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Thread: Tell me about your dog....

  1. #1
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    Tell me about your dog....

    Now that my kids are no longer needy & I've retired from my job, I'm ready to invest my spare time into a pet dog. We have 2 cats that aren't very friendly so the canine will need to hold her own. I'm looking for a medium size; small enough to pick up and put in my lap but not so small it's a yapper. The fence will be built in a month so meanwhile, I'm scoping out critters. Pure breeds or a puppy are not necessary though I want to be careful to get a mentally healthy animal. Providing the dog hasn't been permanently traumatized, I have no problem rescuing.

    I realize no one can tell me what the best dog for me would be but how about some stories about your "best friend"? What makes the dog so important to you? Does your dog have characteristics (good or bad) worth reporting? I'm a functional T10 in a manual chair with good core strength that's diminishing with each passing year. Though there are 2 ABs in the household, I want to do as much dog-maintenance as possible myself. So if any of you have tricks for picking up poop or bathing or any other ordinary dog duty that is made complicated by the paralysis, please share your opinion and wisdom.

    I'm really looking forward to having a different BFF for some unconditional love (unlike what the cats have to offer!) Any relevant thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    My dog Yogi is a golden retriever. He's way too big to be a lap dog, he's a pooping machine and he sheds enough every day to make a Donald Trump toupee. But when I broke my neck mountain biking, he ran off and found help and brought them to me, likely saving my life. He won the Humane Society National Dog of Valor award for that. So you can imagine that I think he's pretty special. I have not trained him to complete any task for me beyond what comes naturally, being that completely devoted companion.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by endo_aftermath View Post
    My dog Yogi is a golden retriever. He's way too big to be a lap dog, he's a pooping machine and he sheds enough every day to make a Donald Trump toupee. But when I broke my neck mountain biking, he ran off and found help and brought them to me, likely saving my life. He won the Humane Society National Dog of Valor award for that. So you can imagine that I think he's pretty special. I have not trained him to complete any task for me beyond what comes naturally, being that completely devoted companion.
    That is quite a special companion you have there!

    All the best,
    GJ

  4. #4
    Senior Member Quimby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by endo_aftermath View Post
    My dog Yogi is a golden retriever. He's way too big to be a lap dog, he's a pooping machine and he sheds enough every day to make a Donald Trump toupee. But when I broke my neck mountain biking, he ran off and found help and brought them to me, likely saving my life. He won the Humane Society National Dog of Valor award for that. So you can imagine that I think he's pretty special. I have not trained him to complete any task for me beyond what comes naturally, being that completely devoted companion.
    My golden retriever, Bryley, is exactly like yours...well, except for that heroic stuff and all! LOL!
    Goldens really are fantastic, affectionate dogs but they need exercise, a lot of grooming, and because of their size/strength dedicated training.

    The size dog you are considering you will be able to easily do bathing, nail cutting etc. I pick up poop using BBQ tongs- it works so much better than a shovel or scoop!
    https://www.petfinder.com/pet-adoption/dog-adoption/ is a great website to find a pet.

    I can not live my life without a dog.

  5. #5
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Once you settle on a breed, getting in touch with a rescue is a great idea - they'll match you to your new friend. I see so many rescue videos on Hope for Paws on Youtube - think that's out in California!

    I'm partial to Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. I get her groomed twice per year, she does shed - I keep a lint roll in my purse, car and home, lol. My Persian cat sheds more though. You really have to be careful with Cavs because they have two genetic ailments that pro breeders try to breed out - syringomyelia and mitrial valve disease. Since my Emma is a rescue, I don't know her lineage .. she's five now (had her for two years) so I can keep watch for any symptoms now. Face rubbing on the ground, constant itching (tingling) and panting for hours which she has done twice ... I'm careful to limit her exercise and pick her up for five to ten minutes if we're on a long walk.

    Other than that - she is perfect! They are little lovebugs and you have to have someone with them at all times - they want to be with their human 24/7. Now that I don't work, I have the time. They're good with cats, good with other dogs (though mine was attacked by a Husky before I acquired her so she turns into Cujo seeing other dogs!) Especially gentle and good with children. They want to sleep on your bed though - right beside their human. Mine sits on my wheelchair when I shower! Since I'm with her when she's pooping, I guess Emma feels that she should be with me too - again they're pretty clingy, but so loving! Females should top out at 18lbs, males 21lbs though some in my group on Facebook have 30lbs Cavs! They do not have a mean bone in their body and you'll probably have everyone stopping you on your walks to pet her! I know I do! People fall in love with her instantly.

    They come in brown and white (Blenheim), tri's (Black on top, white underbelly and brown tones), black and tan and brown (ruby colour which is gorgeous!)

    I find myself, like a mother, picking things up for her all the time - wax for paw pads in icy weather or extremely hot days. A water bottle that turns into a tray for her to drink from - especially on hot days. Treats with NO WHEAT FLOUR or from China or other bad things. A harness is a must, do not lead from the collar with a small to medium dog as their windpipes are gentle. I keep her collar loose enough that I can stick three fingers under it as well.

