Re: ATM: TWBC

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I cannot possibly answer this until the president in question comes up with a properly presidential name. And maybe weighs in on which of the two animals should be more like Emma Goldman and which Audrey Hepburn. But we're down to one dog and nothing else and I do basically love her and she's miscellaneous probably including beagle or similar hound.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 8:27 AM
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Clearly the anonymous asker should adopt a human infant.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 8:30 AM
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Fine, I chose a president! As long as I am protected by this impenetrable veil of anonymity, I would like to admit that I kidnapped the Lindberg baby.


Posted by: Jimmy Carter | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 8:40 AM
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Over-serious response:

Those hours are fine for an adult dog.

But you don't want an adult dog probably unless you can find one who is already known to be okay with cats, i.e. has lived with cats, not just 'seems to ignore them when he/she is already stressed about living in a kennel/pound'

And then puppies aren't good for 8 hours alone. I think the normal conversion is ages in months = hours alone to to some number.

I have the laziest dog ever who will go over 12 hours without even requesting to pee, or if it's raining, will refuse to go outside even if it's been 12 hours. He's a mutt that I got from a friend so of no help in trying to figure out a breed.

Greyhounds are notorious for being lazy apartment dogs but can be horrible with cats.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 8:41 AM
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Sorry, Jimmy, you don't really have to do that. But did you eat the baby too? And semi-seriously, have you considered a pair of kittens? Sounds easier than a dog and sometimes three can be easier than two.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 8:42 AM
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Dog-walker. If you have that schedule, you'd need a mid-day dog-walker. Most reasonably large cities have established companies that do walking, pet sitting, daycare, etc., so this isn't a matter of a random stranger off craigslist coming into your home every day. But you will need to pay them.

Also, just in case this is relevant: dog ownership without a car is hard. Doable, for sure, but hard. Unless you live in NY, and your dog can ride the subway.

And as far as the cat: when you're looking at breeds, pay attention to prey drive--dogs that are trouble for cats see the cats as especially smart and vicious squirrels. In fact, my dog believes anything from a mouse to a deer is a squirrel and he's going to TAKE IT DOWN. (To his credit, he is a successful hunter of small mammals. But not deer.) So the big category to stay away from is terriers of all kinds, but I'd also be wary of breeds like hounds that have a chase-hunting background. Retrievers, even though they're sporting dogs, are bred to carry dead things back to you, not catch live things, so they don't (typically) have the same obsession with chasing small, furry creatures.


Posted by: Roadrunner | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 8:43 AM
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I want a pig, but they're really high maintanance and I might start feeling weird about eating pork eventually and I can't afford pets anyway. But I want a pig. They have long snouts and say oink.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 8:44 AM
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Let me tell you what you don't want. A baby chicken. They smell really bad if you keep them indoors and, assuming you lack a coop, die easily if you don't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 8:45 AM
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I think three would be a bit much even for me, not to speak of Mr. uh Roosevelt.


Posted by: Jimmy Carter | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 8:45 AM
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Beagles are amazing but they're also pretty sociable dogs (read: get lonely quickly) and they make a lot of noise (they are scent hounds, after all). If you want a relatively sedate apartment dog I'd say you should go with something more like a greyhound, which are possibly the laziest dogs ever, and probably more willing to be left to their own devices, which are "sleeping", for longer periods of time.

I don't know about cats, though, give 4. A puppy would probably work out better in that case, because the cat would have time to really intimidate the poor thing. Sight hounds in general are known for being lazy, though.

You will totally become a person who has to go home early for their dog though, there's no way around that. At least after eight or nine hours the poor thing will probably need something (water, to be walked, etc.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 8:46 AM
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7: If the pig begs from scraps while you're eating bacon, that would be creepy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 8:47 AM
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I should also say that I grew up with two dogs and two cats, and the cats and dogs ADORED each other. More than they liked their own species. One cat would give one of the dogs a bath with her tiny, tiny tongue. She seemed constantly daunted by the size and dirtiness of the dog.

That dog was a straight up mutt, and the other was a remarkably sane Australian shepherd. He enjoyed some mild cat-herding when bored, but never got too neurotic about them.


Posted by: Roadrunner | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 8:48 AM
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What about a corgi? Are the barkers? Would one get along with President Kitty?


Posted by: Jimmy Carter | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 8:54 AM
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Probably getting a dog rather than a cat is a good idea. Adult cats often have trouble getting accustomed to other cats who are strangers.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 8:56 AM
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In addition to the "Warriors" series about cats in the wild, I've now been reading the "Survivors" series about dogs surviving on their own after an earthquake forces the humans to flee without their pets. The two are by the same "author".

