Do you really think a pet (dog in my case) is good company, if you live on your own?
The only pet I had was a Westie from age 8 until my early twenties and he was a family dog and we shared the responsibilities.
I remember not especially liking it when my parents went away and I was left in the house with him (although I love dogs) and have therefore never really related to the idea that they can help if you're feeling lonely. A friend was on the 'phone earlier nagging me to get a dog...but I'm not sure.
So back to the first question...does a dog really keep you company and keep away he lonely blues if you find yourself on your own in life or will I feel like a sad single parent family.
I live alone, and don't date much. I had dogs as a kid, but never felt particularly close to them. I've had cats for most of my adult life, but, one day, I was at the vets with one of my cats when someone brought in a stray dog that had been thrown out a window. I looked at the little puppy and fell in love, and took him when he was healed. He's a pit bull/german shepherd, and is the sweetest thing on earth. To be honest: I sometimes resent the amount of attention he needs; constant walking, a lot of food, etc -- cats are easier by half -- but I can't imagine him gone. I wouldn't say I'm less lonely -- he doesn't go to movies with me, etc -- but it's nice when he jumps on the couch and snuggles while I read. It also gives me a good feeling to know that I saved an animal that had a very hard life, and would probably have died if I hadn't taken him home. Don't force it, though: you'll find a dog that you can't say no to, or, rather, he'll find you.
I love my little dog. I couldn't imagine life without her. When I am at work or away, I always am thinking about her and can't wait to get back home. They are perfect little companions.
Well, an animal can give you a feeling of love. You can love it and it will usually appear to like you.
But it's a responsibility, more than a lot of people realize going into it. You're not free to be spontaneous. You have to make sure it's fed and has water and is walked. You can't just leave it locked up in an apartment all day and then stop after work at a bar for hours. If you travel you have to make arrangements for the animal to be cared for. And it's a 10 to 15 year commitment. They are an added expense - food, grooming, vet. And their hair with the exception of a few breeds is on the furniture, your clothes, everywhere. They also smell. Some smell a lot worse than others so be aware. People who have dogs usually don't smell it but believe me others do.
I had pets all my life and had to put the last one down a year ago. I was very nostalgic for a while when I'd see other people walking their dogs but I love the freedom I have now and I love the hairless fresher smelling house.
I have 2 cats. When I was single it was the best solution, they don't need walking, leave enough food and water and they look after themselves during the day and two means they keep each other company. I don't live alone any more but I still have 2 - different ones, but still like them to have company.
Not goofing on you when I say I find comfort in plush/stuffed dogs. They're like my Jerry Mahoneys.
[quote]I love the freedom I have now and I love the hairless fresher smelling house.
Twinks for R3
If you're a dog person, then yes they are great company. If you're not, then they can seem more responsibility than best friend.
It sounds like two or three adult cats would be good for you, OP. You would be surprised at how interesting and fun they are.
There is a big difference between wanting company and needing company.
Any more comments on this subject?
They love you unconditionally and purely. Enough said
Honestly, it doesn't sound as if you really want one. It's a huge commitment of potentially fifteen years.
I loved my dog, but now that she's dead I probably won't get another one.
And friends shouldn't nag anyone about getting animal companions. They're great for many, but they're not for everyone.
lots of work, yes, you need to walk or arrange for a dog walker if you are gone longer than 8 hours. they get sick and need see the vet which can be very expensive. planning vacations gets difficult.
the love and companionship they provide is the best thing you'll ever experience. no arguing, blame, recriminations or compromise, they are there for you 100%, and all they ask is t be close to you, and maybe paly fetch every once in a while.
i suggest getting a dog from a rescue group where the dog has been fostered for a bit so its temperament is known. an active dog who needs to run and play a lot is not a good fit for a couch potato, nor is a dog with separation anxiety or aggression a fit for a person who doesn't want to help work through those issues with the pup by training them.
i adopted a dog with fear issues, and working with her to overcome her fears was one of the most rewarding things i've ever done, and therapeutically helped me work through many of my issues as well. i couldn't show any fear, if i wanted her to not be afraid, so i would have to confidently talk to strangers like they were a long lost friend. that confidence we both gained changed both of our lives.
I have a dog and I have a cat. I don't know if having pets will help someone who feels lonely when they are alone, because being alone does not make me lonely. I do know that having a dog has made social interactions with neighbors and others more frequent as people are more likely to talk to you when you are walking a dog. A dog can be a conversation icebreaker, if you need that.
I like having pets because I have to take care for something other than myself, I like coming home to a dog that is happy to see me, I like being able to love something unconditionally, I like having a furry, purring cat snuggle up to me when I'm sick. Basically I find my pets to be comforting companions. I tend to be very self oriented and having animals pulls me away from that.
OP, do not get a dog if you are unsure.
You claim to "love dogs," but your post suggests otherwise. You are ambivalent about dogs, you do not love them.
And your friend "nagging" you to get one is an idiot.
There are already too many fucked up dogs that were dumped in shelters after bonding with an owner who ultimately rejected them. We don't need another.
