Q is for DOG-RELATED QUESTIONS | #AtoZChallenge

42 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2016, Blogfests, Dogs, Writing/Blogging
#AtoZChallenge 2016 G is for Golden Retriever
Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Dog Breeds & Anecdotes” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the participants. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading!
#AtoZChallenge, Day 17: Q is for DOG-RELATED QUESTIONS
Day 17, April 20

(to ask yourself)

Many people, often inspired by children’s pleas, movies or other media decide they want to get a dog, despite having no prior experience and without considering all the ramifications. This can lead to neglect, abandonment or worse.

Before plunging into dog ownership, please keep in mind these are living, loving beings who require life-long commitment and should never, ever be “disposable”. Think of them as four-legged children and ask yourselves the following questions:

Do I genuinely desire a dog, or is this an impulse reaction to external stimuli?

Do I understand the costs involved?
(the dog itself, veterinary care including spay/neuter procedures,
food, dishes, treats, beds, toys, grooming, training, holiday boarding, work day walking, etc.)

Do I have the time, energy and patience to train a puppy?
(requires constant vigilance, daily repetition and consistency)

Should I get an older dog?
(May have bad habits; harder to train)

What breed (or crossbreed) fits my lifestyle the best?
It’s so important to research the characteristics, health concerns, exercise and grooming requirements of the dog you want. Many dogs end up in shelters because their owners weren’t prepared and didn’t know what to expect.

Where should I go to look for a dog?
(Shelters, rescue organizations, reputable breeders; NOT pet stores; they use puppy mills.)

#AtoZChallenge: Q is for Dog-related QUESTIONS

May you find the perfect dog and have many wonderful years together!


Need someone to take care of your pets in your absence? Here’s an excerpt from my article
“How to Choose a Good Pet Sitter / Dog Walker”
published in the Pet Center News:

You wouldn’t trust your babies to just anyone, so, it’s important to find someone experienced, conscientious and reliable. Word of mouth is the BEST recommendation, but, if that’s not available, then always ask for references and make sure you contact them. 

Just because someone is bonded and insured, does not necessarily mean they are good. I remember watching a van pull up to a house one day, with the name of a large, well-known pet sitting service written on the side. The person went into the house, came back out about 5 minutes later and drove off!

Observe carefully how the person interacts with your pets during the initial meeting. You will be able to tell right away whether or not they have an affinity for animals.  Too many people go into this line of work, thinking it’s a quick and easy way to make money and they aren’t fully committed to the clients! Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their background, experience, etc. When making house calls, I always left a note for each visit. If they don’t offer to do this, it’s a good idea to ask for it.

#AtoZChallenge: Dog-Related Questions
Do you have any dog-related questions you’d like to ask me?

Looking forward to your comments!


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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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42 thoughts on “Q is for DOG-RELATED QUESTIONS | #AtoZChallenge

  1. Awesome post,
    People can buy dogs, but they don’t realize about those points you mentions in this article. That’s why we should adopt not buy a dog. Thanks for sharing this article

  2. Excellent post! So many people get pets without thinking of everything that is involved. It really is sad when they do that.

  3. I am loving the lab because she looks like my Katie. I am always attracted to the black lab but would only get such a dog from a shelter because they need to be adopted

  4. Excellent, excellent post, Debbie! Shelters (and streets) are full of dogs who failed to meet their human’s (misguided, uneducated, and completely unrealistic) expectations. This A2Z series of yours, highlighting breeds and giving insights on each, is such an important resource. I recently heard an acquaintance had bought a Rottweiler puppy—in spite of repeated arguments in favor of adopting; one rescue org here in Curaçao even had a litter of Rottweiler puppies, but since they came without ‘papers’… This person has no idea what he’s in for. He has small children, his wife is not really an experienced dog person, he’s at work all day… Who is going to train this dog? Who is going to take him to obedience classes? Who is going to make sure he grows up in an environment with strong boundaries? And who’s going to teach the kids how to properly interact with the dog? In a couple of years, one of them is going to get bitten (or, if they’re lucky, just scared), and the dog will end up in the shelter. Or worse. AND I’M HELPLESS TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

    Sorry. Me and my soap box will be on our way now 🙂 Great post, Debbie. And thank you for all the visits and wonderful comments over at Life In Dogs!

    1. Thank you for that high praise, Guilie. It means a lot, coming from such an experienced dog rescuer This acquaintance of yours is a glaring example of what NOT to do! 🙁 Papers are only important if someone is actively participating in dog shows (and don’t get me started about those!) or breeding. Here’s hoping it turns out better than expected.

  5. Too many people go into pet ownership with let’s throw this against the wall and see what happens or a try it and see attitude. Bad idea. You post the important questions here. I wish everyone who was thinking about pet ownership read this blog bit. It might redirect them or focus them, if not outright change their mind.

  6. Clearly you have one hot topic here! I grew up on a farm and caring for All the animals was just done. After I got married and ‘moved to town’, the realizations of pet neglect really caught my attention and it really quite honestly gets under my skin. Glad you’ve written this post and I am sure it will be making a difference! Thumbs up!
    Stephanie Finnell
    @randallbychance from
    Katy Trail Creations
    Stephanies Stuff

  7. We live in rural West Tennessee. Finding a dog is as easy as catching a cold. Now, finding a particular dog might not be so easy… I have never bought a dog from a pet store. I have never acquired a dog from a shelter. Predominantly, I prefer bigger dogs, like Australian Shepherds, Border Collies or Black Labs… We are over run with coyotes here.

    1. It’s sad that people just abandon their dogs out in the country. Even worse to think they could be attacked by coyotes! 🙁 Thank goodness there are people like you, Myke, willing to give them a good home.

