Rolling With the Changes by Heather Bowles

What a crazy couple of weeks it has been. In looking back on everyone’s blogs, I feel like I’ve missed so much! As suspected, the move did not go smoothly. My ISP screwed up the scheduled install at the new place and instead of being off the grid for 24 hours, I was without my precious Facebook and Pinterest for 4 WHOLE DAYS! For all my angst in feeling disconnected from the world, it was a pretty productive time. I used it to unpack and organize, childproof, and then organize some more. I suspect that when we are done, there won’t be a single empty space anywhere on the walls of the nursery, and having a reason to use the old bulletin board stencils again has been fun.

Sadly, I had to give up my pets. The new place has a strict one animal policy, and being that my poor old cats were littermates, I couldn’t justify separating them from each other at the ripe old age of 16. Thankfully, my parents were well acquainted with them, and willing to take them in. In fact, this is somewhat of a dirty secret, but I had been wanting to foist them off on family members for a few months now.  Something about having the new baby in the home has made me less tolerant of my furry babies’ little foibles, and the male cat had been getting on my last nerve with his incessant yowling for attention. It is my own fault that he behaved that way. Before the baby, we were very bonded, and I could spend hours in the evening curled up with him in the bed reading a good book and running my fingers through his fur. After Tabitha’s birth, I have found little time to devote to his needs, and I am truly thankful that someone I trust to care for them as much as I once did was available. I find myself missing the female of the pair. She was lower maintenance, and although she did demand her attention, she did it in ways that were unobtrusive, and gentle toward the baby. I never feared what she might do if I left them alone together. It helped that Tabitha was beginning to like her.

I’d rather get the baby a dog to grow up with, anyway. While cats are great for pest control, dogs do so much more. The biggest thing I want, aside from teaching my daughter the responsibility of caring for another as she gets older, is an animal that will protect her as I would. You can’t get that with a cat. Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about dog breeds. I’m thinking about a sheepdog breed, but nothing is set in stone, other than I won’t have a Rottweiler, German Shepherd, or Pit Bull. Any suggestions?

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  1. 3 Responses to “Rolling With the Changes by Heather Bowles”

  2. No Pit Bull?? For Shame!!! I had the 2 most loving pit bulls there ever were. The female was my son’s Nanny Dog since he was an infant. If she could have nursed him, she would have. She truly treated him as if he was her own puppy. He could do ANYTHING to her and she would just look at him with her big brown eyes then kiss him. Sadly, she passed away almost a year ago. My male is still with us and both he and my son are the best of friends! They role around on the floor together and our dog licks my son until he is out of breath from laughing. I have gone to shelters where Bishon’s were going to be euthanized because they attacked a 5 year old girl who ended up needing 35 stitches on her face. There is no such thing as a bad breed of dog. But there are such people who are bad and irresponsible owners who give great dogs a bad reputation. I would get another pit bull in a heart beat. These dogs are the most loving, affectionate, intelligent, loyal dogs I have ever owned. I can understand not wanting a large dog to care for or train. But all of the dogs you listed have fabulous qualities and should not be judged by their owner’s poor ability to care for these dogs as good parents would care for their children.

    By Cara Meyers on Sep 8, 2012

  3. I know it isn’t the breed’s fault, but I sort of expect the breeders of specific breeds to train the animals for aggressive behavior, athe aforementioned breeds top that list. I’d have to know a breeder very well to accept a puppy from one of those lines.

    Besides all that? I’m somewhat afraid of dogs, just in general. I don’t read their body language well, and have been bit twice, both by Rotts, because I couldn’t read the warning signs they were throwing me. A medium size dog wouldn’t alarm me nearly so much, I think.

    By Heather Bowles on Sep 9, 2012

  4. I have done a lot of reading on breeds of dogs and any “herding”, terrier or retriever type dogs are high energy and require a lot of exercising or else your entire house will be gnawed on! Go to the library or book store, or even online, and you will find questionnaires that will identify the best breed for your family. Also look into “temperament testing.” When you meet a puppy or dog for the first time, there are a few simple “tests” you can do with a dog to determine whether it is a more dominant or more submissive dog.

    With ANY dog, the best place to get a dog is through a breeder, but it is not the breeder’s “job” to train, their puppies or dogs, which is why temperament testing is so important. With a baby, my guess is that you want a more submissive dog who is also low maintenance. Take some of these quick, online tests to narrow down the selection and then read up on Temperment Testing before you attempt to meet some dogs. I am so in favor of having dogs raised with children. It teaches the child so much. But also look into Pet Insurance because pets are not cheap. My dog had surgery yesterday and it cost over $1000. We will get reimbursed a percentage, but over the last 3 years, we must have spent $6,000 or more on surgeries and medical costs. My dog is older so he is going to incur more medical expenses. But he is a huge part of our family, he is my true “soul-mate,” and I would sell furniture to keep him healthy for as long as possible. Since my son no longer wants to be my baby, my dog has assumed his original role in the family! I hope all of this info helps!

    I met a Rottweiler in the Vet’s office yesterday while I was waiting to pick up my dog, and this sweet thing laid it’s ears back, wagged it’s tail and smiled at me! He obviously had good owners! And that’s the key to having a good dog of ANY breed!! Raise your dog as you would your child. I read on FB from a friend who got an active puppy that pulled everything off tables and other pieces of furniture. Several people suggested “shock collars.” I asked these people if they would put a shock collar on a young child to “teach” them not to take things off furniture. Of course not! You have to redirect the puppy and provide positive reinforcement, as you would a young child. That is one example of why there are “bad” dogs. Essentially because there are many stupid people out in the world!

    By Cara Potapshyn Meyers on Sep 12, 2012