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Looking for opinions before we adopt another sheltie....

Discussion in 'Sheltie Chat' started by Fasb's Owner, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Fasb's Owner

    Fasb's Owner Forums Enthusiast

    Jan 21, 2013
    Morgantown, WV
    My wife has decided we need another sheltie asap and has contacted a breeder who happened to have a puppy she liked. Right now, we're due to pick up the pup later this week. I didn't know any of this until last night, and.... I have a concern.

    On the one hand, I desperately want another sheltie. On the other, I have some misgivings due to a medical situation. Long story why, but I had a shunt put in my head when I was 2 years old. I'm now 49. Shunt is connected to a length of tubing which empties into my side. I've had the shunt replaced a few times over the years (which is basically brain surgery), but had very few problems otherwise. Until six months ago. Six months ago, I started experiencing discomfort in my side, which was eventually diagnosed as the shunt tube rubbing my side and irritating scar tissue. Due to various complications, no one has had a solution for me yet.

    I'm concerned that we're going to adopt a puppy and my health is going to go south and I won't be up to all the walkings and what-not. I'm not disabled. I still work around the house and follow my normal routine, etc. I don't generally have to put things off because I don't feel up to it. Actually, I felt only very mild discomfort for the past month or two until I went for a short run a few days ago and the pain flared back up. But this situation looks like it might put an end to my active hobbies: running, rock climbing, hiking, etc. I'm kinda concerned I'm not going to be able to walk a dog three or four times a day without irritating my issue.

    My wife thinks all of these issues are doable. There are other people in the house to walk a dog if I'm not up to it. We have a fenced-in yard. I'm going to be able to walk and play with the puppy now, and no one's sure what will happen in the future, etc. Basically, she thinks we can make it work and that I'm going to need a dog to replace Fasb if I have to give up my hobbies. She doesn't think the dog will end up wanting for anything because of my health.

    I want to agree, but I don't want to be selfish about it. I don't want to stick her with another dog she might not want if something does happen to me. Nor do I want to take on a dog unless it seems reasonable we can raise him for a decade. I do already have an idea of what would happen if we couldn't take care of him. He'd still have a good home, no shelter or stray for him. Shrug. I'm an accountant. I tend to plan ahead and not leave stuff to chance.

    What does the board think? Would it be selfish to take a puppy and try to make it work? Would it be ok to maybe try to teach him to do his business closer to home or in the yard, for the times I'm not up to a half hour walk? I think I'm going to be up to it, but I want to make sure I can give him a good life. I don't feel like it would be fair to make him compromise because of my health. Basically, I want to spoil the dog.

    FWIW, I'm more bothered by the idea of not owning another dog than I am by the idea of giving up my daily workout. It's kinda crushing to think I may never own another dog.
  2. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Premium Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Southern California
    Well, the last line of your post makes me think you are counting a new Sheltie as more on the positive side than not. Playing devil's advocate, as long as the dog can have its needs met, and your wife is on board, you might be over-worrying it. (Something I definitely tend to do.) I am also a planner, so I get that part.

    I can only offer my own story - when, 3 years ago (can't believe it) Asta suddenly passed away due to a stroke, two weeks later we were offered Faith, Brooke's granddaughter. Oh how we were torn - I cried a lot. It seemed disrespectful somehow to Asta to get another dog so soon. What we finally told ourselves was: "It's so easy to say NO. But what if we are passing up a terrific dog? Even if the timing is awful?" Things like this never seem to come up at just the perfect time, so we plunged ahead and are we glad we did. It worked out wonderfully for both Ally who was in deep mourning, and for Brooke.

    I hope you don't end up having to curtail your activities as much as you fear, and while this dog will never be FASB, he or she may just be what you need to lift your heart. Good luck and let us know what happens. :hugs
  3. Phoebe'smom

    Phoebe'smom Premium Member

    Oct 22, 2015
    Southern California
    Since it is your wife who thinks you should have another sheltie asap, why not let her take the lead?
  4. Shelby's mom

    Shelby's mom Forums Enthusiast

    Jan 4, 2012
    I understand your concerns. But I can tell you from experience our little Sheltie are great at adapting and they are happy regardless of our physical health.

    I have multiple sclerosis. While it rarely impacts what I can and can't do, there are definitely days where I just don't feel up to doing everything.