  8. We knew an older man who decided he wanted a Jack Russell Terrier because he liked Eddie on “Frasier.” He didn’t realize that they’re really high energy dogs and that walking them would require a lot more effort than with other breeds. Don’t know if he still has her; we lost touch and for all I know he might no longer be with us, but I remember the dog ran him ragged.

    People treat animals like they’re dolls, I think. Think of all the rabbits and chicks that get bought at Easter time, or the number of Dalmatians that people bought because their kids saw “101 Dalmatians” and wanted one, not knowing anything about the breed. Drives me crazy…

    1. I remember you talking about that John, from the Dalmatian post. It was the same issue there, which you’ve also highlighted here. Thanks for coming by. 🙂

  9. Perfect questions to ask and answer when thinking of a pet! I must make my son read this post, definitely! Thanks for sharing, Debbie!

  10. Excellent post, Debbie! We’ve never ever had a pet we didn’t want. Even when quirks become apparent, you have to figure the animal has to put up with you too, so there is a trade-off. I’ve never used a dog-sitter, the dogs either come along with us or a family member fills in. But if I ever did use a sitter (and you were too busy) it would absolutely be up to the dogs to decide if they like the person. Dogs seem to know the truth long before we do;-)

    1. Hi, Diedre; Glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂 You are obviously a true dog lover and make a couple of excellent points. Yes, we all have quirks and need to mutually adapt. Dogs are excellent judges of character. Thanks!

    1. Older dogs will bond with you just as well, Jeffrey. The upside there is you can skip the puppy stage , which is almost as demanding as having a human baby. The downside is they may have some undesirable habits which are hard (but not impossible) to break. It’s a matter of preference. 🙂 Of course, by adopting an older dog from a shelter or rescue organization, you are doing a major good deed.

  11. Valuable questions, all needing a serious answer. For me the most important is how long will this lovely creature be alone? I think it’s so unfair when they have to wait 8 to 12 hours alone because the owner works. It’s no wonder you come home to find the place ripped apart. Your service is vital! Thank you!

    1. Yes, dogs are social creatures and don’t enjoy being left alone for so long. Thankfully, dog walking and petting sitting, in general, has gained in popularity over the last decade. Good thing! 🙂

  12. All these questions really make a lot of sense! I wonder if my husband thought through this? He just wanted a dog, no matter what!


  13. Hi Debbie I think this was a very pertinent post. Most folks in my vicinity which has mostly multi-storied apartments, have dogs at home cooped up in tiny homes! I always cringe when I see the poor dears cooped up and barking non stop when their masters leave them alone the whole day. What is the need to have dogs when you can’t do justice to them? One must realize and answer all the questions you have framed, before getting a dog. Great post Debbie!

    1. Leaving a dog home alone all day certainly isn’t ideal. Dog walkers and pet sitters have become popular here in the last 10 years. When I started 22 years ago, very few people were doing it. Hope it catches on in India as well!

  14. So many good points in one post 🙂 It seems so many people just get a dog because they feel like it without even considering what it takes to look after one. What you get back is amazing, but you have to be willing to put the work into the relationship too, and the money.
    Tasha’s Thinkings (70) | Wittegen Press (72) | FB3X (AC) (73)

    1. Thanks, Tasha. 🙂 Many people don’t fully understand that having a dog is almost as time-consuming as a child, nor do they realize how expensive it can be.

  15. Glad you did this post. I have met people who should never own a dog. But then there are crazy people, like myself, who can never have enough. If I have a question about a dog, you are always the first person I think of.

    1. If it were up to me, people would have to pass a strict exam to get a dog! You are a true dog lover, Carol and know what it takes. 🙂 Thanks for your confidence in me.

  16. Great post. And you’re so right about many dogs ending up in shelters because the owners didn’t do their homework and due diligence! Excellent questions you pose.

    Loved the Monkees song! That was a nice surprise! ☺️

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Thanks, Michele. 🙂 If only people would consider all the angles! I stumbled on that Monkees song by accident and thought it would fit perfectly; a little something to lighten the mood.

  17. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    This is a very important topic. Many people buy on impulse and later experience buyer’s remorse. It doesn’t matter so much if the impulse item they thought they wanted and soon lost interest in is a sports car, but if it is an innocent animal needing a forever home, the consequences can indeed be tragic. People need to ask themselves all of the tough questions you outlined, but few bother to do it. Sadly, if everyone sat down and thought realistically about the cost, the work and the time it would take to keep an animal healthy and happy to the end of its natural life, many of them would give up on the idea of pet ownership. If that happened millions of animals that would otherwise have been adopted and have at least some kind of life would remain stranded in shelters and face euthanasia. It’s a difficult issue.

    People who do anything just for the money are not my kind of people. People who do what they do because they love it, because they are passionate about it and because they believe in it, are my kind of people, especially people who genuinely care about, help, protect and feel a deep rapport with dogs.

    Thank you very much, dear friend Debbie, and thank you also for leaving a birthday message for Margaret Schneider. Margaret’s daughter Kathleen reads every comment aloud to her mother and Kathleen, one of Margaret’s primary caregivers, will be posting a reply to your comment as soon as time permits. How many chances do we get to wish a 104 year old a happy birthday? Thank you for being there for Margaret, for Kathleen and for me!

    1. Trouble is people who don’t think it through often give those dogs up again, so the shelters will remain full, regardless.
      Our local shelter has a “no-kill” policy and I wish this were true for all.

      To pass that century mark is truly amazing! It was my pleasure to wish Margaret a Happy Birthday. 🙂 My husband had an aunt who lived to 103 and stayed in her own home until the day she died (with live-in help).

  18. Some very valid questions Debbie. I have seen many dogs having a pathetic life after the initial euphoria of getting a pet.

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