Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

So now I need some advice.

Almost a week ago, I found this dog:

Meet the Anklebiter

All attempts at finding her real family have failed (according to the lady at the shelter, there’s a good chance that she was dumped), and now I’m having to think about things.

I really like the dog and want to keep her, but given the hours I work I just don’t think I’m the right home for her. I was hoping that my friends would keep her because that way I’d still be able to visit, but now it’s not looking like that’s going to happen.

So, who out there has experience with tiny dogs? I suspect she’ll be unhappy when left alone for 14 hours a day (well, not alone but I can’t imagine she’s ever going to get too buddy-buddy with the cat). Chihuahuas aren’t like cats, right? They don’t like to be home alone all day doing whatever it is cats do (I think my cat’s using the internet while I’m gone, but I can’t prove anything), right?

I’d love for the dog people out there to weigh in on this one.

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19 Responses

  1. Meg says:

    I have been owned by both cats and dogs (currently no dog, one cat.) My across the street neighbors have a tiny dog with a big bark who is alone most of the day. She stands on the back of the couch and barks out the window at the street and whatever catches her attention. I guess that’s her job, and she is diligent. As you have already noted, dogs are different from cats. Dogs require more interaction from their humans-cats have us trained to do their bidding. My thought is that small dog left alone for 14 hours a day equals chewed shoes and household “accidents” (who will walk the dog while you are working?) I wish that I could offer more helpful advice.

  2. Charli says:

    Put an ad on Craigslist or somewhere and state: Ugly Tiny Dog, free, must be placed in a good home. Few people want pretty dogs, you’d be amazed on how many people will respond to an ugly dog ad. It’s a thought.

  3. Burbanked says:

    I hear Taco Bell is hiring…

    As a 10-week-old first-time dog owner, I can tell you that I would NOT leave a dog alone for such extended periods of time. Not only will she misbehave, but she’ll learn new and fascinating ways to misbehave.

  4. Mark says:

    The pallet load of catnip your cat ordered is ready for delivery. Will someone with thumbs and thus able to open the door, be home Tuesday afternoon? The COD charge is $1,297.32.

  5. Eric says:

    Cats are “set and forget” as long as they have something to eat, drink, and know their litter box.

    Dogs, regardless of size, need far more attention as already pointed out. There’s a reason why dogs are called Man’s Best Friend.

  6. Rusty Shackleford says:

    It’s a tough call, and I don’t envy your situation. I agree that it’s probably not a good idea to leave the dog alone for that many hours a day. You need some time to bond with it, to start training it, to get to know each other, and to let your cat get used to having it around too. It takes quite a bit of time and energy, and it’s sorta like having a very demanding child around all the time. If you’re not ready for it, or don’t have the time, it won’t be good for you or the dog. But if you drop it off at the pound, the odds are probably 50/50 that it will end up getting euthanized. Not a good situation for the old karmic conscience. And who knows? If the Writers Strike drags on, the silver lining might be that you may actually have the time you need to get used to having muttley around, and vice versa.

    If you do decide to keep it, there are a few options for single people who work such long hours. Take the dog out for a walk every morning before you leave for work, and again when you come home at night. Establish a daily routine, so the dog begins to understand what to expect from you, and when to expect it. Ask a friend or neighbor who’s available during the day to check in on the pup daily, maybe walk him once or twice a week too. If not, you may have to spend a little coin to hire a professional dogwalker. Or you could try Doggie Day Care, a place where you can drop the pup off in the AM, and then pick it back up on the way home from work. Again, this’ll cost some extra coin, and it may not be the most viable option as your work hours fluctuate either.

    There are plenty of people in the industry who have dogs and work really long hours. I have 2 myself (and 2 cats!) and sometimes I regret not being able to spend more time with them too. But I’m also married and have a young kid too, so my wife takes care of the dogs during the day. It’s probably not the most ideal situation, but I make an effort to play with them every night when I come home from work, and walk them regularly too. They both tolerate the cats, and one of the cats actually tolerates them too. They can co-exist relatively peacefully, but it may take a little time. The bottom line is if you love the dog and it loves you, then it will probably be fine in the long run. But it is a tremendous committment, especially if you have no one else to help you out from time to time. Good luck with it, I hope it works out for you.

