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.
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.
So Mr. BFS has been wanting to find a dog that would adopt him and who would be big enough to play with.
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…
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 $80,000-$100,000 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!). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!