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    Default Any Single Firefighers with Dogs?

    Being in the fire service with 24 hour shifts doesn't lend well to having a dog or any pet that requries daily attention.

    I've been trying to work out a way for me to have a dog again (used to have one prior to the fire service). I'm not married and I love in a two story townhouse with a front and back yard. My question is are there any other single FFs out there who actually have a dog that are on 24 hour shifts? Each nine day period I work three 24 hour shifts. With six days completely off, would it be possible for me to maintain a dog? I've already spoken with serveral dog walking/caring services and I'd probably have them come by twice a day on my shift days.

    Any feedback would be great!

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    Although my 24hr shifts consist of whatever time I put in as a vollie, it still includes finding someone to care for my Alaskan Malamute when I'm gone over night. I've been lucky enough to (fairly recently) have a friend who has dogs, so she takes Niki for me most of the time. However when I first arrived and started working with the FD, I would either have someone (neighbour) drop by during the evening to let him out or as happened during the snow storms we sometimes get here, I took him with me to the station.


    Note: When taking a very large dog - 117 pounds worth - to the station, don't forget to the let Station Captain know soonest. They were on a run when I came in, and then we were on a run when they got back. Apparently when they got back in, they heard a WWOOOFFFF from behind the Reserve Engine... and then this big brown/grey furry thing stepped out. Fortunately the Capt has a sense of humour, and Niki is a good and friendly dog.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    A
    Note: When taking a very large dog - 117 pounds worth - to the station, don't forget to the let Station Captain know soonest.
    Just paint spots on him and you'll be fine.

    On the issue of shifts I thinking that Friends or family would be the best bet and baring that you'd have to look at a dog walking service. We send our dog to "Camp" once a week where he plays with 30 other dogs for 8 hours. Its nice 'cause he's exhausted for 2 days afterwards. Some of these places do have overnight services, that might be an option as well.
    You could look into automatic feeders/dog doors but it doesn't seem very humane and wouldn't give the dog the attention it needs.
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    This actually has been a big issue for me for years. Got a dog when I was married, got divorced a few years later, completely loved the dog, loved the job, didn;t want to give up either. So I chose to do the dog door, automatic feeder machine thing (I have no family within 4 hours of here, and no friends close by). She is older now (the dog lol), 10 years old and literally sleeps 23 hours a day anyway. Every day when I get home fro work, I take her to the park for like an hour (just got back), she loves it, and just like children, they get used to a routine and adapt just fine. I work roughly 10 days a month, 24 hours, BUT I have 20 days a month off to spend time with the dog. If the weather is nice, I take her for a long walk in the morning and at night any day I am not working. Like the other brother said, if you wear then out when you are home, they will sleep the entire time you are gone.

    Now obviuosly this would be tougher on very young, energetic dogs, but older dogs seem to adapt to it just fine (at least mine, she has never complained to me lol). Honestly, what are the other options?

    - Give the dog away (never)
    - Get re-married (NEVER)
    - Get a different job (never)
    - burden friends or family 100 days a year, 2-3 times a day (not practical)

    Say what you will, but when life hands you lemons (marriage), you must make lemonade....or something like that (adapt and overcome). Believe me, my dog lives the high life and has for 10 years, she could have it alot worse lol.
    Last edited by FHandz15; 07-17-2007 at 12:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FHandz15 View Post
    This actually has been a big issue for me for years. Got a dog when I was married, got divorced a few years later, completely loved the dog, loved the job, didn;t want to give up either. So I chose to do the dog door, automatic feeder machine thing (I have no family within 4 hours of here, and no friends close by). She is older now (the dog lol), 10 years old and literally sleeps 23 hours a day anyway. Every day when I get home fro work, I take her to the park for like an hour (just got back), she loves it, and just like children, they get used to a routine and adapt just fine. I work roughly 10 days a month, 24 hours, BUT I have 20 days a month off to spend time with the dog. If the weather is nice, I take her for a long walk in the morning and at night any day I am not working. Like the other brother said, if you wear then out when you are home, they will sleep the entire time you are gone.