Anyway, I now hate both species.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 8:57 AM
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This is why you might not want a beagle. Though, in fairness, beagles tend to be tolerated for this kind of thing (by neighbors, etc.) than a lot of dogs because they're just so endlessly adorable. I know someone who has a dachsund/beagle cross and that dog could easily murder a few people and no one would care because she is so overpoweringly adorable. She does this baying constantly, but is smaller and as a result can't do it right and just sounds like she's squealing. It still manages to be cute though.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 8:58 AM
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Dogs just seem like so much trouble! They need so much looking after and schedule management.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:02 AM
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From a socialization POV, a puppy would be best, because it would grow up to love, not chase, TWBC. But of course that's impractical given your schedules. No yard at all is a bit of a pain, because letting the dog out for 2 minutes to take care of business is handy as hell, but it's hardly a dealbreaker.

There are definitely dogs out there that suit your needs, but I don't know how you find them. That is, it's hard to know in advance how chill a dog will be, or how it will handle long spells alone (all due respect to TWBC). That's not too long a day for most adult dogs, but you will want a transition period with lunchtime walks, just until the dog figures out the deal.

You'll name the dog Fala, right?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:03 AM
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Dogs are the worst!

This. That the above is not inscribed on a stone tablet somewhere is how we know there is no god.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:05 AM
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My friend's cat, Madonna, is staying with me. She is spending her time defending the territory under the bed in the guest room from my cats, who are trying to make friends. But Madonna gets along beautifully with my friend's dog, a Japanese Chin. So I think you should go with a dog. An adult rescue with a history of getting along with cats.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:08 AM
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Beagles are also incredibly energetic and bore easily. I had a friend who took his beagle on 3 mile runs "to take the edge off." They're also a bit hard to train. But they are adorable, and I kinda want one, too.

If you get a dog, you'd probably want to get a puppy for training and socialization reasons. I've sort of come around on this. You are probably kidding yourself about picking a breed if you want a puppy and a rescue. The three do not seem to really go together. Puppies that look like a particular breed may grow up to be something else. (Ask me about the friend who adopted a black lab pup that turned out to be half basset hound! It stopped getting taller but kept getting longer!) Also, remember that you'll be outside with the dog on a leash first thing in the morning and last thing at night, finding that perfect patch of grass while you dream of your bed, rather than just opening the door to a fenced yard for the dog to go out. I've seen plenty of people make it through puppy months just fine on a schedule like yours with a midday visit from a dog-walker, but you should expect to cordon off a puppy somewhere the floor won't be too affected by accidents.

In your position, except with longer work hours, we got a second cat. We still don't work short enough hours that I'd feel good about having a dog.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:10 AM
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Dogs just seem like so much trouble! They need so much looking after and schedule management.

I guess a little bit, compared to a cat? But really, no. I mean, "looking after" is daily feeding and going outside twice a day, and the schedule thing isn't IME a big deal unless you're the kind of couple* who likes to go out late after work. Many/most dogs don't need to be let out after just 8-9 hours. 12 hours buys you work + dinner out.

I'll admit that working from home makes dog ownership essentially effortless (unless, again, you view walking around the block as burdensome), but I had dogs for 8 years before working from home, and it usually wasn't that much trouble.

Once you have kids, your schedule is so constrained the dog hardly enters into it. The kids never want to go out to see live music straight from work until midnight.

*solo dog ownership being much more of a hassle, since there's no backup, and higher odds of no one being home for an extended period


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:11 AM
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The two are by the same "author".

Fascinating fact: "Erin Hunter" is the joint pseudonym of 4 (or more?) writers. They don't really hide this.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:13 AM
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Also, Geronimo Stilton books are written by "Geronimo Stilton", because fuck authorship.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:15 AM
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There is no amount of adorableness that can overcome constant noise. I grew up with and enjoy having a smart, well behaved dog around. But the well behaved part takes work, lots up front and then consistent reinforcement. This is in theory easier when all the humans in the household are adults but in practice there is possibly little more corrosive of an adult human relationship than lack of solidarity on the pet behavior expectations front. So if you chose door number one aka dog be careful to work out the treaty terms between your administrations beforehand.

The better half is militantly anti pet* (allergies and raised in constantly moving military household with an anti pet mum so no don childhood memories), but when we met I had a wonderful smart smart smart mutt who the better half grew to not love but be attached to.** But this was no good in building the case for another dog after the death of the wonder dog as TWD had created completely unrealistic expectations in the BH of intelligence and good behavior so that exposure to just about any other dog causes the BH to recoil in disgust at the other dog's horrid vulgarity uncouthness stupidity etc. And I work too much to credibly commit to raising a WD redux.

*A recent foray into the drudgery of homemade kefir by the BH led me to observe it seemed about as stressful as having a dog, but less rewarding. Wow did that touch a nerve!

