Mark#3 – Can the real ‘Scraps’ please stand up?

April and I – pet humanists as we are – are currently spending endless hours debating what kind of puppy dog we should welcome into our family. 

There are, however, several factors to consider when selecting a dog breed. How much grooming does it need? How much exercise does it need? Is it good with cats (we have two kitties, so this is essential for us)? Is it good with kids (we’re hoping for several in the near future, so this is also essential)? How affectionate is it? How loud is it? How easy is it to train? The list goes on…

After giving the subject much thought, we entered our preferences (good with cats, good with kids, low maintenance grooming, tons of affection) into the Discovery Channel Dog Breed Selector, and we now find ourselves faced with choosing between these four cuties:

Scraps the Beagle?

Scraps the Beagle?

Scraps the Labrador Retriever? 

Scraps the Yellow Lab

Scraps the Flat-Coated Retriever?

Scraps the Flat-Coated Retriever

Scraps the Golden Retriever?

Scraps the Golden Retriever

I would be more than happy with any of them, though I think the Beagle is currently in last position as he is more difficult to train, and doesn’t grow to be as large as the retrievers – a ‘man-sized’ dog was one of my secondary criteria. However, the Beagle is incredibly cute, so we just can’t rule him out.

Talk about an impossible decision!

Oh, and I’m working on April to let me name him/her ‘Scraps’.


20 Responses to Mark#3 – Can the real ‘Scraps’ please stand up?

  1. Eric says:

    So, a dog, eh? Kids, eh? Anything else you’d like to spring on us?

    Well, for what it’s worth, I would like to suggest a tall, lean, red-haired beaut. No not Brian! May I suggest a Rhodesian Ridgeback… They’re majestic, great with all of your criteria (yes, Mark, it’s “manly”) and they are rarer than most. So, you see, it has all you want AND caché. FABULOUS!

  2. markandapril says:

    Thanks for the suggestion, Eric. I’ve looked into it and, though at first he appeared to be a worthy contender, we have had to rule him out on account of the amount of exercise/stimulation required (too much considering we’ll be out at work during the day).

    Also, although he is a great guard dog, the flipside to that is that he only scores 1 out of 5 in being friendly to strangers. And you wouldn’t want your ass biting every time you come around….would you?


  3. jan says:

    please get a chocolate labrador

  4. markandapril says:

    Hmm…we were considering a yellow lab just because everyone seems to be after a chocolate lab these days.

    But, with one vote, the chocolate lab is now leading the friends and family vote. Cheers Janice!


  5. Eric says:

    Okay, okay, the Rhodie is out. What about a Weimaraner? Again, vary manly, but witha silky, glossy sheen to its coat that no amount of product could reproduce (trust me, I know). You’d be the envy of all the other dogs, and really, isn’t that what it’s all about? If you do go for it, then you’d have to name him “Schrotte”, which is German for “Scraps”…

  6. markandapril says:

    Sigh…we have already considered, and ruled out, a Weimaraner. As you stated, they are beautiful, manly and Schrotte is a great name. However, the dog breed selector ruled them out for us because they score 5 out of 5 on exercise requirements and energy levels, so it’d be unfair to leave them at home all day.

    Besides, their stubby little tails freak April out.

    The breeds we suggested all only get 3 out of 3 on exercise requirements and energy levels, which is a much better fit with our lifestyle. So which of those do you prefer? I know they aren’t particularly exotic breeds, but they’ll learn how to be ‘fabulous’ from their uncle Eric.


  7. Eric says:

    Ah yes, the exercise. Well, then, I suppose I would have to recommend the dog that I’d look best next to from your list… hmm.. I say the Labrador Retriever, or the Beagle. I lean towards the Beagle, but the Lab would probably be a better all-round choice. Alternatively, what about a French Bulldog? So cute, and if they’re good enough for Martha…

  8. Cathy says:

    Well, you know that whatever you get, I would suggest a young rescue. Hmmm. wonder why? There are lots of wonderful breed specific rescue organizations, and to be brutally honest (hmmm, does that sound familiar,mark?) it’s really not fair to a pup with you both working, even if you can nip home at lunch. pups need a lot of attention at the beginning of their life from those they are closest to. You can often get very young dogs and oh how thankful they would be to come into your loving home.

    All breeds you’ve narrowed down to are great – but beagles bay you know… you likely would be better off with a retreiver of some sort… unless you’d like me to check into putting Hellmann out to stud?!!!

  9. markandapril says:

    Hellman IS a stud, but I don’t know how well he’d do being put out to stud. He wouldn’t be able to see where to put it would he?

    Well, as usual Cathy, we share a common philosophy. Firstly, we will certainly be getting our dog from a rescue centre, as we did with the cats. Thus we don’t expect to be getting a pure bred of any description, but it would ideal if whatever mutt we find is half-retriever.

    Secondly, we very well may get a slightly older (but still young) dog rather than a puppy. April’s point of view is that anyone will rescue a cute little puppy, but very few people will adopt the older dogs.

    Thirdly, I work from home at the moment, and will be doing for the next few months, so adopting in the near future would give the dog chance to bond early on. However, I will point to the example of my previous dog, Patch, who my family had from being a puppy, despite everyone being out at work or school during the day. He grew up to be an excellent, good-natured, loving and very well-adjusted family member (more so than me in fact). He’s something of a local legend in these parts, as many people reading this blog can attest to.

    I hope the above points put your pet humanist mind to rest. Of course I’m sure you knew already that we’d have thought this through. After all, April is second only to…well…you, when it comes to animal care.


    PS. Thanks for your email the other day Cath, I’ll respond soon.

  10. Cathy says:

    I’m not going to speak for Hellmann’s prowess, but he sure likes to give it to Arther whenever he can. Poor Arther just lays there and thinks of England!

    A.K.A. Stud can’t WAIT to send you your wedding pressie! Watch for it! Guaranteed to be one of your faves.

    PS, Guess who’s now nuts about Little Britian?? (ME, not him!)

  11. The only thing I’d like to add here is that dog = poo
    Or to put it more accurately, dog = lots of poo
    Or to put it another way, dog = poo all over your garden unless you walk it 3 times a day

    I’d love a dog but I just think the poo issue is too big for me to get around.
    But yeah, dogs rule. Good luck with your selection!

    mark / goooooooders / yonner / marky moo

  12. markandapril says:

    Babies poo more than dogs. Can we assume you will never have children for this same reason?

    Cleaning up a bit of poo is a small price to pay (that goes for dogs and babies).


  13. But babies have their poo caught in a bag that is strapped to their…. erm…. derrier. They don’t just squat in the middle of the front lawn, do a runny one and then dig a little hole next to it. I don’t know, I mean, come on there IS a difference between babies and dogs and what we are prepared to do for them isn’t there?

    But to answer your question, I plan to change as few dirty nappies as possible when my young ones arrive. But I guess I’ll conquer my fear and get my hands dirty from time to time. I plan to have 5 boys so I can start a 5-a-side team of my own. Just thought I’d throw that in there

  14. markandapril says:

    I think you can actually buy such a thing as a ‘doggy diaper’ you know. But I think I did a good job of explaining to you in the pub this afternoon, why I don’t think the poo will be an issue for us.

    Wow, we actually did talk about dog shit for quite a while over lunch and a pint (or bottle of Gold Label) didn’t we? Gross.


  15. yeah… that’s the last time I dine with you & yours. Disgusting!

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