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Old 08-13-2010, 01:01 PM
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
6,602 posts, read 11,756,829 times
Reputation: 14319


Maybe it's because my beloved dog is now elderly and having some health issues that are hard on both of us, but I'm thinking when he goes to the rainbow bridge, I may try to go dogless.

Is that possible for a dog person who's always had a dog (and often a cat and budgie, too)?

We'd like to do more traveling and we've found it's costing more and more to rent a place with our dog...and having the pooch along also changes the nature of the trip to do certain things.

Every time we go to the vet, I come home with a bad case of sticker shock. My dog gets better health care than I do.

It seems so pricey these days to have a pet...and our dollars aren't going as far...

But you all know the many rewards of having a furry companion. I think our home would be rather empty without a happy tail around.


What do you think?

Have you ever gone petless for any length of time?
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:10 PM
Location: Maryland
298 posts, read 969,697 times
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I understand what you are saying about the cost of having a pet and having to sacrifice some things for a pet but I can't imagine coming home and not having my angel boy there. When I am down he comforts me and when I come home from work he dances, smiles, and gives kisses.
I don't think I will ever want to give that up.
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:18 PM
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
4,585 posts, read 11,999,887 times
Reputation: 6670
I REALLY understand where your coming from, right now I have two elderly pets a JRT and manx cat, both were rescues so their ages are a "guestamate" they are both somewhere between 14-16 years of age.

I have been unemployed for over 2 years now and no longer get benefits. I'm struggling day to day to make ends meet. In my area adopting them out is not even an option as our non-kill shelters are non-existant. Also their age is a real issue.

If I loose my home they will have to live in the cab of my PU in the heat of the south...not good options.

I'm fortunate in one thing, I live in a rural area with good vets and they don't charge anywhere near what the "in town" vets do.

I know when these two go to the bridge, I will wait until I'm in a better financial situation before I have a pet again. It will be hard as I'm near 60 and alone except for them, but my future is so uncertain that I want to do what is right for my pets not me. I will miss having a dog, I haven't lived without one since 1978-79 when I was traveling. I will want one again as soon as I know I'm financially capable of taking care of one.
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:18 PM
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
1,457 posts, read 3,914,683 times
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I've always had a dog or two with a few cats. When I had to put my last dog to sleep, I didn't want another one right away. I didn't want to "replace" her. Let me tell you it was the quietest 6 months I had in my house in 15 yrs. (even though I still had 5 cats), and it was the most empty for me too. As much as it might keep me from going places or doing things, I honestly don't think I'll live without a dog in my life. I know what you mean about sticker shock checking out at the vet, and yes mine too are taken care of better than myself, but that is my choice and that is what I enjoy spending my money on. My SO spends it on atv's, motorcycles, cars...I spend mine on the pets.
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:59 PM
1,424 posts, read 5,174,332 times
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If I wanted to travel, I would go dogless, wander the country or the world or wherever, and get a lot of it out of my system. Then, later, I would get a dog, if I could afford the vet bills.

You can always get a dog later, but once you have one, it's a long term commitment. And if you traveled a lot, would you want to kennel your dog much less pay the kennel fee?

It will be quiet (torture!) at first, but you will get used to it. And you could consider fostering or dogsitting to get your "dog fix" from time to time.

My advice is if you have any doubt and if you have even a minor lust for freedom from dog responsibility, don't get one.....yet.
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:38 PM
29,984 posts, read 41,516,521 times
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Agree with the previous posters. Do some traveling and if you cannot bear to live without a dog adopt one then. Until that time, love your elderly dog and make its remaining time special.

There are lots of options as far as volunteering, fostering. Heck, with all your travels ahead you might even help out some rescues with transports along your way.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:11 PM
Location: Declezville, CA
16,798 posts, read 38,093,884 times
Reputation: 17582
After my Doberman died in 2006, I went 18 months with no dog. I even tried a cat to fill the gap until a dog showed up.... as well as to do some mice depredation, which it didn't do. All that did is remind me of how not fond of cats I am.

I will never go that long between dogs again. But, I seldom travel, so that's one place where our situations diverge.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:32 PM
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,951 posts, read 21,878,575 times
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You could always be a foster home for a rescue that provides cost of vetting and also provides the cost of boarding or other volunteers watch your foster dog when you travel. That way you would be helping dogs that otherwise might be pts at the shelter to find forever homes and you would have the enjoyment of a canine in the household. We foster (along with owning 2 dogs) and enjoy it a lot.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:37 PM
Status: "Time is on my side" (set 26 days ago)
Location: Massachusetts
4,200 posts, read 9,880,641 times
Reputation: 5418
I think that you are pre-grieving, and that you should allow yourself to do so. Some people lose a pet and go right out and get another b/c it helps them grieve, while others prefer to wait a while. Although your pooch is still with you, you are preparing yourself--much as a parent would prepare for the "empty nest" syndrome by thinking of all of the positives that will come with less responsibility. I think that you will eventually get another dog but I also think that you will need some time for yourself before you do so again. Ang there's nothing wrong with that.
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Old 08-14-2010, 09:24 AM
2,406 posts, read 6,043,138 times
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Default I totally understand....

My whole life I had at least 4 dogs at a time.
Before I was born, my Mom told me I had 2 dogs then. She was pregnant with me & both pups would lay on & by her tummy. So that is where my addiction came from.
(thanks Mom...best addiction to have).

I went 4 years without a dog when Hubby & I moved to CA. I really did go thru withdrawl. It was awful...
Back in those days rescue & fostering no one knew anything about, or even heard of.
Every day after work YES....EVERY DAY. I would drive to the nearest pet store, just so I could hold & love a puppy. I did that for 4 years.

Eventually we got our first Rott... and I swore to myself I would never go without dogs again...and I haven't.

I know I couldn't just Foster a dog. I would LOVE to, but I'm attached the first second it's eyes meet mine.

I agree with the others... do your traveling.... I say do as much traveling as you can. Life has it ways of telling you what you can & can't do anymore, no matter what age you are.
I'm mainly talking about health reasons.
So go enjoy yourselves... do as much as you can.

If I were you.... I would volunteer to get your dog fix. Just don't make any quick decisions about a dog you fall in-love with. cause you will fall in-love with some (if not all) while you volunteer.

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