Choosing a Dog

germshep Since the deaths of my two beloved dogs last January, I have been longing for another furry friend. But my husband, John, who is a sensitive soul, has resisted. “I can’t go through the loss again,” he said.

I respected his feelings and didn’t want to push. However, by June I couldn’t stand being dogless for another minute so I started a wheedling-and-cajoling campaign.

“A house isn’t a home without a dog,” I told John. “I am desperate for fur therapy.”

“No way.”

But by August I’d worn him down a little: “Well, maybe eventually…” he said.

Since I was leaving on a trip in October, I ratcheted up my cajoling to begging. “You’ll be home alone when I’m gone. Please, please, let’s get a dog to keep you company.”

“I’ll be fine by myself. We can talk about a dog when you get back.”

When I get back?! So he was willing to discuss it! That was progress.

In November we did finally talk about a dog, but by then I’d changed my mind. My novel would be coming out in January, and for the next few months I wouldn’t have a minute to walk, bathe, or feed anyone. Also in the spring John and I planned two more trips. It wouldn’t be fair to adopt a dog and then leave her so soon, we agreed.

But come next summer, it’s Katy, bar the door! Do or die! Until then John and I are trying to decide: What kind of dog? Adult or puppy? And where will we get our future family member? There’s a lot to think about.

goldendoodle Recently, when combing online rescue sites, more questions came to me. John and I have had five German shepherds and adore the breed, but our last two suffered terrible orthopedic problems. Can we bear to watch someone we love go through that misery again? Not long ago I fell in love with a goldendoodle, but a dog-trainer friend said that the breed is hard to manage. Is that true? What about a purebred golden since one named Grace stars in my new novel? Or how about an adorable Humane Society mutt?

goldenretThough so far we have no answers, John reassures me that the perfect dog will present itself online or in the flesh. Now all I have to do is wait and trust that a wagging tail is in my future. My perfect dog and I will find each other. I can hardly wait!


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18 Responses to Choosing a Dog

  1. Mary Garland says:

    Good luck with your search! I’m a fan of beagles & golden retrievers, as I have both. But, as I always say, the perfect dog will usually present itself! I’m also a huge fan of adoption, so maybe you’ll find your perfect addition at either a shelter or rescue. Am looking forward to hearing about your search & ultimate decision!

    • Kristin von Kreisler says:

      Thank you for your thoughts, Mary. I’ve had two beagles and love them. And I have recently grown so attached to goldens. Absolutely, I will get a rescue. I’ve never had anything else.

  2. Sarah G. says:

    German Shorthairs are the most affectionate dogs — but they have a very long childhood and adolescence! They re creative as finding ways to escape. Ours is a rescue and he is 14. And I love him. Good luck!

    • Kristin von Kreisler says:

      I’ve never thought of a German shorthair, Sarah. Thanks for mentioning that breed. I love creative dogs! And how wonderful that you got a rescue and have had him for so long. Rescues are the way to go.

  3. Deb M says:

    The perfect dog is the dog you fall in love with! Doesn’t matter the breed…could be big, could be small. Could be a “mutt” or a full blooded. Right now, we are grieving the loss of 2 of our babies. We lost our gentle Pit Bull (best disposition of any dog we’ve ever had) in May. Our Bichon Frise, we lost on November 1st. The most loving dog we ever had. Right now, we are left with a grieving Bichon, 12 yrs. These 2 dogs were his saviours, his girlfriends, his security blankets. He came from a puppy mill after living his first 4 and 1/2 yrs in a cage. We’ve had him 7 yrs and he will “never” be normal. The trauma was too great. So, we are in a quandary. Do we get him a new friend? Are we ready to love again? There is no answer. All I ask is that you don’t buy from a pet store or backyard breeder. Much luck in your search.

    • Kristin von Kreisler says:

      Thanks for your message, Deb. I am so sorry you’ve lost two of your dogs. You can certainly relate to the sadness we’ve been experiencing in these last months. Why don’t you bring a “friend” to visit your grieving Bichon and see if he’s happy about it? Maybe he’d let you know his feelings then about another dog. Meanwhile, don’t worry — I’d never buy a dog from a pet store or a backyard breeder. All my animals have been rescues. Always!

  4. Alice Cramer says:

    Kristin, I will be anxiously waiting for the wonderful story how the next canine companion entered your life! Good luck!

  5. Denise says:

    When I was younger, stray dogs were everywhere. If you wanted to, all you had to do was go out and “catch one” yourself. For some reason, maybe it’s because of where I live or people are more self conscience about spay/nueter, stray dogs are not as plentiful. We were going to wait for one to find us but the wait was long and we found one that was up for adoption and took the step. Good luck.

    • Kristin von Kreisler says:

      Thanks for your comment, Denise. The two strays I found were beagles, dumped on the road. Like you, I never see strays now. Certainly, I’ll go to look for a rescue in need of adopting. I can’t wait forever!

  6. Melissa B. Martin says:

    I do think the dogs that come into our lives find us…all my dogs have been from rescues or shelters. I can’t imagine life without them. I hope you find the new member(s) of your family soon!

  7. Mike Bogart says:

    I’d like to suggest a smaller dog – easier to bathe, but with a heart & soul just as big as the largest dogs.

  8. Kristin von Kreisler says:

    I would love to have a large AND small dog, but we must start out with just one for now. Higgins would be ideal, Mike. He has been much on my mind as I began this search.

  9. Lisa and Admiral says:


    Believe it or not, I groomed a Beagle/German Shepard mix today (can’t figure out how THAT happened). She was in a kill shelter in Tennessee. She was the most gentle, angelic, soul I have ever met.

    Your wait won’t be long… Your heart will tell you, the dog will find YOU, and all will be right with the world.

    • Kristin von Kreisler says:

      Thank you for your message, Lisa! Imagine a beagle and a German shepherd! I love thinking that the perfect dog will FIND me. I hope so!

  10. Louisa says:

    Bravo to hear of your process in finding your next dog. There is no doubt that your next furry friend will find you and you both will know it is the right dog at the right time. There will be an undeniable tug at your heart and your next pet will be snug in your arms.

    • Kristin von Kreisler says:

      Thanks for your message! I love thinking about my future dog and me both knowing it’s the right thing at the right time! Something to look forward to!

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