Isn't she adorable? Her name is Taffy.
She is mixed breed. Her mom looks like a miniature coon hound - very cute, about half the size of any coon hound I've ever known. Dad's identity is unknown, but judging by babykins here, I think there might be some German Shepherd in the mix somewhere, yes?
|When she sleeps and her ears are up, she looks like a little German Shepherd.|
So. Pets are not frugal, in the sense that they cost money, but so do lots of things, and there are some ways to save on pet ownership.
Initially, Taffy was free. Meaning, the people who had her (and her seven siblings!) were not selling the pups - they just wanted them to go to good homes. So we did not spend any money for the actual puppy. That said, I am in the midst of putting together a thank-you for the family who gave her to us, but they didn't ask for a fee.
So far, we have purchased a good-sized bag of puppy chow, a pair of nyla-bones, a collar and some puppy training pads. I am using water dishes that I had on hand for the bunnies. Since I just have two bunnies that I keep year round (when I do library programs I lease a few more rabbits for about a month), I have excess bowls, so Taffy is using two of those. Originally, they came from goodwill or a yard sale.
|Day one, before I found the extra feed dishes in the bunny barn.|
Daughter does a lot of pretend play with her stuffed animals, and she got one of the leashes from her collection. She has gotten them as stocking stuffers (Dollar Tree) or at yard sales, and is very happy to lend one to Taffy.
Taffy is still small - about 6.5 pounds when we brought her home - but growing every day. Because she is a mixed breed, we don't know how big she will get, though we estimate around 30 pounds. For now, I can use one of the pet carriers I have for rabbit and chicken programs I do for the library, so we have time to see how she grows and look for a second-hand crate when she reaches her adult size. I also have a larger pet carrier I will use when she outgrows this one.
We got the nylabones so we would have something to teach her to chew when she is 'chewy'. She also likes pine cones and sticks when she's outside, and on day three, I broke down and gave her an old sock that had a hole in it. She was going after everything fabric. When I was a kid, our dog had an old sock we used to play chew-tug, and that's what Taffy likes to do too. It is going to take discipline on our parts to not leave other socks laying about, but I also think that once a dog gets a 'special' sock, they know the scent of it, and prefer it.....at least, I hope so.
Later in the week, Daughter gave Taffy the stuffed catnip sock she had made for the cat. For some reason, the cat (who usually loves catnip) wasn't interested in it. We also returned the unopened package of puppy training pads, because she only uses them as toys....she grabs a corner and runs for the hills! It was from Dollar Tree - no refunds, but you can exchange things - so she ended up with a squeaky toy. I KNOW.
When it comes to health, we plan to give Taffy regular exercise, plenty of fresh clean water and dog food supplemented with minimal treats for training. The chickens already eat all the table scraps, and it's just too easy for a dog to end up unhealthy from them. As for vaccinations, I am going to look for a 'rabies clinic' to get her rabies shot. I'll buy the other shots at the vet supply or the feed store and administer them myself. I can also buy rabies at the vet supply, but by law it has to be administered by a veterinarian (which makes me wonder why I can buy it, since I'm not a vet)....so I will look for an affordable option for that one.
We already own grooming supplies, most purchased second hand for either the cat or the bunnies, so I don't forsee any expense there.
In the mean time, I did stuff like wash clothes and cook food and try not to waste any money. Truth be told, we were hard pressed to leave the house much, between schooling and puppy and adjusting. So we ate from our planned menu, kept our frugal habits, and enjoyed our new family member.
What did you do this week to spend less, save more and make do? Leave a comment so we can all share ideas, won't you please?