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Coworker wants dog, knows nothing ...

inbloom
March 29th, 2006, 10:13 AM
I have never in my life known someone who knows so little about animals. She is in her 50's I'd say and lives alone and wants companionship, but isn't really SURE if she likes animals. She thinks she may want a dog, but told me she has never even petted a dog. What the heck??

Anyway, she's asking me lots of questions like, do they need to go outside? How often do they go to the bathroom, where to they go to the bathroom? How often do you feed them and give them water? I'm doing my best to help her, but I'm actually SCARED she's going to get an animal and not really care for it properly. There's a person at work who needs to give his dog away, and she's thinking about adopting it. She doesn't really understand the 'pet is a part of the family' thing. She cringes when I say my dog would get on the couch and sleep on the bed. Now, I understand that's not for everyone, but I'm afraid the animal may not get treated as part of the family, as I think animals should.

So, does anyone know of a website that offers easy to read and understand info. on raising dogs, that is at this level? She seriously didn't know that they ate food daily or where you keep them. I want her to understand what all it means to have an animal, before she takes one in. But it really has to be BASIC, easy to read and understand.

She's also thought about getting a cat because she "loves their eyes" but isn't really sure and thinks a small dog will protect her more. It makes me nervous because her daughter apparently has tons of cats, they breed and she sells the kittens, trades them, gets rid of the ones she has and gets new ones, etc. And they are outside. I don't want to encourage her to get a cat if this is what she thinks owning a cat means. I'm very serious about how I think cats should be treated - indoors, members of the family, spayed/neutered, not declawed. She asked if cats might scratch furniture and I said that it is definitely possible, some of mine do (or have in the past), and she said that would be completely unacceptable. But how can you be sure it will NEVER happen? So I didn't encourage her to adopt a cat. I did warn her that some dogs have a habit of chewing certain things, and you can train them but some dogs just never get past it. I didn't encourage her to get a puppy!

Any ideas? I want to help her, but more than that I REALLY want to make sure she doesn't get in over her head and have an animal go to a home where it won't be properly cared for. Thanks!!!

badger
March 29th, 2006, 11:08 AM
I'd play up the negative side - lots of vomit stories, flea infestations, you get the drift - in order to dissuade her. Maybe she should get a roomate instead ie someone who can stick up for themselves.
Sorry if she's your friend, but if she isn't a little barmy, she is definitely not a dog person or maybe even a pet person. No shame in that (altho' weird).

Frenchy
March 29th, 2006, 11:24 AM
Badger is right.I did this a couple weeks ago with a co worker,he changed his mind!:D Tell her about fur everywhere in her house,everyday walks (even if raining,snowing,brutally cold...) and then the cost;vaccines,spay/neutered,heartworm,nail clipping,grooming,if health problems;cancer,worms...you get the point.

Writing4Fun
March 29th, 2006, 11:25 AM
Tell her to go out and get a copy of "Dogs for Dummies". Read through from cover to cover, several times. Then, tell her to go to her local humane society and hang out there with the dogs for a couple of hours every week-end for a few months. Walk them. Volunteer to clean out their cages. Play with them. Help with their grooming, if they'll let her. That should give her a good idea as to whether or not she's a "dog person".

Then, tell her to do the same thing for cats.

HTH.

badger
March 29th, 2006, 11:44 AM
HTH??? What is that?
But you're right, she could be an unawakened dog person.
Still, the part about her not understanding that a dog must be fed daily is pretty mindblowing. Good thing children always have a way of getting the cereal out of the cupboard if Mom forgets...

Writing4Fun
March 29th, 2006, 01:16 PM
"HTH" is short-hand for "hope this helps". :)

Education is the key. She is a blank slate and needs to be told everything from the very beginning, even stuff we would take for granted. That's why I suggested she volunteer at a local animal shelter. Experience is a great teacher, and she'll have plenty of people around to tell her what to do and show her how to do it. ;)

joeysmama
March 29th, 2006, 01:40 PM
Tell her that she can get a very secure alarm system probably for under 2,000 dollars. And there are probably some that are less than that.

It's a once and done fee, (except for the yearly central monitoring fee, which is still WAYYY less than it costs to feed a dog for a year) doesn't need to be walked, never has to go the vet, doesn't shed, and unlike a dog (who can be as vulnerable as a person in an attack anyway) it actually rings the police immediately if a zone is crossed !!

Prin
March 29th, 2006, 04:19 PM
Hey, somebody posted a while back that they make doorbells that bark... So it sounds like you have a dog...

