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November 08, 2007


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My soon to be wife is allergic to cats and hates dogs, just like me. I feel lucky to have found a woman like her. Nothing our kids ever say will be able to change our minds. What good is an extra 7 years, if its spent taking care of a dog and cleaning up its crap during your lifetime.

I hate to tell you this, but a big yard isn't enough. Dogs need to be walked--to have a sense of mission, of forward momentum--to be healthy and balanced. If you're just going to dump a dog in your backyard, you need to get two so at least they can keep each other company. Dogs, like humans, are social creatures.

Strictly speaking, it isn't money that does the buying but the love you give.

Outside in Michigan winters? How cruel. Outdoor access is needed though.

Lord --

Yep, I plan to let them live in a snow bank and will probably pour cold water on the mutt when it gets below freezing (just for fun.)

Come on -- how stupid do you think I am (or anyone is for that matter)? I'm amazed how some people can take a few words like "outside dog" and immediately assume some sort of animal abuse that is on the verge of criminal.

I had outside dogs growing up in winters that were more harsh (far colder) than here in Michigan. We brought them in when it got really cold (at least into the garage -- most of our dogs actually refused to come in the house) and (of course) took wonderful care of them. Why would you assume anything else?

Here in Thailand money can buy you love as well and you don't even need to get a pet.

However I don't think it'll add 7 years to your life, maybe subtract 10 years!


Outside dogs indeed suffer from the feeling of not "belonging" to the pack. Wolves always lived in packs and being a part of the pack was an essential part of their sense of identity and well-being. By keeping a dog outside you always show him that you are a pack and he is not a part of it, and the dogs eventually adjust but never understand why they are part of the pack for a short while(kids playing with them) but are banished for most of the time.

I certainly feel like outside dogs lead unhappy existence. The pitbull we adopted recently was an outside dog for while. When I started to forster him, I was blown away by what an attention hog he was - he looked like he was totally starved for any affection and would do anything to get a hug or a pet on the head. When we enrolled him in a training program, he was just as easy to train with "love" rewards as with food rewards.

Dogs are very intelligent (at least all the ones that I met so far), need some play or job to keep them mentally active, and have a great need for socialization and belonging (having friends and a place in the pack). Therefore, I personally do view keeping the dog outside as a form of animal cruelty.

Elena --

Are you kidding me? Our outside dogs LOVED being outside (as I noted above -- some of them REFUSED to come in the house, even when it was cold out.) They were NEVER on a chain and were allowed to roam acres in our back yard, hunt at will, and do pretty much whatever they wanted. And when confronted with other dogs, they never seemed interested.

When you say "dogs" you mean several of them at once? If there were more than one dog living together outside then I can see it, but if it was just one dog living alone outside, then I don't really believe it would not be interested in interraction with other dogs, or not interested in coming to the house where his human pals were living.

Unless it was tought not to come to the house.

Believe it. We had dogs over the years, but only one dog at a time.

One cold, winter night (temps around 20 below) we literally tried to drag the dog into the house (from the garage) and had no luck (he was 100 pounds, so he wasn't going anywhere he didn't want to.) We thought we were going to hurt him by dragging/pushing him, so we left him outside.

And instead of sleeping in the garage in his dog house, he went outside and curled up in a large snow drift. In the morning, we couldn't see him (he was an all white German Shepherd) until he stirred and popped up from the drift (he had had an inch or two of snow over him.)

Man, I loved that dog. He was so cool.

Elena --

I'm sure you know better. You weren't there, have no idea of the situation, and don't know any of the circumstances. And yet you seem to know it all.

Yeah, right.


I feel like I certainly know more about dogs than you do, I have been forstering and rescuing dogs for about 10 years now.

So, you think that the dog enjoyed being alone outside on the freezing night more than he enjoyed being in a dry garage? Or what do you think the explanation would be for his behavior?

Although you are right, I was NOT there, and I do not know the situation, and I certainly don't know the complete picture from your short story.

Yes, I think he preferred it.

He was a huge, furry, strong, mammoth of a dog that could have stood a lot worse if he wanted to. And he had a mind of his own. If he wanted to stay inside the garage, it was certainly open to him.

Personally, I think he preferred to be outside and "free" (not locked up), though either of us speculating on a dog's thoughts is simply that -- speculation.

And why do you think he had a mind of his own and wanted to be left alone? Probably because he wasn't used to being included. You can see similar behaviors in children who have been raised in orphanages until their teen years - they become more comfortable on their own then in the company of people, because that's how they were raised.

You seem awfully defensive. Elena is making a valid point. A few decades ago, animal behaviors weren't as well understood and 'outside' dogs were acceptable.

Sally --

What I'm dealing with is the fact that no matter what I write, Elena has a different/better/more informed opinion that she's right and I'm wrong. I'm perplexed why she even reads my drivel since her own blog would obviously be more knowledgeable, informative, and accurate.

Elena --

1. I'll still run your piece on giving, as promised. Just send it to me.

2. I'm going to take you up on your offer to stop commenting. You know better than I do, so I'm sure you'll be fine fuming in private. Or, better yet, starting your own blog titled


Thank you, I will still send you my opinion on giving, and I will stop commenting, as requested.

On a side note, you look awfully defensive today (my suggestion for relaxation would be some pondering over the Bible verses for learning Christian ways to handle pressures like this one).

On a second side note, I only comment on the info I know something about, most of the time you write things that I don't comment on because I don't know enough about them (I have said that before, didn't I?), or because they sound pretty reasonable, but pets and giving/charity are very comfortable topics for me, so I post on them, and unfortunately we happened to disagree, and for some reason, you can't bear the thought of that. Maybe you should make you blog like "by invintation only," and preselect your posters before they post (of course, all could read, the more readers the better, right?), otherwise someone like me may come along again and poo-poo your whole efforts here with some negative comments.

Good luck with the move and the dog. After all, what's the point of saving up money if you don't occasionally spend it on something worthwhile? Some people like to play golf, some people like to collect stamps. Me, I have cats.

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