Going to the Dogs

My nephew John is going to be 2 in one week. For his birthday my sister said I could get him a dog. I know, many of you are probably thinking ‘why would you get a two year old a dog’? Well, here’s the thing. They have a dog, but she’s a pekingese and isn’t fond of kids. Not much fun to play with. I have two dogs, a beagle and a basset (Lucy and Ethel) and John LOVES to play with these dogs. They are planning on having more children, so I’m not sure when there will be a better time to get him a dog and my sister would like to not have a puppy and a baby to deal with at the same time.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? You are probably thinking ‘Just buy the kid a dog – why are you writing about this???’ Here’s the problem. We can’t settle on a breed. I have researched every site I can find and the more I read the more complicated it gets. My sister wants a small dog (ideally around 15 lbs) that will be well behaved, but sturdy enough to play with John. I want to get him a boy’s dog. No Lhasa Ahpsos, Pomeranians, etc… I would love to get him a beagle, but my brother-in-law vetoed that idea – doesn’t care for Lucy’s baying. I thought I had settled on a Sheltie. At least on site I read said they are good with kids and a good family dog. They are a working breed so should be fairly sturdy. Unfortunately my sister visited a family member this week that told her they are terrible with children, plus she didn’t think a puppy for any child under 5 was a good idea, so I’m back at square one. As I said, I have 7 days to find a suitable pet (actually I’m not really that worried about any deadlines).

So, now I have a decision to make. My latest plan is to visit the local humane society(s) and rescue shelters. Perhaps we would be better with a young dog (2 years) rather than a puppy. My concern is some rescued dogs have been abused and are more neurotic than usual. I want to find them a good dog – mostly because it will probably end up at my house if it’s not good. If anyone out there has suggestions or ideas, please let me know.