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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so my brother in law had an accident a year ago with a saw and cut of the top part of three of his fingers on his right hand. He has been very depressed and does not want much to do with his family. I have heard about how dogs can pull people out of depression and give a person a new lease on life. Well my brother in law loves dogs so I am thinking about getting him a puppy that he can work with and train himself. Any suggestions on a breed? He, as far as I know, does not really care for toy dogs. But I am at a loss as to what breed.
 

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Maybe a bit more info on what he does for a living or how long he is gone each day ... hobbies ... likes ... dislikes ... has he ever owned a dog before? That will help in advice on a compatible breed or a mix of breeds.

There are many good dogs in rescue and shelters needing a forever home ... they do not all come with issues as some people may think ... and some poor dogs are there for lame excuses due to irresponsible owners.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
He has not worked since the accident and believes he should not bother because his dominant hand is crippled. He likes to go for walks around his neighborhood every day and has had many dogs in the past that he took with him. He does not really like small toy dogs or cats. But when he does go out he always says after that he would like to have some one to enjoy the ride with him. Does that make things a little easier?
 

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He has not worked since the accident and believes he should not bother because his dominant hand is crippled. He likes to go for walks around his neighborhood every day and has had many dogs in the past that he took with him. He does not really like small toy dogs or cats. But when he does go out he always says after that he would like to have some one to enjoy the ride with him. Does that make things a little easier?
Thank you. :)

I am not very good at recommending dogs for depression. One of my Sister's has clinical depression and she adopted a shelter dog ... Lab mix and is training it herself. She has also had dogs in her lifetime.

Hopefully someone with more experience in depression and dogs will be able to enlighten us. :) Dogs in general however are wonderful for human health!
 

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Maybe go to the pound(or local Shelter) and see what kind of dogs they have there. Find what that will fit his life style and go from there.
 

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Dogs do have the ability to do wonderful things for human mental health! I'd suggest having your relative as involved in the selection process as possible, especially since he does have this hand injury. It may also effect his confidence in working with the dog if the hand is fully crippled (or even if not...the mental effect of the injury)

Can you bring him with you to the shelter to look at dogs? He may feel more personally invested in the decision, and he'd be able to talk to the shelter or rescue staff personally about things like dog strength, size, energy level, needs etc. Just thinking this could help prevent some mismatch troubles.
 

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Honestly, a shelter may be the way to go. Take him there, let him find a puppy -or a dog- he connects with. Breed or age doesn't really always matter in these situations. It's just the bond that forms between the individual animal and the individual human.

For example: I've suffered from depression most of my life, and I can tell you that without my animals, I wouldn't get out of bed in the morning. No human can pull me out of that dark place as easily as they can, especially my Diesel.
Diesel has been there for me more than any human ever has, and he's only four. I've cried more tears on his shoulder than any other creature. I found him in a pile of garbage and he's a mixed breed.
 

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I would definitely NOT surprise him with a dog/puppy. He may feel like he doesn't have any control over anything in his own life and this might make him resent the dog. Plus decent shelters and good breeders don't sell puppies to third parties. So talk to him. Ask him if he'd like to have a dog. Offer to pay for the adoption fee/purchase price/maybe some vet care (whatever you're up for). Take him to the shelter, or if you know any dogs in need of a new home take him to meet them, or to talk to good breeders.
 

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For example: I've suffered from depression most of my life, and I can tell you that without my animals, I wouldn't get out of bed in the morning. No human can pull me out of that dark place as easily as they can, especially my Diesel.
Diesel has been there for me more than any human ever has, and he's only four. I've cried more tears on his shoulder than any other creature. I found him in a pile of garbage and he's a mixed breed.
Same here, I've had days where the kitchen knife looked very good to me, but my dogs need me, and they mean more to me than that knife.

A dog can be a grat way to get ahold of depression. I'm also on the rescue boat. Talk him to the shelter, and don't tell him why, make it a suprise! I bet it would cheer him up :)
 

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I would definitely NOT surprise him with a dog/puppy. He may feel like he doesn't have any control over anything in his own life and this might make him resent the dog. Plus decent shelters and good breeders don't sell puppies to third parties. So talk to him. Ask him if he'd like to have a dog. Offer to pay for the adoption fee/purchase price/maybe some vet care (whatever you're up for). Take him to the shelter, or if you know any dogs in need of a new home take him to meet them, or to talk to good breeders.
Absolutely.

You know, dogs can help people who are depressed, but only if the person in question wants to be helped. If he doesn't want to be helped, the dog's just going to be neglected. You need to leave it up to him whether or not he gets a dog. You can certainly offer to pay the adoption fee, but your brother needs to want this.

Also, I don't know what his financial situation is, but I'm guessing it's not good. Are you prepared to pay the adoption fee and all the other expenses of a dog, food, flea and heartworm meds, regular vet care, emergency vet care for the next 10-15 years? It's something to think about.
 

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For someone with inconsistent or depressed moods, a puppy is nice, but the responsibility can be overwhelming... even if your moods are stable :)

So I suggest a 2 - 5 year old rescue adult. My personal favorite is a Lab or Lab-mix, because they're easy to find, easy to train, very adaptable, and forgiving of mistakes and erratic behaviors. Other dogs might be a much better match, but without more information (not possible across a forum posting), a Lab is a good general choice.
 

