Monday, September 14, 2009

Going to the dogs

Yesterday we took the whole family to the mall. I know! It was something to do, someplace to go to get out of the heat, and there's a kid-friendly restaurant there where we could have lunch.

There's also a pet shop. A pet shop with dogs.

I wasn't sure how Daisy would react. It could go either way with her. Cute little puppies behind glass could seem menacing or non-threatening to her. Either way, I figured she would keep her distance, even if she didn't go into hysterics.

But check this out:

She went right on in with the rest of us. She was a little tentative and nervous at first, but she quickly warmed up to the cute puppies-safely-behind-glass. Then she started telling us that we should buy one, that she wants a dog.

I've wondered for a while if it might be therapeutic for Daisy if we got a family dog. Actually, when she was born, we had three dogs - large dogs - and the last of them died a year ago. But they were strictly outside dogs and Daisy never had much to do with them. (It's still a complete mystery where her dog-phobia comes from; it surfaced around the time she turned 2, and we've never been able to figure out what happened and have come to the conclusion that she's just wired that way for some reason.) But what I've wondered is what if we got a smallish dog, as a puppy, who could live in the house with us? One that Daisy could get to know as a non-threatening puppy, one she could help name and take care of. Might that help her overcome her fear?

So yesterday when she was suddenly begging for a dog, these thoughts were again going through my mind. Of course, I know full well that Daisy is fickle-minded and just because she was saying yesterday that she wants a dog doesn't mean that today she'll feel the same way. And yeah, by bedtime last night she had decided definitely NO on the dog idea. But then today she's back to saying that we should get a dog.

So, I don't know. She is actually specifically asking for a Dachsund (because Kevin has a stuffed Dachsund that she likes, and also one of her favorite cartoons features a Dachsund). Now, until the last year, I've had dogs all my life, and they were always big dogs. I always kind of had the opinion that if it wasn't a big dog, it wasn't really a dog. I'm rethinking that now. Maybe a Dachsund would be perfect.


Anonymous said...

That is a fantastic idea!! Plus, those dogs won't get any bigger than they already are. I'd go for it!

They do say that to get over fears, we have to face them head on. Owning a dog, would be perfect. Good for Daisy!!

Jodi said...

Purina has a great comparison tool where you can compare a few breeds you're considering to see if they match what you're really looking for:

I grew up with golden retrievers, but I've been thrilled with our little dog - Shih Tzu. It doesn't shed, hardly barks, and loves kids.

We had a Dachsund when I was growing up and I loved her!

Mom of 2 said...

My son was terrified of pets- we adopted 2 cats when he was 4yrs old. It really helped him overcome his fears. I would try- a puppy is not threatening and by the time it is full grown your daughter will be very comfortable with it.

Keri said...

FYI Dachshunds can be a bit aggressive and they are incredibly hard to housebreak. If you want Daisy to do the training, you might want to pick a less aggressive, food motivated breed like a miniature beagle.

Oh- make sure that Daisy realizes that puppies grow up to be dogs. That was my brother's hang-up when he was Daisy's age!

Alex and Kristi said...

Coming from the girl who has a 150 pound dog...if it bounces when it barks it is not a real dog!

Of course...Dachsunds are pretty adorable. A friend of mine had one growing up and she was the sweetest dog...even knew how to shake hands. :)

jenz said...

Look into King Charles' Spaniels also...they're really good with kids supposedly.

Cate said...

hey, that's great! go Daisy!

I will second the beagle recommendation. They're known for being really good with kids. our dog Ruth is a beagle, and Abby sits on her like she's a horse, and the dog does not even blink. she's so good.

I'd also check out a breed rescue group. Those people can be a little over-the-top, but they're good-hearted and work really hard to match you up with the right dog.

Larry said...

I think that could be a really good idea - just do some research on breeds like everyone said to make sure you are getting a small breed that is mellow in temperament and not yippy/snappy, and maybe if she picks it out then there will be no or little fear associated with it and this will all help her bridge the gap towards other dogs. Good luck! (ps, so rather than another child you are adding the puppy to the Morguess household huh? :) at least you have the feed/potty every 3 hour thing down pat so you can apply it to the pup too ;) Lisa

Caryl Phillips said...

You guys should bring the kids over swimming one weekend and let them play with Lucy. She is very kid friendly and you could see how Daisy does with a friendly dog NOT behind glass.

Anonymous said...

I have 2 and they are the greatest dogs! I highly recommend them. I have 6 neices and nephews and the dogs are good with all of the kids!

Kara said...

I love Dachsunds. They can be sweet, and are wonderful when trained correctly. I would be against a beagle, just because they are vocal dogs, and your house is probably loud enough before you add a dog to the mix!

The hubs and myself have been going back and forth on the dog issue for a few years now. He wants a dog, I don't have time for a dog. At some point in the next few years, I'll have to give in and get one. Hopefully a pug, or other sturdy but small dog.

Alycia said...

I think that is a GREAT idea! Although with you being like me (clean freak) I would go with a smaller inside dog and a non-shed dog! I got my Malty-Poo 2 years ago and I LOVE HER. I am definitely not a "dog person" but I LOVE MY DOG. Anything with a Poodle mix in it are generally very smart and easily trained. Lola is sooo well behaved. Especially with small children. She is really easy tempered too which is normal for a Malty-Poo. You guys should dog sit for a weekend for me : ) Then you could get a real feel for it. LOL. What time should I bring her over on Friday? Ha ha.