R9, what possessed you to bump a year old thread? Are you the OP?
There quite simply is nothing like the love of a dog. I haven't been lonely a day in my life in the 12 years I've been a dog owner. The care he requires, the feeding, bathing, vet bills, walks, etc. have never once seemed like an imposition on my life, but rather, a privilege.
For me, getting a dog changed my life. I was very lonely and introverted -- many days I would not leave my house at all. I got a dog and an amazing thing happened -- I would walk the dog and suddenly I'm outside running into other dogwalkers and friendships were started. Getting a dog can really change your life. I recommend it highly.
Sorry, R15..I thought I'd signed my bump.
Some really nice (heart warming) responses.
[quote]There are already too many fucked up dogs that were dumped in shelters after bonding with an owner who ultimately rejected them. We don't need another.
That's why I'm taking the decision VERY seriously. I'd NEVER do that.
A dog is not a substitute for human contact.
I live in an apartment. If I got a cat, could I train it to go on the balcony to use the litter box? If a cat is an indoor cat, can it hang out on the balcony without jumping off to escape? I will get a cat if these two things are possible.
If you have the time to devote to caring for a pet, it will be a rewarding experience and the pet will give you unconditional love.
Yes, R20, the cat will use the litter box no matter where you put it. The question is, can it escape the balcony?
I live alone and I enjoy the hell out of my two dogs. They really do alleviate the loneliness. When I get depressed, they give me something to live for. I can feel, well, I might not have done anything else useful today, but at least I took care of two creatures who need me. And when I'm in a good place emotionally, my dogs only add to the joy.
My advice to you or anyone else who's not sure if they want a dog is to foster a dog first. Many shelters will allow you to do this--to care for a dog full-time in your home for a limited period. You can then decide if taking a dog on a permanent basis is something you want to do.
And if you want to adopt a dog permanently, I strongly advice adopting from a no-kill shelter that will allow you to care for the dog on a trial basis first, and to return the dog if things don't work out. Not every dog is suitable for every home, and you'll want a back-up plan that's fair for the dog in case it turns out to be a bad match.
Your post concerns me, OP. It you are not 100% motivated to take in a dog, please do not do it. Cats are much easier to care for and do fine on their own for a couple of days at a time.
Would you want a human roommate that you had to feed and bathe? And one that shit in the floor?
[quote]Cats are much easier to care for and do fine on their own for a couple of days at a time.
I'm just not a cat person...but I am a dog person.
As I've said, I'd never get a dog if I wasn't sure I could take care of it.
But I am interested in this subject of whether dogs are really 'company' and that's why I started this discussion a year ago and found myself thinking about it again...so I found the old thread and bumped it.
& the responses so far are very interesting.
But you have my word, this is not going to lead to a dog having a life of being left at home and unloved. Even the thought of it breaks my heart.
When and if I get a dog it will be loved and cherished for the whole of its life.
& when I had the family dog I referred to in my original post people often commented on the fact I took him everywhere with me.
He loved being out and about.
& he was as loved a dog as a dog could possibly be loved.
OP, when my sister's dog died at 13, she swore she would never again put herself through the pain of loving a pet, having it be her constant companion as her job posted her from state to state, only to be forced to make that terrible decision to put her baby down.
She truly grieved for two years. Then, while dropping off pet supplies at a shelter, she met a scruffy little guy who made her heart melt.
They've been together ten years now. Inseparable, they are. He is the best company or companion she could ever have. He worships her; she adores him.
I love my dog, but he's rambunctious. When he wants to walk he will bark at me and stick his paw in my face and jump up on the front door. You've got to be ready to walk them, but it's good exercise.
Get a pair of sock puppets. You can converse with one, and the other one can be your "handy" boyfriend.
No one loves dogs more than I do, but if there is any doubt, don't get one.
[quote]I remember not especially liking it when my parents went away and I was left in the house with him
You're not very clear about what you didn't like. Was it the responsibility of caring for the dog? Was it something about that particular dog? While they are company and can bring you a lot of joy, it's not the same as being around another person.
[quote]Does a dog really keep you company and keep away he lonely blues if you find yourself on your own in life or will I feel like a sad single parent family.
It depends what you are looking for exactly. Certainly a dog can keep you company, keep you entertained, keep you busy, and even help you socialize with neighbors or fellow dog owners. But despite my dog, I still sometimes get lonely for human interaction. So I would never say it's a substitute if you're really looking for a friend or partner.
No, if you are getting a pet because you need company, you're a loser. You're money and time would be far better spent seeking counseling, on how not to be so weird that you drive away actual human.
[quote]No, if you are getting a pet because you need company, you're a loser.
I originally started this thread the week my partner of ten years suddenly died of a heart attack.
[quote]You're money and time would be far better spent seeking counselling on how not to be so weird that you drive away actual human.
One year on, I am getting counselling for my intense grief...but it seems to be taking time to get over my loss.
In the meantime I'm still considering getting a pet.
Maybe you should seek counselling for your intense nastiness...and an English tutor of your illiteracy.