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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Welcoming the Newest Addition to our Family

My youngest child is nearly 4.5 years old. My kids have asked me when we'll have another kid. I've constantly been asked by people when I'm due because my belly protrudes.
Well the thing is... Today we added another member to my family. But this time I didn't have to go through 9 months of hell and labor to have this baby. No, this baby is a fur baby, and to have her join our family the only labor was taking a long bus to and from another part of my country to bring this baby home.


Meet Snickers, our new puppy. Well, puppy is a relative term, as she is approximately 15 months old. She had been living with a family that didn't have the ability to give her enough attention and hence looked for a family that can give it to her.


I've literally wanted a dog ever since I was a kid, and my mom told me that when I'm grown up and have a house of my own I can get a dog. Well, for the first few years we had a few little babies and having a dog wasn't an option. After that a few more years in a tiny apartment with no yard and more babies. Definitely no dog then.

But now? My kids are more grown up. They need less hands on care than do toddlers and babies. And we have a yard. And room to have a dog. As long as she's not too big.

While my oldest, Lee, and I were away last week, we talked about a lot of things and issues and one thing that came up was his desire to have a pet. We try to give each child in our family what he needs in terms of education, and for Lee homeschooling is what works best, so we'll be homeschooling him this coming year while his three other siblings are in school all day. We considered sending him to school but the four options we considered for him all didn't work out so he's home for the time being. He likes homeschooling but has admitted that he's lonely during the hours his siblings are in school, and we thought that getting a dog would help with that, and a few other issues we have in our family. After consulting with my therapist, herself a dog owner, we were convinced that we will get a dog. And we're really excited.

We were told to look specifically for a dog that isn't a puppy, that is already house trained and trained in general, but not one from a shelter because those often have traumas which could affect how she'd interact with our family.



We found the perfect answer in this dog, literally the day we started looking. Already house trained and well behaved and calm and not a big barker. She's been at someone that I already know for online, and she is just looking for the best home for this dog, hence being willing for us to trial to make sure this dog is the perfect fit for our family. This way if it doesn't work out we won't be stuck, because this is a trial.

Everyone is warning me how much money a dog costs, but I was told that that's not necessarily true. Yes, medical issues come up but fortunately she's a healthy dog and hopefully there won't come up often. Additionally, she's already vaccinated and spayed so that isn't a cost, other than yearly rabies shots. Her previous owners fed her a real food diet of leftovers of their families meals and chicken and fish scraps, all stuff I have on hand and can get cheap enough. And no, we didn't pay for her, we were gifted her.

So far my only expenses have been buying her a muzzle and a leash so I can take her on the bus with me (less than 15 dollars) and the bus fare round trip (approximately 15 dollars).

But even if she does end up costing us money, that's OK with us! We're pro spending on things that make our life worthwhile, not just spending as little as possible whenever possible.

I'm really hoping our family and Snickers have a smooth transition into becoming a cohesive unit.

As for the name Snickers, we went through many names as a family at a family meeting and this was the one everyone agreed on. I'm kinda partial to Snickerdoodle so that might be my nickname for her. Snickers was chosen because of her coloring (like caramel and nougat) and sweetness. Originally her name was Skye but our family was less of a fan of that name and we were told switching names isn't a problem.

Her previous owners have been using an effective and positive discipline dog training method that they're teaching us to do, and I have to say I really love the concept because it's in line with Gordon Neufeld's parenting method, in which you keep your kids adult oriented instead of peer oriented and keep your place as alpha on the family. This dog training method is specifically about keeping you as the alpha and having the dog be oriented to you.

Anyhow, I'm really excited to share this news. Something I've literally been waiting for since I was a kid!


And as for the rest of the family? I only got home with her less than an hour ago, and so far everyone is in love with her, and she's behaving beautifully.



Any one have a dog? What's your dog's name? What type is she? How much would you say you end up spending on your dog?

15 comments:

  1. so pleased to meet Snickers, and to see that your kids are growing up so cute.

    Dont ever be pressured into having more kids... you stick with the number thats right for you.. and that you can keep well and healthy and happy
    Its no-one else's business how many kids you have

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    1. Thank you! People aren't actually pressuring me to have kids, I've just got a fat belly so people assume I'm pregnant.

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  2. So glad for your family! I grew up always having a dog, and we have mostly always had a dog since I've been married. We had a few years where we did not have one - for the same reasons you listed. Tiny people, diapers, etc. For the past 11 years we have been a dog family and we love it!

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  3. Snickers is adorable! We've had three dogs over the years (Smokey, Lion and Molybdenum) and none of them were expensive medically. (The cats are another story.) We were always happy to have them and I think my daughter's life was better for all the pets.

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    1. Thank you! What type of dogs were they? How did you pick the name molybdenum?

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  4. Welcome to being a dog family! It's great! How much does a dog license cost where you are? Monthly preventative flea and tick treatments also add up. I can tell you where we find deals on that stuff. My mom the vet is in favor of pet health insurance, but we haven't found any that we like over here. We are considering self insuring to make a dog health fund that we can use to cover her expenses in the case of emergency (God forbid) or in the future when she is old and has more health problems. Our dog is four now (got her at 8 months) and while she still should have a long life ahead of her, we'd like to be prepared. Happy to talk more.

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    1. Dog licenses where we live cost more for unfixed dogs. Ours is fixed, so only about 10 dollars a year, unfixed is 100 or so. I dont know of any local pet health insurance options.

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  5. Ohhh, what a sweet doggie! Congratulations on the new addition. Pets are such company when you're at home (we've got two cats, but I love dogs just as much). Looks like your kids are already enjoying her. :)

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  6. We have two dogs: Charley (a 100-lb golden Lab/chesapeake retriever), and Ruby (a 60-lb. Burmese mountain/Australian cattle dog). Before Ruby was Abby, a golden lab, plus Buck and Goonie (Gunther) -- both Weimaraners. Our three previous dogs were much loved, and died of old age.
    Charley is about 7 (had him for at least 5 years) and Ruby is 3 (just got her). Both are rescue dogs.
    We spend very little on our dogs, except for food -- because 1) we just don't have the money to spend, and 2)would rather spend it on medical costs for ourselves and the kids. I love our animals dearly, but they are DOGS, not people. We do take Charley once a year for shots or allergy treatment, and Ruby went for her booster shot, after we got her from the rescue center. That's it.
    Both dogs are using collars and leashes from previous animals, though I occasionally buy new ones when they're on sale. We do occasionally give them herbal remedies for sickness...but really, not much. Just love your puppy and train her carefully, and she'll be a valuable member of your family.

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    1. Wow, you really love dogs, having that many at once. And large ones too! Do you spend a lot on food for them, with such large dogs?

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  7. Welcome to the family Snickers! She looks like an absolute darling. While having a pet may not be the most frugal thing, they bring you so much joy it's hard to think of life without one. I would love to see what frugal meals you give your pup - I've been keeping my dog away from human leftovers but I'm curious to see if I can include actual food and not just kibble in his diet but still keep it wallet friendly.

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  8. I am a huge dog lover! 1) Thank you for waiting until your family was ready instead of making a knee-jerk decision to get a furbaby. So many end up homeless because of that. 2) Thank you for rescuing this baby from a potentially not-so-great situation of time constraints. We've always said our babies find us! 3) We had one child who passed away when she was 17, so our pups ARE our babies! They bring SO much joy to our lives!

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