    Now obviuosly this would be tougher on very young, energetic dogs, but older dogs seem to adapt to it just fine (at least mine, she has never complained to me lol). Honestly, what are the other options?

    - Give the dog away (never)
    - Get re-married (NEVER)
    - Get a different job (never)
    - burden friends or family 100 days a year, 2-3 times a day (not practical)

    Say what you will, but when life hands you lemons (marriage), you must make lemonade....or something like that (adapt and overcome). Believe me, my dog lives the high life and has for 10 years, she could have it alot worse lol.
    I'm in the same boat. I work ten 24 hour shifts a month, so technically I have a ton if time for a dog. I'm just worried about the days I'm not there. I have AMAZING neighbors who all have dogs and would love to help out in the evenings when I'm not there. I have thought of adpoting an adult simply for the fact it wouldn't effect them as much (say a puppy) with me not being there 10 days a month.

    I already looked into a doggie door for the back, plus it's enclosed with a six foot locked fence so security would be fine for the pup.

    Thanks for the feedbadk, it's good!

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    Can you bring the dog to work with you?

    I know some FD's (mine included) don't mind as long as the people in the station aren't allergic, the other firefighters in the station on that group have no problem the dog stays in the living quarters area and the owner cleans up after him/her.

    We had a firefighter who trained a service dog for the disabled. "Factor" still comes by for an occasional visit, and remembers who gave him treats!
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    Can you bring the dog to work with you?
    I've only done that once, during a massive ice storm in January this year. I lost power for 3 days, and wasn't about to leave my dog in a cold dark house with temps in the 20's outside and electrical fires all over the neighborhood. Of course my truck ran something like 28 calls that shift, so she was in her travel cage for the whole day, but she was warm and dry.

    The doggy day care thing isn't practical either, it's like 30 a day around here, x10 a month.....$3500 a year.....ouch.

    You are right about older dogs. My next dog will be an adult already, like 3-5 years old. A puppy wouldn;t like the schedule, I would think anyway. Just give your neighbor (you trust) a key and your cell #, tell them to call you if there is a problem .....like a major storm, dog gets out, something wrong with the dog...that's what I do. Seems to work fine, for years.

    If I took her to work 10 days a month she would be...

    - lost
    - broken
    - eaten
    - worse

    We don;t even have plants lol.

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    worse than eaten?

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    I'm not married and I love in a two story townhouse

    Liked the typo.
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    I have two Mini Dachshunds and I work 24 hour shifts. They have a doggie door to go in and out of the house into the back yard (6 FT block wall) as they please. Plenty of stuffed animals and toy's to play with. I make sure they have two full bowls of water and a bowl of food in the morning before going into work. They are always fine the next morning when I come home from work. Alway's happy to see daddy. Half the time when I get home the next morning they still have food left in the bowl. Then they eat the rest of it when I get home. I don't know why they don't eat all of their food when I'm not there. They don't get into the trash or chew anything up. They are pretty good little knuckleheads. I wouldn't want to give a neighbor a key to my house. I don't trust people being in my house when I'm gone. Going through and snooping around my stuff is not my cup of tea, but hey, whatever work's for you is cool.


    AZFF
    Last edited by AZFF25; 07-17-2007 at 06:59 PM.
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    I wouldn't want to give a neighbor a key to my house. I don't trust people being in my house when I'm gone
    I agree, it's more for emergencies, I work about 20 miles from where I live, and the chosen neighbor is a retired widower, nice as can be....you definately have to be careful. It wouldn't work for everyone. But if there were a problem, say for instance my house gets damaged in a bad storm (which has happened), I can call him and he will go over and get my dog, or just check on her.

    Something else I forgot to mention, working 48's or especially 72's are pretty much out of the question (for me), unless you know in advance and plan around it, like have someone come over, or take the dog somewhere. I owe a guy 24 coming up and I actually took the days around it off for vacation to avoid the 72, but had no choice. Not just for the dog, I have a son as well who obviously stays with his mom when I'm at work, but I figure 24 at home alone is enough for the dog.

    Just somthing else to think about.......
    Last edited by FHandz15; 07-17-2007 at 07:44 PM.

