View Full Version : Need Advice: Size over Circumstance

08-14-2003, 12:10 PM
Andrew and I have been wanting another addition to our family for quite some time. We love large dogs. We decided against it a year an a half ago because Drake was still far from being behaved and Andrew and I were apart due to his flight school.

When we were in PA, we decided we wanted to rescue a dog and bring it home. Then after thinking about how it would settle because of our move from Ft. Rucker to Ft. Huachuca and then from there to Germany, we decided against it. We said we would just rescue one when we got to Germany.

Well, Andrew has found out that he will probably be on tour in Iraq only weeks after we arrive. And then possibly tours in Bosnia and the Middle East, etc... Which brought me to wonder whether or not I could handle 2 large dogs all by myself. Especially when Drake is a Daddy's boy! Andrew is a pilot and will remain one after he gets out of the Army. So, he will be away from home alot and that means I would be the major care taker of the dogs. This only leaves me with a few options:

1. We can only have one dog at a time.
2. I need to sacrifice size and get a small dog.
3. Go ahead and have two large dogs. I can do it (or can I?)

If I should go ahead and get another large one, check this beauty out. I have my heart and eyes set on her!!

Read More about Samantha! (http://www.petfinder.org/pet.cgi?action=2&pet=1974188&adTarget=468petsgeneral&SessionID=3f3bc244162d0c37-app3&display=&preview=1&row=0)

I think Drake would love to have a play mate! A GSD would be ideal for him in more ways than one!
Help, please!

Sara luvs her Tinky
08-14-2003, 12:20 PM

I never seem to have any good advice... I think if you think you and Drake are ready for a big dog.. than go for it....!!:) I can't imagine you would have too many troubles handling both of them... but hey.. I own two cats...?!?!?:confused: :D

08-14-2003, 12:25 PM
Oh first off Samantha is gorgeous! I know I would love to see more pictures and hear more about her. *hint hint* ;)

I'm not the one for advice on things like this. Would you be able to meet with Samantha before adopting her? Maybe you can see her charactar and how she and Drake act towards eachother. I think those things would affect your decision if you can care for her or not. Sorry if I'm not help, but good luck! And keep us updated. :)

Aspen and Misty
08-14-2003, 12:32 PM
Small dogs, you will find are just like big dogs. I always thought I wanted a big dog and big dog only, untill I met Chewy. Now I want at least one small dog all the time during my life. And with Huney I love picking her up and holding her and stuff. I personally now like either. And if you were to get a small dog you would fall in love with it just as you hae fallin in love iwth drake.

That said, if you don't think you can handle 2 big dogs but you want to try maybe try adopting an older dog who is already leash trained and everything. Maybe even one who is house trained, that way you aren't stuck with Drake who is upset because his dady left and the puppy who is peeing and chewing on everything.

I would also like to say, Follow your heart. Only you know whats best!


08-14-2003, 12:34 PM
Samantha is gorgeous ,and being a female puppy, stands
a good chance of making a good mix with Drake. I have every
confidence that you could handle two big dogs, especially ones
that you've raised from a young age. Best of luck with your final
decision. (i say go for it) Liz & Smokey.

08-14-2003, 12:35 PM
She is beautiful. Such a sweet face.

Can you take Drake to meet her? It might be a way to find out how they would get along and whether you could handle them both. And if they seem OK together maybe take her for the day as a trial.

4 Dog Mother
08-14-2003, 01:22 PM
I have no doubt you could handle two dogs big or little by yourself. It would be a good idea for you to take Drake with you to meet Samantha.

Are you still planning on going to Germany with Andrew? Having never taken dogs on an overseas move, I am not sure what that entails but are you sure you want to take two with you? Or would it make more sense to wait until you got settled wherever you will remain while Andrew is gone so much?

Samantha is a beautiful pup and I am sure she and Drake would make a good pair of dogs for you.

(by the way, Carl and I lived on Ft.Huachuca some 30 years ago when he was in the army)

08-14-2003, 01:39 PM
I too have every confidence that you can do it. :) Since Andrew has been away, you've done the major care taking for Drake and look how wonderful he is! :D

Plus I think they will play together so much that you won't have to worry about entertaining them. :)

I agree.. take Drake to the shelter and see if he like Samantha.

