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A Big Welcome to Oreo – Our Newest Canine Family Member

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As I mentioned in passing before, Mr. BFS has been interested in adopting a dog that would be mainly his own.  We had been putting it off since we were traveling so much, but now there is a few month break and we took the plunge.

Our Current Dogs

Miss Doxie is 14 now and acts more like a cat than a Dachshund mutt – she wants love when she wants it and then she ignores us completely.  We adopted her from the Houston SPCA in 2005 and she is still the queen of the house.

Miss Doxie

Mr. Pug, 9-10 right now, is a momma’s boy and is sitting in my lap as I type this – excellent arm rest.  We adopted him in 2009 from Pugearts: Houston Pug Rescue and he decided to be mainly my dog within that first week. 

Mr. Pug

So Mr. BFS has been wanting to find a dog that would adopt him and who would be big enough to play with.

Meet Oreo

On Sunday afternoon, we visited the Houston SPCA once again and came home with Oreo.  She is a 3 year old white and black mutt that seems to be a mix between a Pointer and a Hound or Labrador.  She is 38 pounds and comes to right above my hubby’s knees.  I will not lie, she is gorgeous and sweet to boot.  And she is totally my husband’s dog.  She would lay right on him 24/7 if we were okay with it.


Apparently, she had been given up in early March because they couldn’t afford having a pet.  Then she was adopted in mid-March and returned because of “separation anxiety”.  She tried chewing out of her plastic cage after being in there for 10 hours straight, taken out for the evening, and stuck in there again for 8-10 hours at night a few days in a row.  Yep, a young dog did not do well with only being out of her kennel 4-6 hours a day…that was no surprise…or so I thought…

Oreo Spralled in the Grass

When we went to the adoption counter to finish the Houston SPCA paperwork, we were super happy that the normal $75-$150 adoption fees are only $16 for the last 2 weeks of March…Sweet Sixteen pricing on all animals for those two weeks – cool beans!

Getting to Know Oreo

Since we do work from home now and are not gone for long periods of time very often, we decided we would take the “separation anxiety” risk.  Sadly, she does have major issues when left alone.  We already have to replace the interior door frame of our guest bathroom since she tried to gnaw through it while we were out for 4 hours Tuesday evening.  So we will be buying a metal crate. 

She and our dogs had a rough start, but everything settled down after the first couple of hours.  On Monday, Miss Doxie decided to ignore her as much as possible and Mr. Pug was fine with her unless she came close to me.  Then he growled, I thumped him on the nose, he shut up, and everything stayed good.  Oreo growled a little when Mr. Pug went near Mr. BFS, got told “No”, she shut up, and everything stayed good.  We tried a firm “No” on Mr. Pug but he ignored it completely every time – hence the nose thump.  He is soooo stubborn.

As I write this on Tuesday, we haven’t had to intervene much at all.  They growled a tiny bit at each other once today, we yelled “No”, and they both looked all sheepish.  Other than that, she is sleeping on the couch in hubby’s office right now, Mr. Pug is sleeping in my lap, and Miss Doxie has claimed both of their pillows as her own – body on one and head on the other.  I guess she figured they wouldn’t miss them…

Costs of Our New Pooch

So far, she has cost about $250:

  • Adoption Fee plus Small Donation – $20
  • Dog Food (35 pounds) – $40
  • Dog Bed (yes, Mr. BFS decided the $3 pillow wasn’t big enough) – $35
  • Harness – $10
  • Toys (one for each dog) – $10
  • Non-skid food bowl – $5
  • Vet Visit for Checkup – $0 thanks to the one free visit you get from the HSPCA with an adoption
  • Interior Door Frame (estimate) – $70
  • Metal Crate off of Craigslist (estimate) – $60

Since she was adopted from a rescue, she is already spayed.  She also already had her flea and heartworm preventative for the next month, so I am looking into my options there.  It looks like it will be about $175 a year for a monthly chewable tablet that covers fleas, heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms.  She shares the huge water bowl in the kitchen and we already had leashes.  An annual checkup and whatever shots she needs biannually will come to an additional $150 or less. 

Overall, she will probably cost $500-$750 a year while she is healthy and who knows whenever she gets sick.  That’s about what Miss Doxie costs (closer to $500) and way less than Mr. Pug who is allergic to everything ($1000 is a good year).

My View on Pet Ownership

I know that our dogs are a big expense. I never tell anyone that they should jump into pet ownership without closely looking at what it takes.  It costs money, time, and huge emotional turmoil when you find your door frame gnawed into itty, bitty pieces.  But it is worth it to us 99% of the time…the trick is not killing them during that 1%…

Any new pets in your home?

FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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26 thoughts on “A Big Welcome to Oreo – Our Newest Canine Family Member

  1. Our dog is a little over 2 years old now, she’s a golden retriever and the sweetest & gentlest dog ever. I often think about how much she’s costing us (food/meds) per month but then I look at the joy she brings our family. The kids play with her all the time and we take her for long walks almost daily. She’s actually helping us by getting us to exercise everyday!

  2. I have a boston terrier and love her to death. I don’t care how much she costs, I think pets are wonderful additions to the family.

    Oreo is a beautiful dog!

  3. Crystal,
    The dogs are so adorable. Mr. Pug is my favorite…I think. Mr. Oreo is cute as well….that was a perfect name for him. I owned a dog once but had to give it away due to me not having time. Dogs need much love and attention. I’m not a big fan of cats. You’ve got me wanting a dog again! Thanks for the great pictures too. 🙂

  4. I never liked dogs because I was attacked when I was a child. Until my brother bought the cutest dog EVER! A cute shih tzu, her name is Chloe, she is sooooooo cute! I even babysat her for a night. I still don’t think I would buy a dog, but I don’t dislike them anymore.