** The WD was remarkably tolerant of the BH as well, but when he put Nancarrow on she would lie down near the door and put her paws over her ears.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:18 AM
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"fond" not don or whatever.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:21 AM
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Dogs alone in apartments are in my experience not a great idea. If the dog turns out to get lonely or upset at being alone, the dog will make noise; this will make worriers like me (and perhaps you, o president) very upset about effects on neighbors and so on. I also seem to have slightly idiosyncratic views about how much alone time is ok for pack animals.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:23 AM
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As the less-dog-enamoured member of a couple who had a dog (which I did love, but was kind of annoyed by) for fifteen years, I have thoughts.

First, I think if no one's home during the day, you need a dogwalker. An adult dog can (if you're lucky with the particular dog) manage on a morning and night peeing schedule, but leaving it alone that much you're likelier to get a neurotic barker/chewer. And of course a puppy can't make it ten hours, so ideally you'd find a walker who did daycare until the puppy was grown (I don't know how common this is -- our dogwalker (we didn't use her daily, but she was our vacation coverage, and we know her pretty well) did). I would literally price and budget this service first, and see if you can bear spending that much.

As a rule of thumb (and there are also breed-dependent issues) size has a counterintuitive effect. Little dogs are violent, high energy maniacs, while big dogs are calm and saintly. So a dog to leave alone all day, bigger is probably the way to go. What Roadrunner said about prey drive: no terriers, no huskies, border collies/aussies are risky. Probably no pits, which is a shame because they're lovely calm sweet people dogs if you raise them right, but I think they're small-animal killers. Don't get a beagle -- they're adorable, but untrainable and loud. I have a neighbor with an Italian mastiff we walk sometimes (she's been very ill), and I'm in love with it -- the calmest, most serious, perfectly mannered dog I've ever met. But I've never met another one, so maybe he's special.

I kind of wouldn't do it if you, as the less dog-excited president, weren't pretty strongly dog-curious. It means planning every absence from home; being outdoors for an uncontrollable amount of time twice a day at least in every weather, having a big smelly animal in the house, and so on. If that's going to be naggingly annoying, it doesn't matter, you're committed to it for the dog's lifespan or you're a bad person.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:26 AM
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25: Oh, what DQ said about training. Is VP Mondale someone who just sort of had dogs as a kid, or is he comfortable with being able to train a dog to have good manners (or is he willing to treat dog-training as a fun new hobby)? And are you willing to treat dog training as a fun new hobby, at least enough to not screw the dog's manners up? Because the difference between owning a well-mannered dog and a bad dog is pretty big, and that's all on the owners.

(We were actually lucky -- DogBreath was pretty ill-mannered, but in a standoffishly defensive and fairly quiet way, so she was tolerable despite our failures as owners. But dealing with a dog that climbs all over people, or god forbid is aggressive toward other people or dogs, is miserable, and preventing that is all about the owners' skill and consistency.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:30 AM
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TWBC isn't particularly old, is she? We very successfully introduced a kitten when ours was about a year and a few months old, and I think it was a good thing. It was very very obvious that our first cat was extremely social & wanted more company, though even then he put up a fuss for the first few days of second cathood.

Both of the kitties are the type that when random strangers (ie, usually people there to do a quick job, like meter readers) enter the house, they swarm them and try to 'help' with whatever said random stranger is doing. I've never had cats that social before, and it seems to have really transitioned into wanting company of their own kind as well.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:32 AM
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I am currently in possession of a 100lb Bernese Mountain Dog. (She was my mom's.) She is the sweetest, most docile, laziest creature that ever, ever was. I can't exactly recommend that anyone go out and get one (they die young, the whole purebred dog thing, etc.), but if one becomes your ward, they are swell.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:37 AM
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This thread is making me sad. I want a dog SO BAD, but there's just no practical way with the apartment and the work schedule.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:38 AM
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Maybe we can extrapolate. If you get a 300 pound dog, it would work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:42 AM
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You don't have any sick neighbors with dogs that you could be neighborly by walking? The occasional walk with Boo (the mastiff) and his idiot sidekick Brinkley (a moron of a chocolate Lab. I mean, she's okay, but she's not a bright or a well-behaved dog) is very nice -- I don't want a dog of our own right now, but a half hour with them every so often is lovely.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:43 AM
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32: I will loan you guys Friday for a weekend.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:44 AM
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Watch out for the drool factor with large dogs ugh no no no.

And stay far away from mini dachshunds. I took care of one for a few months when its human dies and in the process of miniaturization critical parts of the brain appear to have been extirpated.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:45 AM
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As in, "Me and you and a dog named"?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:45 AM
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Possibly. I don't actually know the owner that well -- we kind of scraped acquaintance with her petting Boo in the elevator, and then when she got sick provided some of the coverage she needed for walks.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:47 AM
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Friday is definitely not drooly -- it's the big jowly dogs that are. Or little jowly dogs, as the case may be.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:48 AM
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being outdoors for an uncontrollable amount of time twice a day at least in every weather, having a big smelly animal in the house

You people are going to make me want to give up my dog with all this slander.

