Questions and comments for Victoria from a former dog hater!

Discussion of Victoria's TV show, It's Me or the Dog.

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Triumph, the wonder dog
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Questions and comments for Victoria from a former dog hater!

Post by Triumph, the wonder dog » Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:59 pm

First off, I want to give some public accolades to Victoria. Your show is simply amazing! I never had any pets growing up for various reasons, so I have never been a “dog personâ€

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You absolutely should not get a dog!

Post by IGETITTOO » Sun Feb 22, 2009 7:51 pm

I am not Victoria but anyone can answer your question.

"4) I want a dog that is able to take care of itself and is okay with me being gone for long periods of time, up to 4 days at a time. I would not get a dog, if I thought it would emotionally wreck it due to me being gone all of the time. I wouldn’t want to put any dog through that kind of anxiety. "

No dog can be left alone for 4 days! I wouldn't leave a dog alone for 24 hours without a neighbor, friend or dog sitter walking it or feeding it. It has nothing to do with emotionally wrecking it.

If you don't want a dog to stink, you need to bathe it or have it professionally bathed and groomed.

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Post by Fundog » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:32 am

Triumph, I have asthma/allergies too. Although I am not allergic to animals (my sister is, though, and went through the desensitization treatment because she cannot bear to be pet-less), I do have seasonal allergies to many flowering trees and grasses, so I know what it's like to be in a constantly congested state. I don't know if you're currently doing this, and it just doesn't work, or just what, but asthma is manageable. You should be taking both an inhaled corticosteroid on a daily basis when you are exposed to your "triggers," and have a bronchodilator on hand for active symptoms. Managing your asthma with daily medication will help to keep you out of the emergency room. Be sure to talk to your doctor about getting the right medication/management treatment, so you can enjoy your life more fully.

That being said, I have a suggestion for you, to help you with your decision about whether or not to get a dog: Consider volunteering at one of your local animal shelters for awhile, as your work schedule permits. Many city shelters welcome volunteers to come help them walk, and play with the dogs. Even if, in the end, you realize that it just isn't feasible to have a permanent dog in your life, you might still be able to benefit from the some of the other joys dogs have to offer us humans. And since the dogs are always have someone to make sure they are fed, watered, and safely indoors, etc, you wouldn't have to worry about accommodations during your absence on business trips.

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Post by Noobs » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:04 am

I am also not Victoria but I wanted to share my thoughts as well.

I wasn't a dog-hater but I was always uncomfortable around dogs. I grew up in a culture where dogs were outside animals and weren't treated like family members. So as a child I barely gave my family dogs a second thought because my parents took care of them. As an adult I would tolerate them if I was at a dog owner's home, and pet them minimally, sneaking off to wash my hands immediately after touching a dog. This was partly because I was allergic, but also partly because I was a bit of a germophobe. I adopted my first dog of my very own last year and in just ten months I've found that I do not have any allergic reactions to him or any other dogs (although now I suspect my allergies are to cats), I sweep and vacuum his hair all the time although there is still hair on my furniture, he hangs out on the couch with me and my partner, he spends Sunday mornings on our bed with us, and I let him sit on my lap and lick my face and all those things I never dreamed of letting a pet do. You'd be surprised how much contact you end up "tolerating" or even wanting from your dog once you have one of your own. So all your conditions may not apply once you have your own dog. Now to your points:

1) There are plenty of small dogs out there that are cute and adorable. The "affectionate" part is up to you, on your training, and how you socialize your dog.

2) I don't think there's such a thing as a hypo-allergenic dog but I think that there are some breeds that are better for people with allergies. You can research that online.

3) Again, that can be researched online.

4) I'm not sure what you mean by "take care of itself". Will you have a doggy-door in your home so your dog can let itself out to potty? How are you going to feed/walk/exercise/train the dog when you're away?

5) I think that a pet owner's home only smells as bad as the person allows. If you keep your home and your dog clean, your home won't smell like a pig pen.

I think #4 is your deal-breaker question. If you're going to be away for days at a time every single week then it's not realistic to own a dog unless you are sharing ownership with someone who can take care of it when you're away.

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Post by emmabeth » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:49 pm

Realistically, being away 4 days at a time very frequently is going to mean you cant own a dog.

Should that change however - there are non shedding and low shedding breeds (the low shedding type generally only lose fur when brushed) and hypo allergenic types... Which ones would suit you depends on you though - frequently it is not the fur you are allergic to, its the dander or saliva.

Wire coated terriers, poodles, 'hair' coated breeds such as the maltese and the tibetan terrier etc, tend to suit allergy sufferers... Smooth coated dogs like whippets and greyhounds do sometimes too.. BUT these do shed and in fact it is surprisingly many of the smooth coated breeds who shed the worst and their hair is remarkably hard to remove from soft furnishings/carpets. Double coated breeds like GSD's Huskys etc you really want to avoid, these shed hugely (although its easier to pick up using a vacuum cleaner... youd be doing it four times a day).

Anyway at present with your working hours, your options are really limited to sharing a dog with someone else, or getting your 'doggy fix' by helping out at a rescue or shelter, perhaps with walking their dogs.

