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Would it be fair?

(88 Posts)
ExD Fri 20-Nov-20 10:55:49

I had a little dog, a corgi, whish I loved, until she died of old age some years ago. I've become more frail in the interim but would love another little doggy companion. I have always hesitated because of the problem of exercise as I cannot walk far.
I went to a local rescue centre but sadly got the impression they were so keen to reduce their numbers that they were trying to palm any old dog off onto a willing buyer.
For instance, they were very keen for me to take a delightful aged sheep dog who was obviously energetic and playful. I was choosing an old dog because I didn't want it to outlive me.
I know its not a good idea to identify dog traits by breed and mongrels are just as delightful - but what advice would you dog experts give someone with doddery legs about what to look for, and do you have any hints?
Should I settle for a cat?
Should I forget the whole idea?

Liz46 Fri 20-Nov-20 11:02:35

If you have doddery legs, don't get a kitten. We bought one recently and he does his best to trip us up.

A friend who is in her late seventies lost her old dog and rescued a dog who had been used in a puppy farm. It was a sad, skinny dog but she looks completely different now and is probably a bit overweight but very content.

FannyCornforth Fri 20-Nov-20 11:07:11

ExD - whatever you do, do not 'forget the whole idea'!

Don't deprive yourself (and the dog) of all of the love and happiness that you will give to each other.

I hope that you and the right dog find each other soon!

Casdon Fri 20-Nov-20 11:12:03

I’d do it, dogs are such brilliant company, and lots of breeds don't need lots of walking. You just need to find the right one for you, keep trying with rescue centres, they do often have well trained dogs who are there through no fault of their own.
I’m a spaniel lover, but my second bit of advice is don’t go for a cocker spaniel! Mine is the most gorgeous dog, but they are perennial puppies and often never slow down in older age.

EllanVannin Fri 20-Nov-20 11:15:14

Go ahead and get a little dog, it'll get you out to stretch your legs. From what I've seen advertised there are plenty of small dogs who don't need the same exercise as a bigger one but can be just as much company and easier to manage too.

I took on a 1 year cat from the RSPCA when I was 75----you're never too old but don't look too far into the future. Animals keep you going and I can't imagine not having my cats. I hope you can find a little dog wanting a new home.

Septimia Fri 20-Nov-20 11:33:31

What about a rescue greyhound? They actually need very little exercise - they'd rather sleep! You would need to make sure that it had been house trained as ex-racing dogs aren't always.

Buffybee Fri 20-Nov-20 11:47:10

If you could rescue an older Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, or Bichon Frise, they are very lazy and would much rather be on your knee all day. Try to find a rescue for these particular types of dogs.
Any type of lap dog would be ideal, don't get a terrier type of dog, much too lively.
I would say that you need a dog proof garden to let the dog out when you're not up to a walk.
Otherwise, go for it and get your little companion.

Buffybee Fri 20-Nov-20 11:52:35

ExD, I've just looked online and there are lots of rescue places for Cavaliers and Bichons.

sodapop Fri 20-Nov-20 12:34:02

Our little Yorkie cross had a lot of injuries when she was rescued. Now she can't manage a lot of exercise but is happy with short walks and lots of love.
There is a dog out there just looking for a forever home with you ExD don't give up.

Charleygirl5 Fri 20-Nov-20 12:42:29

Is it possible to foster a dog as one can a cat? You can give the dog all the love and attention it needs but you will not have the vet bills which are a major consideration- my bank account knows!

grandtanteJE65 Fri 20-Nov-20 12:52:08

When she was your age, my mother had a dachshund. The only trouble with them is that they have to be carried up and down stairs, as their backs cannot cope with stairs.

Choose a small dog - a sheepdog would need more and longer walks than you are up to. The one I had as a child refused to sleep indoors, which could be a problem, too.

An old lady I knew had a mongrel that was mainly terrier - he was the perfect dog for her,

If you give up the notion of a dog, do get a cat, but a grown one unless you have experience of training kittens not to scratch furniture and climb curtains.

Kittye Fri 20-Nov-20 12:54:08

Buffybee I had 2 Cavaliers. They were far from lazy right up to the end. They loved their walks in our local woods. They did like a cuddle on the sofa though. You have to bear in mind they can develop health problems as they get older and even with pet insurance the vets bills can be costly. Saying all that they are the most wonderful little dogs and when this pandemic eases I shall be looking for another one.

Sparklefizz Fri 20-Nov-20 14:11:03

ExD Definitely keep looking for the right little dog. Pets are wonderful companions, there are so many of them in rescue centres that are desperate for the loving home that you could offer.