I've had 3 dogs; none were malodorous, none were noisy, and all would put up with a short walk if they had to. There are days (granted, not many) my current dog doesn't spend 5 minutes outside.

I should add that I've found crate training to be a wonder. And also, all 3 dogs have been what seem to be shepherd-husky mixes*, although that's uncertain. It's a great, quiet mix, but none was ever tested living with a cat.

*the first looked like a slender Siberian; the last 2 have looked very much like 40 lb coyotes


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:49 AM
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We had a spaniel who was big on wiping her butt on the patio. There were streaks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:52 AM
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Meanwhile, since this is the animal thread, the strangest damn thing:

Across the street from us is a parking lot. For the past 5 minutes, I've been watching this robin (I think) fluttering up in front of a parked Jeep. It goes up to bumper height, then goes back down. Sometimes it lands on the bumper, pecks a bit, then lands again. I can't see the ground, so I don't know what it's doing there. This parking lot has tandem parking, so where the bird is is 20' from any non-asphalt surface. I have a theory that the bird is seeing its reflection in the headlight, but surely it would have just flown away by this point, right?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:52 AM
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All dogs are trainable with effort, but it sure does take more effort for some than others, and it's very difficult to know ahead of time what kind of dog you'll get (breed tells you some, but not as much as you might think or hope, and the more ethical move is to get a rescue mutt anyway). I had a dog (with backyard) until a few years ago and, even though I loved the dog (how could you not) my life is massively better and easier without the dog than with and I won't do a dog again, except maybe as a project for old-age retirement. This was in part that my dog was not winning any awards for intelligence, temperament, or ease of training, but mostly that proper training is a gigantic pain in the ass. It's basically a version of the kind of low-grade constant worry and anxiety you get with having kids. If having some cute dog lick your face is really worth that level of commitment and never-ending effort, great, if not don't do it. Cats are so much easier that they're just not comparable at all, it's a completely different experience.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:53 AM
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36 - When someone already has a pet that coats its body in a thin film of its own saliva on a more or less daily basis I think the drool factor can safely be discounted. Also outside of a few breeds it's pretty seriously exaggerated by people.

With miniature dachsunds (which I have met and don't especially recommend either) you're getting a dog which will pick somewhere around three people to love ferociously and exclusively, and be terrified of almost everyone else, which probably explains a lot there. A lot of the miniature breeds, being mostly terriers, are pretty smart.

The thing that I wonder about is the apartment-no-yard factor. Having a dog is a lot like having a vegetable garden when it comes to that: if you have your own yard it still makes a bunch of demands on you but it's relatively flexible. If you don't have one it's going to be a lot of work, be way more expensive, and almost certainly cause a huge mess every so often.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:54 AM
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We're in a somewhat similar situation: we also have a cat who gets lonely and clingy, but she's also freaked out by approximately everything. And lately she's started pissing on the (thankfully old and should be thrown out anyway) furniture, which is massively frustrating and unpleasant.

I don't want to deal with all the hassle of a dog. Is getting another cat worth exploring?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:56 AM
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42.last: Might also be eating bugs stuck on the grill/bumper/etc. I used to watch sparrows doing that from my very scintillating view of the parking lot from the movie theatre's box office.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:57 AM
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One good option if you're willing to adopt a rescue dog is foster-to-adopt. Most reputable rescue organizations use fosters anyway, and that way you can take a dog home for a few days (or few weeks) and see how it gets along with the cat and your lifestyle. My impression is that rescues and humane societies actually really like it when people foster-to-adopt--they can have more confidence that the dog is going to permanent home that's actually going to work out.


Posted by: Roadrunner | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 9:59 AM
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When someone already has a pet that coats its body in a thin film of its own saliva on a more or less daily basis I think the drool factor can safely be discounted.

No, no, no. Very very rarely do you actually encounter cat spit on your person. (My big boy cat occasionally gets very soppy and drooly when he is extremely happy. That's about it.) I can't remember the last time I petted a dog and didn't come away with some sort of dog spit on me, usually from happy licks. I'm not a fan of feeling like I have to wash my hands every time I pet a dog, and I do really like them. Also cat spit and dog spit have very different properties; cat saliva is relatively odor-less & not sticky. The same cannot be said for dogs.