You can tell her about Boo... We brought him home and he threw up every night all night for at least 2 months and cost me at least $2000 in the first year just in vet bills (not incl. food or toys).

chico2
March 29th, 2006, 04:29 PM
I would suggest an aquarium,no hair,easy feeding,pretty to look at:D
Any animal,be it cat or dog,will change your lifestyle,even your furniture,you have to be ready to live with hair,vomit,runny stools,the odd puddle,but lots of kisses and warm fuzzy cuddles,to make up for it.
A friend of mine felt the same as your friend,she got a cute little bunny,kept it for 3 weeks,but gave up on it after it had chewed anything made of wood in her apartement.
Some people just should not have pets!!

rainbow
March 29th, 2006, 05:38 PM
How about one of those Japanese made ones. I think they were called "Virtual Pets".:D

dmc123
March 29th, 2006, 07:23 PM
LOL to the first response by badger, I love that one! "I'd play up the negative side - lots of vomit stories, flea infestations"

I actually had someone ask me a similar question not long ago, and she never had any pets. I told her to come visit me, three dogs and three cats inside, that would give her some insight. She never did. So far, she didn't get her "wonder dog" yet.

I do worry that she/he could be a newbie and would make a good home for a dog or cat that doesn't have one, but if they have never even petted one, I would be more worried for the critter.

Diane

Lucky Rescue
March 29th, 2006, 07:56 PM
Ask her how she'll feel coming home to find her house reeking of diarrhea and having to clean it up before dinner, because it WILL happen.

Sounds like the family sees pets as disposible items, something you "try out" and get rid of it if it's not for you.

Show her a picture of my once pristine sofa.

CyberKitten
March 29th, 2006, 08:08 PM
I was thinking more of telling her to get a pet rock. Or maybe a chia pet. She can watch it grow - or maybe she can start with plants?? I am half serious - somoene like that is hardly ideal for pet ownership. She could always foster with somoneone looking in?? That might dissuade her big time but then it might traumatize the poor dog ( would not want her with a cat!!!) - I like the notion of volunteerting at a shelter. If she is lonely, she can get out of the house , meet ppl and animals and find out how much work it is, what it is to love a dog -- that kind of thing.

At least she admits she does not know. I get frustrated with some ppl I work with who have pets for show - b/c they are trendy, or b/c it's good for the kids - the pet usually ends up elsewhere - and these are not uneducated ppl, just not very smart if you know what I mean. :D

joeysmama
March 29th, 2006, 08:24 PM
When my kids were small and my husband worked long hours and was going for another degree at nigh someone tried to talk me into getting a dog. My reply was "When they come up with a breed that doesn't have a behind."

And that's exactly how I felt about it then. I was changing diapers and wiping bums all day. Once, when the kids were passing a tummy bug back and forth, my husband came home feeling friendly. I told him that there was no way I wanted to see another naked bottom that day. ;)

And because he was gone so much I did think about getting a dog for security. We even went to a breeder and talked to her about her pups. I'm so grateful that I didn't get a dog then. I would not have made a responsible pet parent at that time in my life. I got an alarm system instead.

And when I grew up I really really WANTED a dog. I wanted to take care of a dog. I WANTED to be responsible for a dog.

People should have children because they want children (not because they want a baby shower, or their friends are having children, or they want to solidify their relationship) and they should get a dog because they want a dog--not for protection, or decoration, or because puppies are cute !!!

BernerLver
March 30th, 2006, 09:39 AM
People should have children because they want children (not because they want a baby shower, or their friends are having children, or they want to solidify their relationship) and they should get a dog because they want a dog--not for protection, or decoration, or because puppies are cute !!!

Very well said :highfive:

maigrey
March 30th, 2006, 10:39 AM
oh oh, SEAMONKIES!!!

Seriously though, no dog is perfect, and there are many many many things a dog/cat can do that we might not like. If she's not prepared to handle every problem in a calm and patient manner, a dog would just make her miserable (not to mention the other way around).

Go with the seamonkies, play up the magnifying glass and the "watch them grow!" aspect.

LM1313
March 30th, 2006, 01:39 PM
I agree with other folks, tell her lots of horror stories. Here's one: I was late for work one day because one of my kitties spontaneously leapt into the toilet before I could close the lid and flush it. Nothing like missing the bus to shampoo stinky kitties!

~LM~

Writing4Fun
March 30th, 2006, 02:02 PM
Nothing like missing the bus to shampoo stinky kitties!Shampooing any kind of kitty must be quite the treat. :eek: Try taking a full day off work because your dog got sprayed by a skunk when hubby let her out for her morning pee, but he didn't know it until he let her back into the house. :yuck: Luckily my boss at the time was a big-time dog person, who lived in the country with her several Goldens, and so fully understood my dilemma. :thumbs up

I still think that all the horror stories in the world won't work like 1st hand experience. That's why I suggested she volunteer at a local shelter for a while. She'll learn for herself whether or not she can handle a dog full-time, and no animals will be harmed in the process because she'll be under constant supervision.

I agree, though, that it doesn't sound likely that she's a good candidate for a "real" pet, and agree with the Chia and Seamonkey suggestions. ;)

mafiaprincess
March 30th, 2006, 02:13 PM
Mine didn't do her evening poop one night, even though she had ample time to wander and sniff. I woke up at 6am in the dark and stepped in something cold and squishy. Turns out she still had to go... And probably didn't feel well... 2 feet x 2 feet of messy poop, and I stepped in 2 piles of it trying ot get to the curtains..
I was late for work when this happened last month.. and I had to scrub the carpet some more when I got home that evening..
Stepping in dog poop with bare feet tops my list of pet grossness.
That, or stealing dirty undies out of the hamper and showing them off to guests at the most wonderful times...

joeysmama
March 30th, 2006, 02:19 PM
Oh our pup did that. He loves to steal panties from the clothes hamper. About a minute before my daughter's boyfriend was due to arrive the puppy waltzed through the family room with a pair of her panties in his mouth and then thought it was great fun, all a game when she tried to catch him and get her lacies back !!