Unless you are used to cats, it is probably better to find the right dog for you - something small and quiet and a good rescue centre would bear in mind your needs and capabilities.

Good luck. I look forward to seeing a photo of your new doggy friend.

phoenix Fri 20-Nov-20 14:20:03

Actually, "little" dogs can be more of a trip hazard, far more likely to get under your feet!

Septimia, your suggestion of a greyhound is a good one, not everyone's idea of the ideal pet dog, many are drawn towards the smaller "cute" breeds, but they are quite happy with a pootle about at walk time, just make sure you've got room on the sofa, they do like to stretch out!

You could on Mawbe for the inside story! grin

TrendyNannie6 Fri 20-Nov-20 14:31:28

We had a Pembroke corgi when I was very young lovely dogs, and have had dogs and cats all my life. Wow I wouldn’t have suggested a sheepdog with all that energy tho, what about a westie? Although never owned one myself we generally go for German Shepard’s ( working dogs) it sounds as you would love a dog more than a cat, I certainly wouldn’t give up on the idea no way! It’s great to go out for walks do you the world of good,

felice Fri 20-Nov-20 14:35:03

I would also go for a rescue Greyhound, DBF and his husband have one, and she is so loving.
Will go for a walk if YOU want to, but happy to do her business and go home for a cuddle.
She had never been with children but when DGS and I visited for a few weeks last year she fell completely in love.

phoenix Fri 20-Nov-20 14:40:04

I meant PM mawbe!

TrendyNannie westies can be pretty lively!

MawBe Fri 20-Nov-20 14:45:39

Septimia - hear, hear.
Of course a hyperactive greyhound like Hattie here might be à challenge grin grin
Seriously these gentle dogs come in a variety of sizes - not all are the size of a small pony -girls especially can be the size of a dainty version of a Labrador.
You are unlikely to trip over a dog that comes up to your knees
They need very little exercise (and on the lead so no charging about)
They are not inbred so have few of the physical or behavioural weaknesses of pedigree dogs
They do not have an aggressive bone in their body and are just so grateful for your company and love.
They are generally fine to be left for a few hours if you need to go out but love your company best of all.
They need next to no grooming - short haired so so mud all over the place and no dog groomer fees
Do please look at a website such as the Greyhound Trust or your local retired greyhound rescue.
Additionally they are retired mostly on account of age (3-4!) occasionally injury ,but also because greyhound stadiums are closing all the time.
Hattie is my fourth - is there a better recommendation?
All my hounds have come house trained, neutered and fully health checked too.
PS they don’t have to be allowed on the sofa - I’m just soft that way!
A responsible greyhound rescue site will take care to match you with the right dog and will provide support and advice if necessary.
You are welcome to pm me if I can give any more specific help.

phoenix Fri 20-Nov-20 14:49:44

Ah, MawBe, there you are, with very sound advice!

I hope you didn't disturb Hattie to get that photo of her looking so alert and ready for action grinwink

MawBe Fri 20-Nov-20 14:51:52

So NO mud all over the place.

Couldn’t resist these

kircubbin2000 Fri 20-Nov-20 15:00:06

If you cant walk far a cat might be better.

phoenix Fri 20-Nov-20 18:18:58

Any thoughts, ExD ?

ExD Fri 20-Nov-20 20:49:23

Encouraging, thank you. ❤ there are times however when I can hardly stagger down the drive to put the bins out, so this will need time for quite a lot of visits to more rescue centres.
Yes I had been thinking 'little' dog, but the trip hazard needs consideration too,
I was quite put off by the pushy bloke at the (only) rescue place I visited, the sheepdog he wanted rid of was lovely, but just too excited. She needs to be with a family of boisterous children
I think I came across as a lonely old woman who would melt at the sight of sad brown eyes (summed me up well didn't he?) it was difficult to leave empty handed.

watermeadow Fri 20-Nov-20 20:54:39

I got a new pup when aged 73. I wanted a pug but they (like Cavaliers) have terrible health problems. I got a pug cross Jack Russell, thinking that, as JRs are so popular, they must be nice little dogs.
Big mistake. She is hyperactive, unrelenting hard work and very very very noisy. I love her dearly, but most when she’s asleep.

Hetty58 Fri 20-Nov-20 20:57:35

We are near the Guide dog training centre here and several neighbours foster dogs in training.

Their food and vet bills are paid and they only need a walk at weekends. They are collected to spend the day at training, then returned late afternoon.

The big downside is that, once fully trained, they go to new owners!