Also, I really want oudemia's dog. Sounds perfect for me, and Friday is so beautiful!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:02 AM
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45 -- we had a problem like that in 45, but with two cats. I don't think that increasing the number of cats solves their problems. Eventually and bizarrely we got a new chair that problem cat claimed for her own, and since then it's been no more peeimg or anxious behavior.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:02 AM
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Wait, this thread isn't about the academic job market?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:03 AM
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Dog flowchart: Do I need a dog?—>do I enjoy the sight of a dog hunched and trembling while taking a shit, then picking up the shit in a plastic bag and walking around with it?—>no—>no dog.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:03 AM
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I kind of want to piggy-back on this thread: I fear a dog may end up in our house at some point. We do have a backyard, so we could leave him outside during the day during the school year, and I'm home and can walk it during the summer. I would enjoy that.

I...just don't like dogs. I'm semi-okay with the dogs that people get when they secretly wish they had a cat, like those poodle mixes that look like the Snuggle Teddy Bear Laundry Detergent Mascot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:05 AM
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To redress my possible over egging the negative (but both LB and TRO are being the souls of sensible here), you can pretty easily come up with a tight list of training essentials and if you get it right the first time and then just reinforce consistently it's totally doable. No jumping or barking at the door, no furniture lounging and no begging at the table are for me the non-negotiable basics and all you can teach just around the house, day to day. Heeling is a dispensable fancy bit for most people, they don't seem to mind having their arms dislocated. (TWD heeled off leash backwards, bless her sainted memory.) Crate training super helpful. Get help from a no nonsense trainer if you've never done it before.

If temperament really matters to you and god knows it should you'll be stuck with this new roommate for a couple of decades, either get a puppy from someone who knows what they are doing or hire your no nonsense trainer to help you pick out a shelter dog, someone who knows how to extrapolate from observing dogs under stressful/unusual conditions.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:05 AM
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I'm not sure "cat saliva is different from dog saliva!" is necessarily the best defense here...


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:05 AM
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I bet we end up with a large poodle, if I had to guess. I could probably be convinced that I'd dislike it less than other breeds.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:06 AM
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Wait, this thread isn't about the academic job market?

I laughed out loud.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:07 AM
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... a couple of decades

Oh man I wish this were true but it's really not.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:07 AM
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54: You missed the bit about it rarely getting on your person. But I concede the point!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:09 AM
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55: If you really don't want it, I'd dig your heels in. That said, poodles are about as catty a dog as you can get, IMO, so you might tolerate a poodle better than most other possibilities.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:10 AM
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Heebie's take...

My sister!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:10 AM
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When someone already has a pet that coats its body in a thin film of its own saliva on a more or less daily basis I think the drool factor can safely be discounted.

Holy fucking shit, if this is trolling then take a bow. Well done sir.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:11 AM
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I might have laughed out loud at 51.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:14 AM
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52: Eh, maybe not a good idea? A) it's Texas and it'll be hot outside (shade and lots of water obviously but still). B) I have heard outdoor dogs are even more poorly behaved than dogs left inside. Maybe equally with dogs that are left inside for a long time alone. Inside you get chewing and outside you get digging. Both will bark. Inside at least they get comfy things to lie on and air conditioning.

My dog is fine left indoors (no chewing, accidents, barking) but he definitely misses his pack.

I love giant poodles and would love to have one. But they're smart and I think I like dumb dogs.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:20 AM
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Thanks to 62 or I would have missed 51 which is so right and so funny and great.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:23 AM
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We've had a dog for almost a year now, a mutt-blend of chihuahua/dachsund/something-or-other that was left at a high-kill shelter and landed in our house over my strong objections. I like dogs, but felt the timing was all wrong and hated that particular blend of breeds and everything it implies. But she has turned out to be the best dog ever. Never ever ever barks. If I hadn't heard her yip in her sleep, I'd swear somebody removed her tweeter. Does nothing except radiate affection all day long, perfectly friendly to kids and strangers, never nips.

I assumed I would never in a million years own a small dog, but this one defies every stereotype. She can wait a full workday to go ouutside, and the poop to pick up never amounts to more than a couple of Lincoln logs and a marble or two. It's kind of magic.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:23 AM
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66

Also, people who tongue-kiss your dogs: what the fuck is wrong with you?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:24 AM
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65: Your standards for dog shit have fallen sharply.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:25 AM
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Ha! Also, we put our house on the market and had it under contract at list price in 12 hours. Crazy seller's market in Durham right now. Now I have to find a place to live, which isn't nearly as easy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:32 AM
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69

Everything Jesus says is right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:33 AM
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70

69: Bad Jew!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:34 AM
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This post is so confusing. I can't for the life of me figure out what the puppy is a metaphor for.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:35 AM
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72

I do not think you should get a dog and I think you should be thoughtful about getting a kitten.

Everyone I know who has brought even the tiniest most adorable kitten into an adult cat's territory had a lot of trouble before the two cats settled down. And last year a friend of mine adopted a kitten and it totally changed her adult cat's personality - the older cat went from being a happy and basically affectionate, social cat to being a really depressed , mopey animal who hides from human contact. Also, kittens are very fun and very demanding, so people tend to give them more attention and neglect the adult cat.