I'm really interested in what happens with this woman. Please please tell us when you've talked her out of it. I am soooo hoping she does not get a dog !!

inbloom
March 31st, 2006, 10:32 AM
Oh our pup did that. He loves to steal panties from the clothes hamper. About a minute before my daughter's boyfriend was due to arrive the puppy waltzed through the family room with a pair of her panties in his mouth and then thought it was great fun, all a game when she tried to catch him and get her lacies back !!

I'm really interested in what happens with this woman. Please please tell us when you've talked her out of it. I am soooo hoping she does not get a dog !!

Thanks for the comments. I was MIA because my mother-in-law was in the hospital, but she's fine now.

So, you all pretty much agree she shouldn't get a pet? My thoughts were that if she's going to do it anyway, I should at least try to get her as well informed as possible. No, she's not a friend. She just works in a cubbie near me and we chatted one day and it came up that I had worked as a kennel cleaner and vet tech and love animals. At first, when she said she was thinking about getting a dog, I was like "Oh great, let me help you", but I have been slowly learning how uneducated she is on the matter. How can a woman of that age have never petted a dog? It sounds almost unbelievable, but why would she make it up?

Anyway, if she brings it up again, I'll tell her horror stories. But I was hoping to email her a website that would be good at pointing out all there is to do with an animal ... pretend I'm "helping", but have it actually be a wake up call to her. I don't think I can just walk over to her and start telling horror stories. But, the more I've talked to her, the more I think she really thinks they just sit around and look cute.

LOL@ the undies and misc. poop stories! I had an australian kelpie mix that was just the cutest, sweetest, CRAZIEST girl. She was a big cat poop eater, that was the worst! She had to be kept in a kennel during the work day due to separation anxiety and chewing things (this was realized after she destroyed the carpet and blinds in a bedroom on day 1 of ownership). It seems like on every bad day, I would come home to diarrhea painted all over the kennel. I cleaned kennels for several years when I was a teenager but there is a big difference between cleaning a cage and having to climb inside a kennel in your home and clean that kind of mess. My mom's dog used to bring dirty tampons out for guests (sorry, I know that's gross!) My cats have destroyed my couches and the tops of all my wood furniture. I clean puke every other day (3 long haired cats, 5 total). It's not all fun!

I really need to give her a list of things that might happen. At first I thought a cat might be better for her, a little less daily maintenance, but I'd be afraid it would scratch and she'd want to declaw. I'd also be afraid she'd let it out like her daughter. I told her cats need to be kept indoors (especially living in Los Angeles- traffic, coyotes ..!) and she just kept arguing that her daughter is a "cat lover" and has a whole bunch of outdoor cats and she sells the babies. I was like "yeah right, cat lover my a**!" So, I began discouraging the cat right away. I wish she could discover if she does or does not like animals though. But really, if you loved animals, how could you not know by 50? I manipulated my mom into getting me a kitten at age 3 and was telling everyone I was going to be a Vet by 5. Some things you just know, right?

I need to try to find a good "fact sheet" for her. I don't mean to sound rude but she doesn't seem really bright and I don't think she hears everything I say. I need documentation on daily and periodic responsibilities and things that could and usually do happen. I could probably even draft something up (God it's been so long since I worked with animals, I'm forgetting so much :() and have y'all take a look at it and add to it.

Thanks a bunch, y'all are great :)

rainbow
March 31st, 2006, 12:00 PM
Check these out:

www.akc.org/future_dog_owner/ready_for_dog.cfm

www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/06/peteconomics.asp

www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=28&cat=1671&articleid=1543

and if she can overlook the "privileges" of owning a dog:

www.cyberpet.com/cyberdog/articles/lexi/problems.htm

Good Luck !!! :D

inbloom
March 31st, 2006, 02:31 PM
Check these out:

www.akc.org/future_dog_owner/ready_for_dog.cfm

www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/06/peteconomics.asp

www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=28&cat=1671&articleid=1543

and if she can overlook the "privileges" of owning a dog:

www.cyberpet.com/cyberdog/articles/lexi/problems.htm

Good Luck !!! :D

Oh thank you! I think these might do the trick! I was talking to her about them getting sick and things happening that cost a lot of money and do you know what she said? ... she said she'd just let the dog go out into the street if it got sick! I told her do not get a dog! I think the financial stuff will change her mind. Thanks!

macdonv
April 18th, 2006, 02:11 PM
:eek:

This woman should *not* own any pets! How could she not know that an animal needs to be fed every day? How did she manage to raise a child??

Tell her to go to Toys R Us and buy a stuffed dog. Safest for all concerned. :-)