Trail Dog – Should I Or Shouldn’t I?

I think you need a bit of background information on this one….

In The Oldham Days…

… I grew up with a dog. Shep was a corgi-jack russell cross – basically the fattest-looking jack russell you ever saw.  She was docile, friendly, the colour of beach sand and a wonderful companion on many walks.  A silent confidant through my teenage years and a great family member.  When she left us, cats took over the home and whilst I love cats, they never loved me back. They don’t, do they? Evil little sods that they are. 😉

My partner has also loved dogs and TrixieWixieWooWoo (I know) was also a much loved family member, before my time.

More Recently…

… We’ve been having conversations along the lines of:
“We should get a dog”
“But we both work”
“We should get a dog”
“But we like to go out”
“We should get a dog”
“But I don’t want to be tied to the house”
“I want a dog”
“But it’s not fair on the dog”
“I want this dog (shows picture of cute little handbag dog from the internet)”
… Then other family members joined in…
“I want a dog too”
“Why do you want a dog?”
“I want a schtizu”
“Isn’t that a zoo with no penguins? (Yes, clearly a diversionary tactic)”

… and so on and so forth, with no progress.

Then I read this blog post over my lunchtime sandwiches just now.  Then my heart and my will soften a little bit.  Then I googled “Best trail dog” and read this closed forum from Singletrack World.  If you don’t already know this, I’m a Singletrack subscriber like most MTB riders, especially ones from anywhere near Lancashire.  So I had to take it seriously.

Clearly Not A Trail Dog

Clearly, Not A Trail Dog

Now I’m thinking…. Now I need some help.


Should I take the leap or not?  What should I do? Where should I go? How much will I regret it? What kind of dog should I possibly maybe discuss the possibility of an idea of considering?

Please help me. I need to get some information before I go all mushy and make a bad decision, or before I go all stubborn and miss what might be a great opportunity.  Tell me what I should do, or what I need to know.

You know the drill, just fill in the little form below – thanks! 🙂


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10 comments on “Trail Dog – Should I Or Shouldn’t I?

  1. Grace C

    All the above arguments or points are very valid and something to consider. Having a dog is like getting married.. ’til death do you part. For me it was a Golden Retriever named Stuart. We didn’t know what we had until we lost it.. which was our freedom. Last vacation we flew to cost us a fortune in kennel fees, etc. so be sure you want a dog before you get one. Biggest issues was money and loss of freedom (or trying to get freedom but coming home to pee on the carpet).

  2. John Berry

    Dooooooo it, dog’s are great 🙂

    Unless of course, you are worried about fur on furniture, clothes, carpet.

    You are worried about poo in garden, scratches on doors.

    Fur and paw prints in car.

    We have never had a problem finding somewhere to eat out and take dog’s with us, in fact we generally wouldn’t want to go out without the dog’s.

    We are however luckily enough to have grown up slaves (children) who look after the dog’s when we want to have a long weekend away in a B&B / Hotel

    They are ALWAYS happy to see you when you get home, and are great 🙂

    I wouldn’t give my dogs up for the world.

  3. Phill

    Thanks John, there’s certainly a strong bond between dog and owner isn’t there? Maybe years without one in the house has hardened me a little. Spending some time with neighbours’ animals reminded me.

    I’ve got a lot of thinking to do first, not least about weekends, work, training etc. I need to be fair to both us and to the dear animal.

    What breed are your dogs, John, or are they closest to? I’m not too concerned about a pure breed – it’s more about size, energy & temperament than anything else.

  4. sasha berry

    From John’s wifey, we have 2 dogs, one rather elderly Patterdale terrier called Rosie who used to run rings round us and happily ran for miles close to us on the tracks and when not on track we had a doggie backpack for any road sections we had to traverse. It is a bit trickier with our other dog, she is a staffie cross, to large for a doggie backpack but John seems to cope well with the seat post bar lead, and Poppy runs quite well with that on road and also off road with us but doesn’t quite get under the wheels like Rosie did. Unfortunately Rosie is 15 and can’t quite do the running she used to so she’s mainly in the backpack now.

    For temperament Rosie is mainly a one person dog although she gets on well with the family she is my dog and when younger had far too much energy and she managed to destroy the carpet in one room, a door, phone wiring and the sun visor of one car.

    Poppy has the better temperament although she is scared of the cats, fireworks, loud bangs, other animals etc (you get the idea) but she’s as soft as anything. We didn’t discover what type of breed she was until after she lived with us, both dogs were picked up from the shelter and Poppy was described as just a terrier, I must admit if there was Staffie listed anywhere near I would be loath to have even considered her but we wouldn’t have her any other way now.

  5. lost

    Think long and hard about it. As you’ve said you both work and the fun might wear off quickly with the kids. I’m not saying don’t do it, just make sure that it is the right decision for you all.

    As for where to get it – try the rescue centres – dogs who have the opportunity of a second chance are often the happiest. There is no love greater than from one who has been given a chance at happiness My last dog was from one and she was the most loyal, loving, beautiful pet – she was a border collie cross spaniel and had been found abandoned and wandering the streets as a youngster and had taught herself to beg to survive. I had the most amazing 17 years with her until she passed away. Prior to her I had a greyhound cross jack russell – slightly strange looking but cute, she was bought from the greyhound mom’s (go figure!) owner. Again, I had her until she passed away.

    As Sasha said though, be careful of the breeds that are described as terrier in rescue centres as they are often staffies. Don’t get me wrong, staffies are fine if you really want one, but personally I don’t think they’re great around kids, and other people are always wary when you walk them – I walk a pals staffie when she’s away on holiday and people give me a wide berth when I walk him.

    Regardless of what we all say, remember it is only advice and that the decision can only be made by you all acting as one.

    Happy thinking!

  6. jo simcock

    Go watch marley and me with the kids,if they you or all cry you will never cope with having another dog!!We have the same converstion here though on a serious note,and while I love the idea of having another dog,for me personally I couldn’t cope with the loss again,its not the committment,or the time,its that huge bond you form,and unlike kids they never get independant of your care.Best of luck!!

  7. Phill

    Thanks ladies, you make some very good points. My biggest problem with Marley & Me was that someone told me it was a feelgood movie! Damn liars.

    Well, watch this space I guess. No doubt we’ve got a lot of thinking to do but the input from you all has been great.

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