I would rather have a cat that was a bit lonely than a cat who felt that it had been betrayed and neglected. (I do have a cat; we have decided not to acquire any other pets for pretty much this reason, especially since our cat is very routine-oriented and bossy.)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:44 AM
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73

We had a total kitten-introduction fail with my mother's last cat, who was admittedly a homicidal/felicidal maniac. Mom thought a friend might make him less crazy, so she brought home a kitten, and he tried as hard as he could to kill her until she was returned to the shelter. But he was an extraordinarily bad cat.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:47 AM
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74

I don't think that increasing the number of cats solves their problems.

I hear that from a lot of people, and it makes sense, but I also hear about having multiple cats is good in some ways--e.g., they can groom each other. But our cat is so damned passive-aggressive that I dunno. We have mixed data on how social she was before we had her.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:51 AM
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72 is probably right. Cats aren't particularly social by nature anyway, so loneliness isn't necessarily something that would bother them (though who knows). Also it's harder to predict how they'll respond to new situations than it is with, e.g., dogs who are easier to read/predict because they have very close to human psychologies.* Dogs (and especially puppies) are also way more instinctively social than cats are, and will immediately try to seek out and negotiate a relationship with the cat which it may not really appreciate.


*It's fun to read dog psychology books while pretending that you're reading a book about human beings written by a martian. It's also disturbingly accurate at times, especially if you take the "packs with alpha males" stuff with more than a few grains of salt since it's clearly bullshit. I still remember reading a wonderful passage about how your dog may appear to be ashamed of something they did but you should know they aren't actually feeling shame, just feeling bad because they sense that someone more powerful that they love is disapproving of them, and acting in an apologetic seeming way is just them trying to act subservient/submissive in order to appease the person who's angry at them. There's a lot of interesting moral psychology in those books.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 10:55 AM
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You want to adopt an adult dog. Not only is there no 'needs care every two hours' stage, but you can see if the dog is good with cats. Getting along with other animals isn't some esoteric skill that is hard to train. Lots of dogs at a shelter will be friendly to cats, and just a lot of prey drive is genetic and varies even within purebreeds.

Outside dogs are just poorly behaved from the lack of interaction. It isn't the being outside, it is being chained to one spot with no friends day and night.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:02 AM
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...and the poop to pick up never amounts to more than a couple of Lincoln logs...

If it starts to look like the roof pieces, you need to see a vet.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:02 AM
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78

That was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:03 AM
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79

I still remember reading a wonderful passage about how your dog may appear to be ashamed of something they did but you should know they aren't actually feeling shame, just feeling bad because they sense that someone more powerful that they love is disapproving of them, and acting in an apologetic seeming way is just them trying to act subservient/submissive in order to appease the person who's angry at them.

I think the point of that isn't exactly the moral psychology, but the memory. You find evidence of a transgression (chewed shoes, pee, whatever), get mad, and the dog cringes: people figure the dog knows what they did wrong, but dogs don't have that kind of memory, and is just reacting to your mood. While a person might do something similar, they're likelier to actually understand the offence.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:04 AM
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I really, really think it depends. I've introduced new kittens to the household twice, both times with excellent results. Of course this is totally anecdotal and dependent on individual cat's personalities, but it's my belief that some cats are very social and benefit from the company. Though, to be fair, mine mostly have the personalities of dogs, and they definitely get lonely.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:04 AM
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73: An adult cat that can't kill a kitten despite its best efforts is a bad cat on two levels.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:05 AM
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82

TWBC looks longingly out the window at neighbor cats and does not hiss is the thing. I mean it might be a disaster but we could foster. I will say the idea that I would neglect TWBC will amuse President Roosevelt who probably suspects me and TWBC of carrying on.


Posted by: Jimmy Carter | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:06 AM
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81: There were two adults trying to keep them separated and doing flying tackles across the room to get to him before he got her when he escaped supervision. He was really putting in the effort.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:09 AM
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84

That's better then.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:15 AM
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82: That was how our cat #1 was. He'd make that stuttering "bring it to me" noise at other cats out the window. We brought home cat #2 and he was utterly terrified of her for a few weeks, hissing and growling (she was the same age, 2/3 his size and very friendly and sweet). They eventually settled down and now are buddies. I'm very glad we have two and would avoid ever having a single cat again, honestly. I think that cat introductions to either another dog or a cat take a lot of patience. (My crazy fear is what we're going to do when one of them eventually dies. The survivor will be so lonely! But how could we get a fresh young replacement to keep a senior company?)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:17 AM
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85.last is our current problem - the remaining cat does seem kind of lonely, and they were both very social/friendly cats.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:25 AM
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If you get two cats, you should resign yourself to having a continual cycle of replacement cats until you finally get you cat-death cycle synchronized.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:27 AM
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88