    Your dogs are cute!

  5. Wow! Three dogs you brave souls. Congrats on the new addition. We only have one but just having one makes things difficult sometimes especially when it comes to traveling.

    My dog actually thinks she’s human and could care less for other dogs just wants to be with people.

  6. We adopted two rabbits as we live in an apartment (no yard) but wanted a fuzzy companion (we are allergic to cats). They are litter-box trained, so they hop around the house and come when called! They are super soft and have lots of personality.

    Congrats for adopting Oreo – looks like one happy pup:)

  7. Your new family member is adorable. 🙂

    We are currently pet free for several reasons. After our last dog died of old age (he was only 8, but for a Saint Bernard, that’s normal), we chose not to get another dog. We were moving, we like to travel, and my son is allergic to cats (which I would love, but hey, I guess I love my kid more. 😛 )

    They can be expensive, but they bring so much love, in the end I think they are worth it. I love the fact you do adoption too – all my cats were rescue critters, I liked to give older cats homes because no one else wanted them. 🙂

  8. It’s really good to hear that you adopt your dogs rather than paying big money to a breeder. Since there are so many pets that need someone’s help, I don’t know how people ignore it and go the expensive route.

    Personally I have 2 cats since it’s not very practical to have a dog in a rental apartment. When I get my own place I’d love to get a dog too. I’d have to make sure I have enough time to commit though.

  9. Welcome Oreo!

    No new pets since Bullet in Feb. Although our apartment is a little packed right now: Roommate, roommate’s dog, roommate’s cousin, roommate’s cousin’s dog, my younger brother, Bullet and I. Three dudes, three dude dogs, and me!

  10. aww! My in-laws also had a black and white spotted dog named Oreo.
    Our dog had separation anxiety issues until we began crating her when we were out. That cleared everything up. Prior to that she had earned the nickname ‘Cocaine Cowgirl’ since she would eat the drywall in the basement when we were out leaving her with a powdery white nose. 🙂

  11. Your dogs are all so cute. I love dogs, well the nice ones. We have a tiny dog, who seems to be mentally stuck in the puppy stage, but we love her. Training her has proven almost impossible, after 1 1/2 years, she still isn’t house-trained. Even though she nastifies our apartment, she brings us so much joy. Congrats on dog #3. 🙂

  12. very cute pup, crystal..

    we have been talking about getting one for the kids this summer. both my wife and i really want a dog. but we are waiting for life to settle down just a bit before taking the leap.

    mainly, we need the baby to start sleeping.

  13. Oreo is adorable!
    We brought Foster dog Howie in to the house not quite 2 months ago. Because he’s a foster, we don’t pay his vet bills, and we could get food and treats from the foster organization, but he’s only 25 lbs. Between him and our current two, they don’t eat as much as our prior two used to.
    Though today, we did spend $5 on socks for him, to keep him from licking an old wound on one of his feet.

  14. They are cuties! And yes, pet ownership can be a big expense, but as long as you are prepared for it, it’s well worth it. We’ve had our one and only pet Kelsey the cat for a year, and it’s worth every penny to come home to a soft, fuzzy cat looking for belly rubs. Always takes me out of a bad mood!

  15. Oreo is an adorable addition to your family, and good for you for rescuing her from a pound. We have two dogs (our most recent is from the local beagle rescue), and my husband wants to rescue a greyhound next. Our HOA limits us to 2 dogs per household (and enforces it), so we’ve gotten around it a few times by fostering dogs for short periods but are looking to move somewhere less restrictive. Yes, they are expensive and x-rays one year ran almost $1000 on their own, but the value they bring to the family is priceless. My 7-yo already wants to be a vet because he loves dogs so much. 🙂

  16. I’m happy for Oreo that she found a forever home with you. Oliver is my second dog, and he’s a rescue dog with separation anxiety too. Even after 3 years, he still goes berserk when I so much as walk across the street to talk to my neighbor. He spent all of his pre-adoption life in a kennel, so I can understand his feelings. He destroyed 3 different sets of metal blinds over the course of a month. I work 6 months out of the year, and I crate him when I’m gone, usually 4-6 hours only.

  17. “The key is to not killing them that other 1% of the time”. This is so true! My Great Dane was a terrible chewer and she had separation anxiety as a puppy. So we’ve had to replace woodwoork, flooring, couch cushions, hardcover library books, reams of copy paper, stuffed animals, stuffed animals, and more stuffed animals. I have to say, the first 2 years of her life were rough on me and my husband, but now she’s an excellent dog…most of the time. And I never killed her 😉

  18. I really like how Mr. Pug is navigating your laptop for you! that’s also awesome that you guys are rescue all the way. We are too, both are dogs are rescues and are the most awesome companions. One cost I’ve been putting off is getting their teeth cleaned, but we will be going soon because I don’t want them to be in pain and they can’t tell me if they are 🙂

  19. We’ve got 3 dogs too, all rescues. Our last one has some separation anxiety issues, but only if he is left by himself. He tore up a doorframe and wood paneling when we left him in our dining room after a surgery. If he has at least one other dog with him though (whether inside, outside, or small room), he’s fine. He would never be able to be an “only child”. Hopefully the presence of your other two will help keep Oreo calm, once they become friends. Enjoy your new fur-baby!

  20. Congrats on the new addition. I am a dog person, but confess to love all animals…I even rescued a baby field mouse once because it was freezing to death on my porch. I bought it a hamster cage and the silly thing lived for 3 years. The average is 8 months. My husband said it lived so long because of the condo life style I provided :). I have two dachshunds, one is from a breeder & the other we rescued last year. We will rescue forever now. Issues come up and you are correct, there is that 1% of the time that is brutal, but the joy and love they bring the other 99% makes it all worth it!

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