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I also suffer from chronic depression and my furbabies literally have saved my life at times .One of my dogs is classed as an emotional support animal. I agree with getting a rescue dog. Last year when my daughter and grandkids had to move out of state I fell into a deep depression. I ended up rescuing this crazy 1 year old black lab and he brought me out of a very dark place. It seemed like we really needed each other !! When I have been ready to give up on this world I look at these little furry faces and know I cannot leave them alone . Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide to do !!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well that is a good idea having him come along with me but I have an idea for a rescue. Lately when my brother-in-law comes to my home and goes to sit outside I notice a black and tan puppy comes by an sits by him for hours on end. My brother-in-law does not know that I have seen him and the dog together. The dog is a known stray that I have begun to call Miracle because of how happy my brother-in-law becomes after seeing her. She is a friendly dog who will come up to just about anybody, even me and my two goof balls. Would it be a good idea to catch her and give her to him as a birthday present? His birthday is next week.
 

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It doesn't sound like she needs catching if they're already friends. You could pay for her vet work, collar/tag, everything she'd need to be a pet. But don't push him, and I don't think giving an animal as a gift is a good idea ever. Just ask him if he wants to take her home, and if he says he can't afford it, make your offer.
 

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I would discuss it with him to be sure he wants the responsibility of a dog, and get his ideas on what sort of dog he might like. Dogs as surprise presents are a very bad idea.
 

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Basset hound all the way. They are super companion dogs , I got mine when going through a difficult time in my life and he had an effect on me that none of my other dogs past and present ever will. You can take them almost anywhere because they are super easy going. and also not so big that its hard to load them up and take them places. They can get into trouble but this helped me stay on my toes and not get sucked into the hole of self pity when i always had to keep an eye on flash. They also bring a lot of praise and questions which boosts your morale. ( nothing makes you happier when passerby's ask about your dog ) Basset hounds never fail to make you laugh. These dogs are good for this kind of therapy. and they are cool dogs, manly if you will. But i would discuss this with him cause like stated dogs as gifts can backfire.
 

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I agree with the consensus that gifting a dog is not always a welcomed surprise. You might consider:
1. Can you handle taking in another dog?
2. If so, can you 'capture' the dog, take her to the Vet, house-train her, 'socialize' her, teach her basic obedience, and teach her not to bark?
3. While you are doing this, your brother... will see the dog, with no pressure of responsiblity... friends with benefits :)
4. Then, you can decide if you want the responsibility of getting her spayed ... and then offer her to him when she is fully healed.
5. He may decide that he is not ready to own a dog... but I think you'll see a minor sadness, while she's being spayed (this is a good sign... different from depression) and a relief and elevation in mood when she returns... and then when she is healed... And all of that may help to kickstart him towards recovery
6. However, I have no other suggestions about what to do if he is 'scared' to take on the responsibility ... except to adopt the dog yourself, allowing visiting rights, maybe encouraging him to slowly train the dog, have overnights with the dog, and so on.
7. I can see how the 'anonimity' and lack of responsibility might be attractive... and it may eventually help to move him forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well I managed to catch the dog and took her to the vet etc. She is super friendly and she even has a microchip. It turns out her owner used to live right down the road from me but they moved and when I called them with the number registered in the chip they said they didn't want her anymore. She is so sweet and loveable I don't know who wouldn't want her. Well my nieces and nephews came over, the eldest is 5, to give mom and dad a break for a while. I watched as the dog calmly laid there on the floor as they kids pulled on her ears and tail or jumped on her, which they got scoulded for. So today was my brother-in-laws birthday and everyone came over to my house. I brought the dog, who I call Honey, into the room where my brother-in-law was and I sat down in the chair next to him. I asked him once again if he wanted a dog which he said yes to. Then I told him I would help him pay for its care, vet bills etc if he need which he said he didn't want any help caring for his dog. I looked down at Honey who was sleeping by my side and I said to him that I had seen him outside with the dog before. He nodded his eyes becoming clued to the sleeping ball of black and tan fur by my side. I gathered up my courage and said to him " You really like this dog and I haven't seen your eyes leace her since you came here today. Would you like to take her home with you forever?," Well he started crying and hugging me as he keeps saying " Oh, thank you. Thank you.," With great care I handed Honey over to him and she is by now awake and eagerly begins to like his face. After some time he said " I will take her home and I refuse to allow you to pay for her upkeep as I said earlier." My brother-in-law looked down at Honey and quietly said " We've both been through the wars and should stick together. What do you call her?" Smiling I told him that I called her Honey but he could give her a name of his choosing and I wouldn't be offended. Once again he look at her and up at me before saying " Hope. I am going to call her Hope.,"
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
This is a picture of Hope that I took a couple of days ago while we were at a lake. She is black and tan but has lots of white one her. She is older than we all originally though nearly a year old so she is still able to curl herself into a ball.

Patches_mix_jhg.jpg
 

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Great ending !!! I understand his need for financial independence... although you might want to sneak some gifts for her, if you see the need.

I do suggest that you help and encourage him to train her, showing him the methods. People who haven't trained a dog, don't understand the miracle of being able to communicate with another species. Plus the progress will give him a sense of accomplishment... Thanks for the good story, and keep us informed...
 
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