Don't confirm my crazy fear! Maybe I need more cats to be sure nobody will be lonely.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:29 AM
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It's certainly easier to get pair-wise synchronized periodicity with N greater than 2.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:30 AM
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90

We've had to decide (well before-hand, I hope) that we will not introduce another cat into the household until both of ours die, because they both have a communicable disease (cat flu) that is not serious but annoying enough that I'd feel really quite badly about inflicting it on another cat.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:35 AM
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If you have two cats, the odds of one of them dying alone is very close to 100%. If you have 10 cats, the odds of any specific cat dying alone is something less than 10%. It's obviously better to have more cats.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:42 AM
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Moby, all living things die alone.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:59 AM
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We've had anywhere from 1-4 cats at a time over the past thirty years-currently, we have four. In recent years, we've added cats to our household in pairs, and this seems to work well. Sibling cats/kittens have each other to play with, so there is less chance of annoying older cats. Conventional advice is to make introductions slowly-keep animals in separate rooms for a while, etc. We've never been organized enough to do this, though. We've had cats who hated other cats (thus the 1 cat limit) and cats who love feline company. The semi-feral brother and sister we brought home last year adore each other and the older cats, probably because they lived in a managed colony for a while and had a chance to learn proper cat manners. Cats taken away from their mothers too early are not socialized to other cats. The tendency to think of cats as loners who do not enjoy feline company may stem from the unfortunate tendency to adopt out kittens too early-at eight or even six weeks of age, before they've had a chance to learn cat etiquette.


Posted by: Madam Curie | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 12:28 PM
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As someone mentioned above - get a foster kitten and see if they get along. Most pet shelters are happy to let fosters go permanent if desired. (I fostered multiple kittens for a while - very fulfilling experience.)

We got a companion for our 1.5 year old cat and once he got past the initial shock of a new companion they fought like cats and cats all the time. Very tiresome. We had to find a new home for the companion.


Posted by: OutOfTheBlue | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 3:13 PM
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Well, that settles it. Dogs are too much trouble; the cat will hate another cat. In the interest of the cat not being lonely, I must quit my job and be a Stay At Home Cat Loony.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 3:23 PM
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96

You could get her a fishbowl. Hard on the fish, but hours of wholesome entertainment for her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 3:24 PM
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I like the idea of a foster a lot, modulo that if it doesn't work I'll feel awful. But it's a good idea, I'll have to see if the wife agrees.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 3:27 PM
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You know what are truly shitty pets? Iguanas. They just sit on their fucking heat rock and don't do anything unless you shake the heat rock. Sometimes they eat lettuce.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 3:50 PM
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Basically anything that isn't a dog or cat is a shitty pet, no?

Fish aren't cuddly,
Ferrets smell,
Snakes are d...eadly,
What the hell?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 3:57 PM
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97 - Fostering is great but there can be an emotional toll. I've stopped doing it for a while because 2 that I had really worked hard on to socialize kept getting ill when returned to the shelter. They had to put them down. That hurt a bit. I'll get back to it late this summer when it's high kitten season.


Posted by: OutOfTheBlue | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 3:57 PM
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100 really illustrates the hazard associated with reading threads backwards.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 4:10 PM
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98. I think anything that isn't a mammal counts as "moving furniture". I fondly remember overhearing a discussion between a very fratty bro and an employee at the St. Paul reptile store* about pets. The bro asked the employee if he could see a (particular) snake, to see if they got along. The employee responded "they're snakes. they don't have personalities". Then I found five dollars in a terrarium full of exotic centipedes.


*Strangely awesome as a thing to visit, by the way. The last time I was there they had a room set aside for sulcata tortoises that had been given up by their owners. It turns out they look cute and pretty when they're babies and then they grow up to the size of coffee tables and it's no longer cute to have one because they basically require a dedicated room heated to the temperatures you find in the Sahara. The time before last they had baby hedgehogs. Youtube videos do not do them credit.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 4:32 PM
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103

Baby hedgehogs surely are not reptiles.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 4:34 PM
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104

They are until they grow up.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 4:42 PM
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105

Claddism is tricky that way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 4:58 PM
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28 As a rule of thumb (and there are also breed-dependent issues) size has a counterintuitive effect. Little dogs are violent, high energy maniacs, while big dogs are calm and saintly. So a dog to leave alone all day, bigger is probably the way to go.