    I can tell you that Shelby (or our 1st Sheltie, Hollie) never was walked more than 1-2 times a day. Sometimes just a quick walk around the block. And sometimes a few mile walk. We have a fenced in yard. It is no issue for her to go outside to do her business. For exercise we play ball outside in the yard, she loves to chase the birds, rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks. My husband has also built her a jump and we have a tunnel that we play with inside in our basement. When she was a crazy pup we would also do a lot of mental exercising as well.

    She is now 7 years old and is a very well adjusted girl. We have recently moved and no longer have a neighborhood to walk around. We only have our 1 mile street and few neighbors. Shelby is quite content regardless if we go for a walk or if we just spend the evening on the sofa watching tv.

    I think you should follow your heart. I have learned that we never know what the future holds for any of us. We can always say "what if". But I don't think it should ever stop us from doing what our heart wants.
    Piper's mom likes this.
  5. mimiretz

    mimiretz Premium Member

    Oct 14, 2014
    You have the advantage of knowing your situation and being aware of what the future might look like, and therefore being able to plan for it. Many, if not most of us, don't. All kinds of illnesses just happen. If people didn't get dogs because of the 'what ifs', then no one would ever enjoy the companionship of a dog! It sounds like you've considered the options, and your wife is on board with what might happen if you're unable to take long walks. It's been my experience that what Shelties need most of all is love - and that seems to be in abundance in your house. So my vote is get the puppy. Walk him/her for as long and as far as you're able to. If and when you can't go as far or as long as you like, deal with it then. The puppy will adjust. You might also want to create other interactions for the two of you (as I'm sure you will) that can be done without a lot of movement on your part so that if and when you can't take long walks you have other built-in bonding activities.

    Again, you are fortunate that you have some warning of what the future might hold and some time to prepare for it. There are others who have medical issues that pop up (strokes, heart attacks, cancer, etc) without warning that have to make drastic changes in their dog's lives and routines. And the dogs seem to do quite well.
    Shelby's mom, Hanne and Piper's mom like this.
  6. Hanne

    Hanne Forums Enthusiast

    Nov 13, 2014
    I so agree with - miniretz :wink2:

    I understand your concern, but a little new friend will surely give you so much joy in life again :hugs

    Only all dogs could get only half of what you can give !!!

    You have others who can take over the days when you are having a hard time.

    Not least - you have a wife who is for a new dog - so I would absolutely - say go for it :yes:
  7. MissyGallant

    MissyGallant Premium Member

    Dec 20, 2011
    Sheridan, Indiana
    Your wife wants a new puppy. She's gone through all that she has to find one that she's in love with. It sounds like she wants a puppy.

    A puppy might give you a new lease on life. Something to cling to if things do get bad for a bit.

    We can't live in fear of what if. What if I get run over by a semi on the way home tonight? DH will be stuck with 5 shelties- one of which barely even acknowledges him.

    You have wanted a sheltie for a long time now, I think it's time to let yourself love a new one.
  8. PatC

    PatC Forums Enthusiast

    Jul 27, 2012
    My two cents--get the dog. The joy it will bring to you will immediately outweigh your concerns, I bet...and, as you said, should something dire happen (which is very unlikely) the dog will be safe.

    I lost the most glorious Sheltie in the world last November...still mourn him every single day. As did his sister and aunt...they had been a very happy trio. I got two more about six months later and although I felt mildly disloyal, and a teeny bit sad no one will ever have his magic, they all have their own magic. And I am so happy and fortunate to have it in my house.

    Someone told me the best tribute you can pay to a dog who has passed on is to take on another one. I think there's something to that.
  9. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    Feb 25, 2008
    Western Connecticut
    It sounds to me like you both need this puppy. Trust me, Shelties are the best medicine, no matter what comes along. I've been there too and I know. They love to romp, but they also love to be couch potatoes with you. Get the puppy...you won't be sorry.
  10. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

    Oct 14, 2008
    I'd just mention one other thing beyond what others have said. You may want to chat with the breeder to see what kind of energy level this puppy has. Shelties are very adaptable, to a degree :) I have two dogs that are very content to lie around if I'm under the weather. I have a third who tries his very best to relax, but after about 24-48 hours he gets a little restless! Of course, there are options as your wife mentioned (she can walk the pup, or you an hire someone, etc.)

    Just keep in mind that sheltie energy levels can vary some, so you may want to check with the breeder to make sure this puppy isn't one that doesn't have an off-switch (or who's off-switch is just a tad harder to find!) :)

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