Best of luck to you! :D

08-14-2003, 01:55 PM
WOW Souraya, I'm going to have to think about this for a while. When my husband died I had 4 good size dogs to care for (or they to care for me) & managed very well thank you. But I did have a fairly large house w/ a huge treed, fenced yard. A few questions come to mind. Do you know what your housing is going to be like in Germany? If you are going to be on base will they even LET you bring over two large dogs? Will there be some place to take them out off-leash? (I know how Drake loves to go on your jaunts to the wilderness.) Whatever you, Andrew & Drake decide I'm sure things will work out in the end but you will probably be under a lot of stress while Andrew is away and it could be a help to have two comforting big lugs to love or it could add even more stress depending on your living circumstances. Not much help here I guess but just a few things to think about. Dang, as if you don't have enough :rolleyes:

08-14-2003, 01:59 PM
Honestly, I'd love to hear more about Samantha and I'd love to see you with your dream come true, another dog. But, if you can't handle them by yourself I don't think you should go for it. It's really up to YOU and if YOU can handle them. I know, my being probably way heavier than you can barely handle Simba and Nala at once. Simba being medium, Nala getting *big*.

08-14-2003, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by ramanth

Plus I think they will play together so much that you won't have to worry about entertaining them. :)

That's how I *thought* it was going to be with Simba and Nala but I was wrong.

Aspen and Misty
08-14-2003, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by Kfamr
That's how I *thought* it was going to be with Simba and Nala but I was wrong.

What do you mean? They don't play together alot?

Hey, do me a fav? Get Nala to stand in front of you and have someone take a pic to show how big shei s compared to you, like Knee high or mid thigh. I wanna see how big she is now.

Ash :D

08-14-2003, 02:20 PM
It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog!

If you traiun Samantha well, it won't matter hopw big she is, and I say Go For It!

As long as she and Drake get along, that is! If you have them both trained that YOU are the alpha, that they are NOT to pull on the leash, size won't matter at all.

Dad has leash-trained all our family dogs, and they were all BIG dogs - GSD mix, a Saint Bernard, s Great Dane mix, a 'nother Saint ... none of them ever pulled when on the leash, so they could be walked by a four-year-old as well as an adult.

How is Drake on leash?

Samantha's so lovely, and she's a girl - good for Drake - no "male territory" battles, she's young (so plenty of time for training well before she reaches full size) and she's adorable!

08-14-2003, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by Aspen and Misty
What do you mean? They don't play together alot?

Hey, do me a fav? Get Nala to stand in front of you and have someone take a pic to show how big shei s compared to you, like Knee high or mid thigh. I wanna see how big she is now.

Ash :D

They play together sometimes, just not all the time. It doesn't take Nala energy level away, she still goes crazy and she's still hard to deal with. although she's still a puppy. It's also hard for me to handle both while taking a walk or taking them somewhere.

As for me being in a picture.. no thanks.

08-14-2003, 02:23 PM
hiya doggiesarethebest!

From my experience with Murph and Oz, one thing I was
going to mention was that size may matter, if you wanted
the new dog to be a possible playmate for Drake.

Oz and Murph do play together. They'll chase each other
and play tug, but Oz has to curtail his play considerably.
For the most part, he does a real good job of playing gentle
with Murph. If he does get overly excited and forgets himself,
then Murph gives him a reminder growl and snap.

I think Oz would like to play harder, but he really can't with
Murph without hurting him, so you may want to consider that
with Drake. If I ever get another dog, it'll be at least medium


08-14-2003, 02:41 PM
I too know you could handle 2 large dogs:)
But it's entirely your decision since you will be the
main caregiver to both of them. It's a given that she
will be trained very well....so why not?!!!!
Good Luck, I hope Draker likes Samantha:D

08-14-2003, 02:58 PM
To answer a few questions, I am not sure what kind of accomodations we will have in Wiesbaden, Germany. They offer on post housing, but we do not have to live there and probably won't. They are all apartments and we want a house. A yard is a must for us.

Would we take the dogs with us? Of course. The Army will ship both of them for us. We are staying in a 1 bedroom apartment right now because we are only here temporarily. The good thing is that I am at home all the time until we leave to Germany, so I can work with her. They also have a 2 week "return" policy if she and Drake don't hit it off.

I am going to be working full time in Germany as a translator for the Department of Defense and am worried about what might happen while I am at work. I am dreading the thought of a trashed house when I return.

I think Andrew and I are going to go and check her out and take Draker with us. Although my Mom says I need to wait until I get to Germany to get another one. The good thing is that Samantha is in a NO-Kill shleter here so she will safe if I don't get her.

08-14-2003, 03:02 PM
Myself, being mom to two GSDs, Buddy is a big boy at 85lbs and is only 1 1/2 years old, and Sierra is on the smaller side at 60lbs and is 2. My hubby works 2nd shift, so I have them to myself a lot and I wouldn't trade a second of it!! They keep each other company, they are the most wonderful playmates for one another, and there is nothing in this world that makes me smile more than to see those two playing!! I couldn't ask for more!

