Ask Valli of Oh My Dog

T47-04-EDIT-Oh My DogQuestion: We love our golden retriever Max who is now nine years old. We were thinking of getting a puppy for him. What do you think about the idea?

Answer: A puppy for him? Hmmm. I am both trainer and animal lover enough to emphasize “order” as very important in the life of a dog as well as our own. Order is the glue that creates mutual understanding between we who love them and our dogs.

First, let it be placed out in front that there is an overabundance of elder dogs needing homes and I wish more people would adopt them.

Many of these pets had owners who experienced some sort of personal disaster, neglect, crime, loss, death, and the list could go on. The point is that dogs are so loyal to us that circumstances don’t matter to them other than that their owner, who hopefully was their leader, is gone. And where do they find themselves? It is indeed sad. So if it is your choice to bring in another dog, how about NOT a puppy?

Puppies are indeed adorable but let’s deal with just the isolated “bring the puppy home” scenario. Life stops as you know it now. There is the total-adorable-ness of a puppy and everyone loves the excitement for about a month. Then potty training and biting issues takes over. There are different methods, which one will work? There are endless accidents; finger biting; jumping; barking; and there is your own growling over spots on the floor, the chewed drawer knob, your shoe, and after playing with the pup, you fall into exhaustion being absolutely certain you lost your mind the day you decided to bring a puppy home.

And, where all this time, is Mr. nine-year-old Max for which all this was to take place? I am of the thought that if you didn’t want two dogs all the time Max was with you, then why not let him be your everything through whatever time he has left. Dogs live longer than ever.

Do you have questions about your pooch? Write to me at ohmydog@earthlink.net. Visit Oh My Dog at ohmydog-la.com.

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