    Walking her is a dream ... though I did find that a power chair helped. She wasn't a leash walker when I first had her, so a manual chair was fine as we both got used to each other. Once she got used to that, she wanted to run! I purchased a power chair and she LOVES to go faster with it. At 21lbs, (3lbs overweight after winter, lol), I can pick her up by grasping the loose fur at her neck, but I lift from behind and boom on my lap. She used to jump, but dogs can get hip or joint problems, so to avoid, I lift for her. That's how you protect a little dog.

    Cavs are the largest of the toy breeds. My neighbours often comment on how she is perfect and the perfect size for me. I agree!

    I also considered a French bulldog (full of personality) but respiratory issues and huge snorers (oops Cavs snore too sometimes). Love my Emma - she really changed my life!

    I use Nature's Miracle pooper scooper to pick up her droppings - earth rated poop bags - treat bag - flashlight for night - water bottle for dogs .. these are musts. During winter when I let her hair go long, I also brought baby wipes as sometimes she'd 'get some' on her hairy butt - keep that trimmed. Seat belt rated harness for when we're in the car - she LOVES the car. Amazon is a great place to pick up dog stuff for good prices. I don't crate her because she's very well house trained ... but I do leave a crate with a soft pad and blanket in it. I read that dogs need their own down time and occasionally she'll go in there on her own. I leave the door open.

    She has a hoodie, winter jacket, pyjamas (I don't keep these things on long, just if we go out in the cold) and a rain jacket. lol

    P.S. How cute are those ruby Cavvies!?!? Watch some local groups on your Facebook and you'll have constant posts of rescues or puppies available!
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    Last edited by lynnifer; 04-06-2016 at 12:43 AM.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  6. #6
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Two more things:

    Emma has learned a few skillz since being with me .. when I say, "Careful, careful," or "Back-up, back-up," she knows to clear my path for the chair. Also, an unexpected trouble when I took her for a walk was getting tangled around street signs or light stannards, etc ... now she knows, "Around, around," and I pull lightly on the leash ... she unwraps herself. Amazing how smart they are!
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by lynnifer View Post
    Two more things:

    Emma has learned a few skillz since being with me .. when I say, "Careful, careful," or "Back-up, back-up," she knows to clear my path for the chair. Also, an unexpected trouble when I took her for a walk was getting tangled around street signs or light stannards, etc ... now she knows, "Around, around," and I pull lightly on the leash ... she unwraps herself. Amazing how smart they are!
    And the commands you describer are good, simple commands that a dog can learn, not complicated and repeated the same way every time. Good job!

    All the best,
    GJ

  8. #8
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    Almost forgot!

    I use a knee strap and string a hard leash handle with expandable string leash (so she can run around a little) when I walk her (okay for smaller dogs - not for anything like a lab or bigger). I walk her in my power chair now ... but I always have a hand on that leash handle ... an unexpected squirrel or rabbit can make her lunge, hard. I tighten it up halfway around the block as we're near traffic. I teach her, "Off the roadway," as well ... we have a private drive at our complex but cars can zoom down it quietly and there's always a gusty wind blowing a leaf that she wants to investigate on this barely used road. It's difficult to hear the occasional car so I want her off of there.

    She stops at every pole or bush where some other dog has marked their territory. I call it the 'doggy internet,' and she's checking her email. lol
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  9. #9
    We had 2 Newfoundlands consecutively. The 1st from a pup lived 11.5 years, the 2nd a retired show dog we bought at age 6. She lived to 11.5 too. Newfies, although a giant breed, have very low vigor (need for activity). They completely lack aggression toward people and animals. We are both in chairs and walked ours by just laying leash across our laps. .Only lost control once when a large firecracker went off nearby and our 1st Newfie pulled me out of chair across lawn. Our Newfies were oblivious to squirrels, cats, etc. We did employ a yard cleanup company to keep our fenced yard clean. Our Newfies quickly observed how our lifts worked on our vans and thereafter refused to jump in and out and instead waited until lift was deployed and rode up and down. We have had other breeds, the hardest dog to handle was a West Highland Terrier, the easiest - the 2 Newfies.

  10. #10
    Wonderful to have a dog. Sad that our dog days are over but the memory of ours is precious. We had 2 Newfoundlands over a 16 year period; first one 11 years (that's about their life span), the second one after first one passed was a retired show dog we adopted at her age of 6 and she passed at age 11 also.
    My spouse and I are both paralyzed, in chairs, and I was really worried after my husband perused a bunch of dog books and suggested a Newfie. The first pup we picked out and were waiting the 12 weeks, had to be put down by the breeder due to a serious heart problem. We found another pup ready for adoption and high tailed it to Canada to pick him up. I'll never forget stopping at the border to get back to the U.S.A. - the huge pup was on my lap and the border agent just smiled and sent us through.
    That was the beginning of a wonderful life with a Newfie. We had studied the dog books and found this breed is rated low for "vigor", a sluggish lifestyle, which was perfect for us - no pulling on the leash, or yapping, etc. I always liked that he was so tall that I could hug him easily. When we walked him we just placed the leash across our laps while he heeled. We had to hire someone to clean the yard - a sloping one that we couldn't negotiate with our chairs.
    From the beginning both Newfies stepped onto our van wheelchair lift and we raised it carefully for them to step into the van. They never did attempt to jump in the van. Don't know why. Newfies require mouth wiping if you can catch it before it's flung about.
    I know this is not the dog for you, but just had to share our wonderful time with these loveable dogs.

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