The shih tzus I grew up with belie this. Calm, quiet, saintly if saints can be a bit arrogant, able to spend most of the day alone. Those seem to be characteristic traits of the breed. On the other hand, so is kidney failure.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 5:01 PM
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I feel compelled to once again provide all of you access to the best animal video of all time, Une Grosse marmotte mange une biscotte: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2JUE0NaxZ50


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 5:11 PM
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It's pretty great, but the one with three marmots all eating carrots might be even better.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 5:18 PM
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106: How expensive is it for one to die of kidney failure. Asking for a friend.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 5:22 PM
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There is a purity to the original that withstands all competition. And the trois marmottes belong in the other thread.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 5:23 PM
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109: the first one ate special kidney-friendly food his whole life which cost maybe two or three times as much as normal dog food. The second one didn't exhibit problems until the very end, so not a lot of expense.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 5:25 PM
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Several months after Old Calico died, we brought home Baby Calico to keep Mr. Bitesy company. There was a hellish year of introduction, which might have gone better had we ignored expert advice and just kept them together rather than separate. Of course, they are now besties, and sleep in an adorable pile o' cat, just like Bitey did with Old Calico.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have brought home two kittens instead of one so that Bitey wasn't the sole feline target of New Caliico's energies.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 5:28 PM
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They have a pretty vague idea of what is and isn't a reptile, though for all I know they were intended as feeder baby hedgehogs. I have trouble believing anyone could do that. They were cute enough that you could stand there and watch peoples' brains turn off as they walked by - literally people would just stop and stare sort of glassy eyed at them for a few minutes before shaking it off and walking on.

I think their goal generally is just "not dogs and cats", though. They certainly have enough fish and disturbing insects* sitting around.

*Have you ever thought "you know what would make a good pet? A really large cockroach!"? No? Me neither but clearly someone has.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 5:29 PM
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If I had to do it all over again, I would have brought home two kittens

Yeah when we, I mean they, the presidents, were cat shopping because Jimmy Carter was loitering in any bookstore that had a cat and stepping into the street to knock men's hats off, there were two possibilities: the cat President Carter found at the shelter who turned out to be TWBC and these two very adorable kittens, and somehow it seemed like the choice was between getting two and getting one, so when Carter decided he could not ignore the love-at-first-sight thing that had happened with TWBC, it seemed that one was the answer. Now, it seems like it would have made sense to bring home one of the other nice if less epochal cats TWBC was already on speaking terms with.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 6:10 PM
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Shame on you for naming your cat TransWorld Booty Call.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 6:14 PM
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115: Shame on you for NOT.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 6:18 PM
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this is a thing which I actually never do. I am going to comment before reading all the comments. that's how strongly I feel. DO NOT GET A DOG MR. PRESIDENT. and DON'T LISTEN TO THIS "OH, HAVING A DOG ISN'T HARD" bullshit. because it is bullshit. having a dog is kind of hard. like, really pretty hard. cranky incontinent old people are the final boss battle of the whole game, with babies being in the unlocked level, but puppies are a serious boss fight, like maybe king boo or something. cats are goombas.

I honestly don't think it is fair to the dog to get it with the intention of leaving it alone that much of the time--even granting that you pretty much have to get a dog-walker. which, do you want to pay for that? no, you don't. but just having pupster with no human companionship most of the time (since you presumably sleep) is cruel. dogs love you. they are not like cats, who tolerate your servitude (I love cats.) OK, some cats love you, but they are a minority, and they don't love you the way dogs do. dogs can't play it cool. they can't make like they're not excited you're paying attention to them. they love you. looking into those soulful brown eyes in the morning as you chug coffee and then saying "l8r, sucks 2b u dog lol" and taking off for the whole day is frankly kind of a dick move. and the forlorn dog is likely to bark incessantly, or express his misery by chewing apart every upholstered thing you own.

then, from your side, are you ready to be awakened waaaay too-early by whining and the scraping of claws on the wood floors, with the threat of dog shit hanging over you like the anus of damocles if you don't get up, put on acceptable clothes and shoes, and go outside right that actual second without having any coffee NOW? like, o-dark-hundred early? being able to just let the dog into the side yard at that point for a minute and then trying to go back to sleep is the only thing that makes it practical to have a dog in the city.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05- 4-15 11:55 PM
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118

al! How are you doing?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 5-15 4:48 AM
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I've got to say that doggy day care sounds like it would be fun for a dog, but you'd go broke.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 5-15 4:52 AM
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(TWBC is currently catus non gratus for continuing to wake me at 5:30 several days running.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 5-15 5:48 AM
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Ultramarathon cat?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 5-15 5:49 AM
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But yes we have pretty much decided against doggums. Thanks mineshaft! (Bok bok!)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 5-15 5:51 AM
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Dog really has no problem waiting until i've showered, eaten, and dressed to take his morning walk. Maybe the first week or two you need to transition him into it so he knows that just because you are putzing around doesn't mean he isn't getting his walk. Puppies are something else.

Leaving the dog alone for 8 hours (on days my girlfriend is working) doesn't seem that cruel, since i have to sit in a cubicle. At least he has a window and some toys. Daycare once a week or so is enough to tucker him out for a couple days, too.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05- 5-15 8:43 AM
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