After ten years without a dog, I suddenly found myself wanting, no make that needing a dog. It happened out of the blue, really. I was minding my own business, checking out the latest photos on Instagram, when I was blindsided by some adorable pictures of Basset Hounds. Each day I looked forward to seeing these cute photos, and even searched #bassethounds to follow more. I commented to the owner of a Basset Hound, that her dog photos were enough to make me want one of my own.
I thought about how our lives might be better with a dog. After our last dog passed, we felt too busy for a dog. The kids had moved on, and it was nice not being tied down by a dog. Then I realized at our age we really are home a lot, now. Denny offices out of the house. I’m a real home body. A dog’s unconditional love would certainly enhance our lives, right? We would get more exercise walking the dog and enjoy watching TV with the dog by our side.
My friends had mixed reactions to my plan of getting a dog. Those without dogs thought I was crazy, and those with dogs thought the idea was brilliant.
I dreaded telling Denny. Our dog experiences were not always the best. The first was the worst. We were newlyweds. Someone outside of the grocery store where Denny worked had a box full of puppies they were giving away. He knew I loved dogs, so he brought one home for me. We had an unfinished basement, so while we were at work, the dog had the run of it. The entire basement. Every day when Denny got home (he got home first, thank goodness!) there were piles all over the basement. Who knew a small puppy could create so many large piles? And we couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t house train this poor dog. After many piles in the basement, we decided this puppy needed someone home during the day. But God bless him, he was supportive of getting another dog.
There were other dogs after that first one. And we did learn more about training. I was home more with the kids. Some dogs worked out better than others. I have many fond memories of some really great ones. In the past, our dogs were for the kids, and we didn’t really think about whether a specific breed would fit in well with our lifestyle. This time was different. I really wanted the dog for me.
I did some breed research. There is a lot on information online about what breeds are best for older people. I bought a book about the Basset Hound breed. We applied to the Minnesota Basset Hound Rescue, and were approved. I assumed we would end up with an adult dog. Then we waited.
I was sure we would get a dog around the holidays. Because who doesn’t want a new dog to train in the middle of Thanksgiving and Christmas? I came across a pet adoption and sale group on Facebook with a post about Basset Hound puppies for sale about three hours from us. Messaging the breeder, I found she had 2 females left. I contacted the Basset Rescue to see if any dogs were likely to be available, and there just weren’t any guarantees, so we drove out to see the puppies.
If you ever saw or held a Basset Hound puppy, you can probably guess the only decision we had was to take one or both. Denny said one would definitely be enough. Rosie was the smaller of the two puppies, and she had pretty white markings around her neck. She seemed to enjoy cuddling and being held, so she was ours.
Life With Rosie
It has pretty much been chaos these first couple of weeks. Good thing we only took the one! The dog training books talk about taking your puppy out every hour. It’s more like every 20-30 minutes or there’s a puddle. At times I didn’t know if I was coming or going. How do people housebreak puppies that are at work all day?
Now after 3 weeks, we are settling into a bit of a routine. Rosie is so much fun. She’s getting me moving more, that’s for sure. I’m not on my hands and knees mopping up puddles quite as much, but I am going in and out of the house a lot. There is something about the joyful tail wagging when you come home that makes you feel so good, like you are the most important person in the world. I think she’s going to be a wonderful addition to our family.
Would you consider getting a puppy in retirement? How do you feel about vaccinations and what to feed your dog? Continue the discussion and stay informed about all the Neal’s Yard Remedies news and sales on Facebook.