  7. Lisa says:

    Nice looking puppy.You are right that she deserves more attention then you can give her. You might thing about contacting a small dog rescue group. There are several in the LA area.
    I don’t know if there would be a donation fee. They are mostly non-profits.

    My Chi/Terrier gets along fine with three cats. She is out numbered at dinner time though.

  8. celia says:

    contact cabrini or karen at the loft dog. if they doesn’t take the dog herself, she’ll find a someone looking for a dog just like that one. i should know, they matched me up with the perfect shih tzu.

    The Loftydog
    120 W. 2nd St.
    Los Angeles, CA 90012

  9. celia says:

    if you decide you want to keep the dog, get a dogwalker to come in at hour five and hour ten to walk the dog. then when you come home, you get the perfect angel, ready to play and snorgle with you instead of an ill-tempered dog tearing apart your shoes and peeing on your sofa because he’s lonely, lacks exercise, and isn’t socialized.

  10. RC says:

    Take it to work with you. You will have a ball having it around. I would not leave it for 14 hours more than once a week or so. (Owner of a few dogs over the years.)

  11. LA MapNerd says:

    The dog probably wouldn’t be real happy about being left alone for that length of time with nothing but a cat for company.

    The cat, OTOH, might be Considerably Amused.

  12. Karla says:

    I have two dogs and a cat and work the long crazy hours inherent with this business – my solution was to hire a pet sitter to come in and take care of the brood once a day. in a pinch my parents or my boyfriend can come by if i’m stuck until super late to take them out again….

  13. nezza says:

    I hope you get this sorted out. I’ve only seen that one photo of the Anklebiter and I want to know those big brown eyes have a happy ending ahead.

  14. JCW says:

    Well it sounds like you’re looking for an option that will help you decide to keep her. Doggie Day Care can be pricey – bad timing considering the strike and all. Also, there’s your upcoming vacation to think of – that would mean boarding her somewhere of hiring a pet sitter. If you have a neighbor nearby who would agree to care for her in your absence in exchange for a nominal fee, that would be about your best option.

    Otherwise, I think that you are correct in putting the dog’s needs ahead of your own desire to keep her. I’d love to have one too, but it’s just not the right time and place for us.

    I can see why you’d like to keep her – she’s a cutie.

  15. Marste says:

    Actually, if you want to find a home for it, my mom has been looking for a little dog. We’ve had chihuahuas, toy poodles, rat terriers, all kinds of little dogs over the years (since I was 5 – I’m 30 now), so she knows how to care for them and she’s home most of the day. If you might be interested in giving it a home, let me know. I think you should be able to see my email from your end, but if not, post in the comments and I’ll send it to you over meebo or something like that.

  16. sonia says:

    As a dogwalker, it’s not the greatest idea to leave her alone for that long, but you can totally do it having someone come in once a day to give her a walk. I have tons of clients that do it and I can leave Ecco for 12 hours if I really have to. I deal with mostly small dogs and honestly, they generally sleep if they aren’t being engaged.
    Since the strike is on, you might use this time to bond with her and establish a routine. If you end up keeping her, that will be important and any good walker will ask you about it. Feel free to email me if you like. . .

  17. Diane says:

    Oh, don’t leave her home alone to bark all day, I vote to get one of those trendy doggie purses like Ms Celebrity and take her to work with you everyday….

  18. Dan says:

    I took my pitbull/great dane mix to work every day, but an editing room is an option where a set isn’t! I agree with Rusty.

    In the end, you have to be really honest with yourself about giving her a good walk before and after work, and whether you can get someone to take her out mid-day. People think small dogs are easier than large dogs. The opposite is true. Small dogs have a ton more energy that needs to be “worked off” every day. Plus small dogs are yappers if no one is around…is this one? It’s the perfect way to drive your neighbors absolutely mad.

  19. Not4me says:

    Hey, how do you keep getting into these situations?

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