Sharing a dog with someone else CAN work but it is a rare situation and I would never advise anyone to go out and buy a pup (and very few rescues would rehome on these grounds) on the basis that someone else will take care of it much of the time. What usually happens is that the arrangement falls through and the dog gets rehomed - thats not fair or kind.

Helping out at a shelter or rescue might not seem so great now - but it WILL teach you a huge amount about dogs, you will rapidly see why you are being advised not to get one now (when you see the number of dogs who come in and the often ridiculous reasons they are brought in for!), and in the long run it may help you decide if you really want a dog, and do change your work pattern, what dog that might be.

And helping out at a shelter does give you that 'feel good' factor.

Dont forget, Victoria only recently got her own dog because her work/lifestyle did not allow for owning one previously - so MUCH can be gained by working with other dogs, 'test driving' other peoples etc until you can own one yourself.

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Post by Liz & Koa » Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:51 pm


Please don't take this the wrong way, but are you kidding?

I don't have children, but I sure do feel like I do with a dog. It is constant cleaning, training, walking, learning and a big expense. I have to take my dog to Day Care twice a week because I can't get home during the day on these days. If I left him alone for four days, ykes, I think I would not recognize him when I got home. He would probably look like the tazmanian devil. :lol:

For a dog lover, it is not a big deal, but if you have any hesitation, then you have your answer.

I think the idea about volunteering at a shelter is a good one.

You will know when the time is right, but it takes a lot of time once you do it.

Good luck with your decision.

Liz & Koa

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Post by Cracker » Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:54 pm

Triumph..good for you for developing a fondness for the pets we all hold so dear AND for asking the questions you have.

I am a professional dogwalker and now do training as well. I worked at a vet for 8 years and walked dogs for 6 years before getting my own dog. I got my dog fix that way and only after much thought and preparation did I adopt Cracker.

In my city there are walkers/sitters who often have "regulars" who stay/board with them for lengthy and regular amounts of time. This COULD be an option if it is available in your area and it is not too much of a financial consideration. This would require finding an extremely good, loving caregiver who can be depended on in this way.

But, realistically, this is a less than ideal situation and I think it may behoove you to hold off on getting a dog..the rest of the statements you made can be covered with the right breed, proper grooming etc. but the fact that you are away more than you are home would very simply not be the best thing for your relationship with a dog nor for the stability of the dog's life in general.

I would just continue loving your friend's dog, maybe you could borrow him on occasion for some "field trips" to get your dog fix.

Thank you again for asking. I think you know your own answers, but having other's opinions is always a good thing.
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Triumph, the wonder dog
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Post by Triumph, the wonder dog » Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:20 am

Thank you everyone so much for your input. :D That was really helpful. I would love to hear Victoria's input on this, if she is available. I know she is a very busy working person with the show and all, and I am interested in how she juggles her professional life with that of caring for her dogs.

You guys and gals are the best. I never understood why dog owners are so fanatical until I developed a relationship with my best friend's dog. When he (the dog) got seriously hurt, was when I realized how deep-seated my love for him was. Fortunately, he will be okay, but will be severely scarred and impacted for life. :(

P.S. - Any news on when the show will make it on DVD for North America?

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Post by suziec » Sat May 23, 2009 6:37 pm

Seriously..... :shock: I know this is an old posting but seriously.... Was this for real???? Surely not!! :? If it was I really hope you didn't get a dog. Just stick to walking a friends dog when your in town.....

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Questions and Comments for Victoria from a former dog hater

Post by wvvdiup1 » Sun May 24, 2009 3:21 am


I have to agree with the others who have posted so far in this forum. First of all, if you had a job that you're only gone eight hours a day, you would still someone to look after it. After all, eight hours is a long time for a dog, especially if the dog has to go outside "to do its business." As you've stated, "3 I am a clean, “neat freakâ€

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Post by Lis & Addy » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:21 am

Lots of dogs learn to cope quite well and to be happy, well-adjusted dogs with owners who work full-time jobs outside the home. Having a dog is not a privilege reserved for the wealthy, those who work from home or can take their dogs to work, or are part of a couple one of whom stays home. However, in if there cannot be someone home or making several visits a day for a couple of months, it's best not to get a puppy, but instead to adopt an adult dog.

The dog will need a lot of your time and attention when you are home. Very few "neat freaks" do well with dogs, but if they want the dog badly enough, they can make it work.

No dog can cope with being alone for four days. If there will not be someone else home during that time, you can't provide a home for a dog until that changes. Unlike a cat, leaving adequate food and having someone come in to check on them a few times is not adequate.

Non-shedding or low-shedding dogs need to be combed, not just brushed but combed, with a comb that reaches to the skin, several times a week; a few minutes every day is best.

"Doggy smell" can be affected by diet and general health, and also by regular bathing. The regular bathing also helps with allergies. If you use appropriate shampoos and conditioners, your dog will do just fine with a regular bath regimen--especially the hair breeds, who are generally better for people with allergies, anyway.

"Hypo-allergenic" does not mean "non-allergenic." The fact that a breed is generally better for people with allergies does not mean that you personally will be okay with that breed. Contrariwise, the fact that you do badly with one hypo-allergenic breed, does not mean you'll do badly with all of them. If you really want a dog, arrange to visit several breeders, each of whom breeds exclusively one of the breeds you're interested in, and spend a couple of hours at least interacting with and just being around the dogs.


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