I love having two big dogs, and I KNOW for sure that I will never be with out two big dogs for the rest of my life!!!
So I am saying to you, go for it. Yes, sometimes it gets tough, but they almost seem to take care of each other! :D

08-14-2003, 03:30 PM
I say, go get Samantha! :) German shepherds are such wonderful dogs, and smart, and she's a female so I bet Drake would love her bunches. Two dogs aren't too much harder to handle, but surprisingly alot more expensive.

08-14-2003, 03:33 PM
From my experience, two dogs is ALOT more to handle. Especially a puppy.

08-14-2003, 03:39 PM
I haven't read what others have said, so forgive me if I repeat...

I say go for it!!! Samantha is gorgeous and I'm sure Drake will love a playmate.

It is not always the easiest thing in the world to have mulitple large dogs...our house is small for our 3, but the postives far outweigh the negatives. And honestly sometimes it is easier to have more then 1. I don't know what you living situation will be in Germany, but with our fenced in yard, I can send them out to play together and they don't get bored as easily/quickly. They often entertain each other indoor and out.

The hard part can be when you are alone and they both (or all) want the attention. We try to give them each alone time, alternating who gets to go with us on short trips, etc. Walks can also be a challenge, but once they are trained it isn't too bad most of the time.

Mostly, you have to decide what is right for you. Every circumstance is different. If you have a lot of doubts, it may not be the right time, but if it feels mostly, okay, with a few doubts, I say go for it :)

08-14-2003, 06:29 PM
I think you should get samantha ;). she is super cute and Drake would lvoe her as his gurl friend :p//

08-14-2003, 07:57 PM
Go for it, having two dogs isn't any harder then hacing one dog. In fact I think at times it's easier. But ultimately it's up to you and Andrew you have to do what's right for the two of you, Drake and Samantha.

08-18-2003, 01:23 PM
So what's the final decision? Did you take Drake to meet Samantha? :)

08-18-2003, 02:15 PM
I haven't posted on this because I am upset about the situation.

We took Drake to see Samantha and they got along OK. Drake's hackles were up and he was growling. She layed down and showed us he belly and that was the end of it. They played fine.
The lady at the shelter said they would have to make a home visit because they require a fenced in yard for their larger breeds. I explained to her that we were in AZ on TDY (Temporary Duty) and were staying at a 1 bedroom apartment but were planning on getting a home with a fenced yard when we got to Germany. She said that she couldn't let us adopt Samantha, she was a puppy and needed alot of exercise. I was pretty P.Oed! Some people accuse Andrew and me of over exercising Drake. She also said that the trip over seas was too much for a puppy. Drake made the same trip when he was under 1 year old!! He was fine!

So, we have decided to rescue a dog once we get to Germany. A large dog!

08-18-2003, 02:22 PM
I'm so sorry. She obviously doesn't know you & Andrew like we do. Two better parents for two big lovely dogs there could hardly be. But I bet there's a puppy in Germany that is about to give a big sigh of relief knowing you three will be on your way to his little self in a few weeks.
{{{hugs to you all}}}

08-18-2003, 02:27 PM
Awww Souraya... :( I'm so sorry. If only we could make that woman understand.

At least in the end, you were reassured that Drake could play fine with another dog. *hugs*

08-18-2003, 04:06 PM
Sorry to hear you couldn't get Samantha :(

I understand that the shleters want to make sure the dogs get good homes, but at some point they have to realize every situation is different, and be a liitle more open minded.

Often a dog without a yard will get more exercise than one with....with a fence it is tempting to open the door and assume they will run around....ours often find a shady spot to lady down and watch the world go by. Without a fence an owner may realize the dog does need excercise and be more likely to walk the dog everyday....but I guess it is better for the dog to sit in a cage in shelter and not go to a good home because of a fence :rolleyes:

I'm sure you will find a wonderrul compainion for yourselves and Drake in Germany :)

08-18-2003, 04:13 PM
I'm so sorry to hear that they won't let you and Andrew adopt Samantha:(
But as others have said, I'm sure they be a puppy there just waiting for you to take it home:)

Cinder & Smoke
08-18-2003, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by DoggiesAreTheBest
So, we have decided to rescue a dog
once we get to Germany.
A large dog!

BIGG Dawg, huh? :D

"...she couldn't let us adopt Samantha,
she was a puppy and needed alot of exercise..." :mad:

You should have told her how many miles a day Drake runs with you two!

Although you're disappointed right now -
this may be a Blessing you'll appreciate later.
With the Big Move to Germany - you, Andrew, and Drake are going to be Very Busy for a while; and all are going to have to adjust to new surroundings AND a new home. The pressures of the move will be lot for all of you... maybe you didn't really need the extra obligations and problems a new Pup would have added.

And look at the Bright Side -
adopting a Pup in Germany ~
At least ONE in the Family will be able to speak the language! ;)
(Bet Drake learns to BARK in German before you two do!)