Introducing Maggie the Puppy and Our Reasons for Getting Her

by Kevin on April 28, 2008

I didn’t get a chance to write anything up for Saturday or Sunday. I think that’s the first time in a while where I haven’t had a post ready to go. I don’t think I’ve ever gone two days in a row. My apologizes. Hopefully you can forgive me…

Our Puppy, Maggie

Holy cow we got a dog!

Yup, Saturday we set out to do the following things:

  • buy some car tools from Harbor Freight
  • visit the humane society
  • go to a local discount home decoration store
  • go to Lowe’s to buy garage storage and perhaps some patio furniture

Here’s what we ended up getting done on Saturday:

  • adopting Maggie from the Birmingham Humane Society

What can I say? She stole our hearts…

Why We Got Her

It’s been in the cards for quite some time that we would get a dog of some sort at the beginning of summer. My wife is a teacher and will have all summer to train the new addition to the family. I had a cat growing up, and her parents still have the family dog. We’ve been wanting to have a companion for quite some time, but managed to push it off until the summer of this year.

Dogs are Expensive

As Free Money Finance consistently tells his readers, having a pet is not only a serious emotional and time commitment — they’re expensive too. I completely agree. The cost of owning a dog on average is $1,200 or so per year.

We went into this with eyes open… an understanding of the cost and time required of us to take care of any dog we adopted. We have the money available, we have built up two months worth of an emergency fund, and “dog expenses” is an actual category in our budget. We felt not only emotionally ready, but financially ready too.

How It Happened

We got to the Humane Society around 11 Saturday morning. We looked at two dogs. The first was a one year old Shepard mix named Camey that was very, very timid. The adoption counselor said she hadn’t been abused, but was just very nervous and probably not good for a home with kids. She said she would warm up.

The second was this little furball named Lima Bean. She was also very shy and kind of skitish, but also very cute. Of course, this is a puppy. Not many puppies lack the cute factor. We spent some time with her, left to discuss the options, and ended up deciding on Lima Bean. We signed the paperwork and went home to puppy-proof the house as well as get the leash and collar we had already purchased (Tennessee Vols garb, no doubt) before coming back to get her. We walked out with her at 4pm, ready to face a new adventure.

To be frank, we thought the name Lima Bean sucked. So Lima Bean is now known as Maggie. Maggie is a Labrador Retriever mix… they thought mixed with Shepard. Only time will tell. She will get big, and we have a relatively small yard without a fence. We have made a commitment to exercising her twice daily, rain, snow, or shine. It is a monumental task, and we understand she won’t be a puppy forever. She is likely to get very large. It should be fun.

So! That’s the big news for us. Regularly scheduled programming comes back tomorrow. Too tired from

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Interesting Reads from Fellow Personal Finance Bloggers #3 | Our Fourpence Worth
May 6, 2008 at 5:58 pm


Karin April 28, 2008 at 8:12 am

Welcome to the new addition to your family!! You were totally correct on the ‘Lima Bean’ thing — yuck. Hope you have a blast with her!!


Eric Windsor April 28, 2008 at 8:41 am

Congratulations! We have two dogs and they are a very big responsibility. I don’t think they cost $100/mo. as long as you’re thrifty, but they are an added expense.

Have fun with Maggie!

heidi April 28, 2008 at 9:41 am

congrats on your new addition. I’m sure Maggie will bring you lots of love & joy (and stories – for example, my dog “killed” a feather pillow when she was a pup). She’s a cutie!

Mom @ Wide Open Wallet April 28, 2008 at 10:14 am

Congrats!! I thought the name lima bean was kinda cute! lol. I like the name Maggie too, I’m just sayin’. Have fun training your new doggie. Keep track of the expenses and post them in a few months, I’m curious to know what the actual dollar figures are.

squawkfox April 28, 2008 at 10:51 am

YIPEEE!I am a total dog convert since getting my doggie from the SPCA three years ago. I didn’t have a dog growing up so I wasn’t aware how awesome they can be. When I adopted “Tivo” I opted for an adult spayed female who had been through three homes already. Tivo is an Australian Cattle Dog (herding breed) and needed WIDE open spaces to run. Other families could not deal with her active lifestyle needs. Since I am a runner and live on a ranch, I decided to give this poor pooch a home. I have always been grateful to this hound. She’s changed my life. I’ve even written about her in: Ten Financial Lessons I Learned from my Dog

Congratulations on your new puppy. Walk lots. Walk often. 😀

Stephanie @ PoorerThanYou April 28, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Congrats! She’s a cutey – I’m very biased toward dogs that fall into the retriever category (I have a black lab at home)!

I definitely recommend “investing” in proper training and I’m a big proponent of crate training. The biggest expenses my family have had with our Lab have been because of inconsistent training. For example, although some members of my family have been committed to giving her no human food, others were quite lax. Because she got a taste for human food, she then got a hold of an entire loaf of bread and an 18-pack of hotdogs, and ate herself into pancreatitis!

It’s well worth it to establish what training you want for the dog, and make sure everyone sticks with it.

Ricky April 28, 2008 at 4:52 pm

She’s a cutie. Congrats on the new addition. I can assure you it will be an adventure but it will be worth it. You are well aware that my dog is a mad man, but he brings a lot of joy into our lives and we wouldn’t trade him for anything. Have fun with her!

Kevin April 28, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Thanks everyone! It’s been a fun 48 hours… but exhausting. Truly is like having a new child at home… quiet cheers when she falls asleep.

We did not exercise her enough yesterday due to prior obligations and paid for it at 3am when she was awake and ready to play for an hour.

We’ve got a crate that she is sleeping in, so we’ve got that covered… until she grows.

We’re big watchers of The Dog Whisperer and are trying to stick to those ideals. She is already decent at walking with us rather than in front of us.

We did have a setback today by trying to leave her in the bathroom… she chewed up one of our door frames very well and spilled water everywhere. One day at a time…

Counting Pennies May 7, 2008 at 2:06 am

She’s absolutely gorgeous! 🙂 Sometimes it pays off to add an expense to the family, especially one like this.

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