2018 19:41 PM

Thank you all so much for the great ideas!
Yes, would be looking at a small, slightly older dog.
I own my apartment and animals are allowed so thatís a big plus.
My son has been asking if we can volunteer at a shelter and I was thinking maybe we could foster some kittens over the summer as Iím off work then.
My sonís solution was ďget 2 dogs so they wonít be lonelyĒ.
Thank you all for your replies. Iím an overthinker and overanalyzer so this decision might be a few years in the making lol! Unlike my decision to dump the ex.

Cooley2here posted 9/21/2018 19:50 PM

Dogs are members of packs. Get two that are companionable and they will keep each other company. Get females over age two. If someone can walk them long enough for them to take care of their business in the middle of the day they should manage just fine. Donít go by looks. Go by disposition. They need to be relatively quiet and not yap, yap, yap all day.

Too_Trusting posted 9/23/2018 09:57 AM

I want a dog so badly but I hate the idea of leaving it home alone all day. Doggie daycare is more expensive than child daycare and I'm not comfortable with giving someone keys to my home to walk said hypothetical dog.

slight t/j to lilies21...

I work as a mid-day dog walker. While I understand your reluctance to give a stranger a key to your home, I can tell you that *I*, as a dog-walker, take my responsibility to your pet AND your home very, very seriously.

Most of us that walk dogs as a profession, do it because we LOVE dogs. I am an older gal (putting it mildly ), and find that someone that is more mature can be viewed as more trustworthy. NOT saying that is "always true", but I know that *I* am not there to rifle through your things; nose around your house; or (God forbid!) look for anything to steal. I'm there because I love your dog and have a job to do.

And, the only way dog walkers can make $$ is to walk LOTS of dogs in a day. I'm there for a set amount of time to exercise and potty your pet, and then I'm off to my next visit.

Not trying to change anyone's mind about the safety/security of hiring a dog walker, but just to give you a little inside glimpse into what we do and why we do it. Trust me, NONE of us are getting rich doing dog walks; we do it because we LOVE it.

And, any dog walker that doesn't take his/her responsibilities as seriously as I have outlined will not be walking dogs very long.

end t/j

ETA: Also, if you hire a dog walker from a larger company, most likely they had to pass a background and reference check to work for the company.

[This message edited by Too_Trusting at 2:47 PM, September 24th (Monday)]

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