After many years of sharing my home with a range of cats, some nice and some not so nice, it may be time to give up on our feline friends and embrace the walking opportunities afforded by a dog.
Cats of course have their plus points – the ability to let themselves out for a wander is a boon for many working people, allied to their less ‘needy’ nature makes them perfect for those who aren’t at home most of the time, but a dog somehow seems better, especially as I’m one of those unfortunate people who are massively allergic to cat dander!
The question is, which dog should I go for? Should I go for the type of dog which takes a lot of walking or one which is more laid back… questions, questions!
Carriage Dogs and Fur Coats
Growing up in Lancashire, I had a succession of Dalmatians. These pure-bred dogs are known for three things: Being totally bonkers and full of energy, being somewhat fragile and needing epic amounts of walking to tire them out. As I’m currently not over-burdened with free time or opportunities for lengthy, daily walks another spotty friend would probably be a mistake. I’ve also had to endure two Dalmatians being put down because of cancer, not a great track record and one I’m not keen to repeat. Dalmatians are fun, loyal and totally bonkers, but I’d probably not miss the hair shedding either – I was still picking hairs out of my furniture several years after the last one!
Cat Allergies and Dog Fur
As mentioned, I’ve had some pretty severe cat allergies for many years and this has seemed to get more severe as I’ve got older. In all cases this seems to be related to cat dander (dried saliva) from when the cat has been licking itself. I have no idea if I’m going to react to dog saliva or even if the saliva a dog produces has the same mix of toxins, but I’m guessing that as I’ve never reacted to dogs before I should be OK. It might be an idea to avoid any dog with masses of fur though, just so I don’t have to brush it so often!
Maybe the answer is a cross-breed, especially one involving a non-shedding breed. Anything crossed with a wooly fur dog such as a standard poodle fits the bill. Designer dogs such as Labradoodle, Goldendoodle or Cockapoo fit the bill as they reportedly have excellent temperament, are not known for excessive barking and love to walk… they are bone-achingly cute as puppies as well, which I know my partner will love!
On that point, my partner loves the idea of a Siberian Husky, but as she has never owned a dog and has been described in the past as ‘mad cat lady’ by our neighbours, I seriously don’t know if she knows what she would be letting herself in for as Huskies are known for requiring truly epic amounts of exercise. Maybe something a little less ‘Game of Thrones’ would be a better idea…
I also like the idea of a Husky, but these dogs are known for shedding masses of fur, probably not great for me. How about a Husky cross? The ‘Pomsky’ is a new breed of dog, the result of a cross of Husky and Pomeranian. These ultra cute looking dogs look just like a miniature Husky when full size and would hopefully need a little less in the way of daily exercise.
Let me know if you have any suggestions… I’m keen to get a doggy companion in my life!