January 17, 2012

Expanding the Behne Clan...

...no, no, no...Bo and I are not pregnant!  

As Bo would say, "Cool your jets!"  

There will be no Behne baby this year, BUT we are going to be expanding our family in the next couple of months...with a puppy!  As I write this post I am trying not to get too excited.  Although Bo has promised me that we will be getting a puppy this spring, probably in March; as of now, the exact date hasn't been set. Regardless, I feel like the reality of being a puppy-mommy is close enough that I can start to dream a little!

Over the past several years, Bo and I have done quite a bit of research on dog breeds.  We know that we want a medium size dog (i.e. 40-80 pounds) that is relatively fastidious, smart (i.e. trainable), and good with children.  In addition, we want a dog that is moderately active (i.e. enjoys going on walks/runs/bike rides) and doesn't shed a ton (because the dog will primarily be an indoor pet).  However, in recent discussions Bo and I have hit a sort of philosophical road-block.

Pure-breed vs. pound-puppy?!

To be...or not to be?

Ok, seriously, the discussion of pure-breed vs. pound-puppy has been a serious one in the Behne household. Bo and I both tend to be pretty logical people when it comes to decisions such as this one (Actually, if I am being honest, he is a little more logical than me, and I am a little more emotional than him; but in the end, we balance one another out.).  For example, here are a few of the pros and cons that we have come up with regarding pure-breed vs. pound-puppy:

Pros (for a pure-breed):

  • In terms of temperament, intelligence, and medical history (i.e. genetics), you know what you get (much more so than a pound-puppy).
  • You know exactly what kind of dog you are getting (in many pound situations you aren't exactly sure of the breed-mixture).
  • You can receive the puppy as a puppy (the majority of pound puppies are six months or older in age).

Pros (for a pound-puppy):

  • You are saving a life (in many situations, pound puppies are euthanized).
  • The cost of purchasing a pound-puppy is roughly 1/8-1/10 of the cost of a pure-breed German Shepherd or Shiba Inu (two breeds that Bo and I are particularly interested in).
  • Adoption fees cover:
    • the cost of spaying and neutering (I know this is controversial...but for Bo and I's purposes we plan to buy a female puppy, and wouldn't plan to breed her anyway);
    • initial inoculations;
    • microchip implantation;
    • occult heartworm testing;
    • flea and tick prevention; and
    • monthly parasite prevention.

In the end, I'm not sure that the question of pure-breed vs. pound-puppy will really make that much of a difference for Bo and I.  While we will take our puppy to PetSmart's basic obedience course, we won't be training her for any schutzhund dog competitions.  We want to bring a puppy into our family because we want to share our love.  Although we aren't ready to expand our family with a baby, we are ready to be puppy-parents.  One step at a time...

Up next - a twist on traditional cauliflower and cheese!

Question of the Day:

Do you have a dog? If so, is your dog a pure-breed or a pound-puppy?  What are your thoughts on our dilemma? 

Ally and Bo

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