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    Thanks for all the feedback! I've been shopping around for local breeders and have found a few that seem very nice. I would rather lean on getting a puppy instead of an adult simply because then we would bond better and I would know all of her background. With some adults you don't know what they'v been through. Also, training is key at younger ages.

    If anyone else has feedback please let me know!

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    I think the breed of dog you choose would be a major factor in whether this would work. A high-energy breed (I have a Brittany) would freak not getting to run for a 24 hour period. My brother-in-law has a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. It's a small dog, but that dog would be perfect. Not hyper and low maintenance. There are tons of other breeds that would and would not work. These are two I have experience with.

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    Localva..

    Please consider a dog from a shelter. There are thousands of dogs looking for a second chance for their "forever home"... and in return, you will get unconditional love, a good listener, a walking buddy and more!

    We have become a "disposable society".. and that includes animals.

    I "recycle" my newspapers at The Buddy Dog Humane Society in Sudbury, MA. and have gotten to know the staff there as well as the dogs and cats waiting for someone to take them home and love them. I never go there without picking up a box of Liv-a-Snaps and Pounce cat treats.

    We adopted our two cats (Jake and Mia) from Buddy Dog.

    We also have two dogs.. Bernie and Murphy

    PS:if you do consider a dog walking service, ask for references.
    A reputable service will be bonded and insured and have no problem providing the information.
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    I like and agree with what Da Gonz has said. Nearly (actually I think maybe) all my dogs have been "hand-me-downs" - except the one I bought for my ex-wife (when we were still together LOL). All have been great to have and deal with. Some as you can imagine are a bit more high strung than others - none have been as laid back as the Malamute though. You treat a shelter dog with kindness and you will get 400% of that back, and some change too.
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    I totally agree about the age and breed. This would not work with a 3 month old Lab. My dog is a 10 year old Beagle, when she was a few years younger, I would also take her for a long walk before my shift, like at 5AM. At 10though, she is perfectly happy with the long walk when I get home, then she sleeps until dinner lol. Great dog.

    My next dog will be an adult from a shelter, or rescue. Puppies are great, but not in my situation. Beagles are so mild mannered anyway (not agressive) I think a 3-5 year old dog would adapt to any situation you put them in. And is she ever happy to see me when I get home lol. I get some coffee, get the leash, off to the park rain or shine, unless it below 20 or above 90 at 8AM.

    Hope the info helped.

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    If you brought two mini-dachsunds to the firehouse it would be the last time we would see all 3 of you :-) A guy in an unnamed firehouse in Spanish Harlem loved his dog so much he would get it prostitutes, and thats no BS!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyirons2 View Post
    If you brought two mini-dachsunds to the firehouse it would be the last time we would see all 3 of you :-) A guy in an unnamed firehouse in Spanish Harlem loved his dog so much he would get it prostitutes, and thats no BS!
    Four legged, or two? Somebody needs to help Fido out with his bone. I'm going to hell for that...

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    Now to be serious. DC Gonz gives great advice here. I've had pound dogs for thirty years, and have never got a bad one. They have been all different breeds, and have been the most loyal, loving, and well tempered dogs I could have hoped for. Definitely worth looking around at some rescue organizations, shelters, dog pounds. You would be really surprised at what you find. I used to pay a young girl in my neighborhood to walk the dog for me. Ask around, you'll be able to find someone.

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    Talking

    When I work a 24 hour shift our local town mayor watches my dog for free.

    He said it was the least he could do considering all the budget cuts lately.
    Last edited by coldfront; 07-24-2007 at 11:32 PM.
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    I have a black lab and work the 24/48 schedule. I live out in a rural area so I don't know how well this will help. I leave him off a chain when I am home but put him on a chain when I am gone. He has a self feeder and a thing that gives him water when he is thirsty. It works out well and if the rain or storm comes he's protected with his house. He doesn't really care. He hates being on it but he knows he gets a lot of free time. Plus I have 6 year old neighbors that come play with him while I'm gone.

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    Default Hmmm

    I have a dog and she's single (as far as I know). Does that count?
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