My dogs are my luxury in my (semi) frugal life. I simply wouldn't be without them. When my life turned upside down they were a comfort to me and my boys, giving us unconditional love and a reason to leave the house. I've been around dogs my whole life and had labs and retrievers for nearly 20 years. Even though I love them to bits I'm not one of those sentimental owners. My dogs don't eat human food. Ever! They're not allowed upstairs or in bedrooms. They don't get up on the furniture. They're dogs and I'm their pack leader. They know their place.
I've always said that I wouldn't prolong the life of a dog just because I couldn't part with them. I said I wouldn't keep a dog that needed daily medication. But then there's Lucy. That's her above in her bed with her new memory foam mattress (off cut bought from eBay for a third of the cost of a 'new' dog one) She's nearly 11 and was suffering from painful stiff joints. The vet gave her a thorough MOT and apart from the stiffness she is a very fit, healthy dog :-) She's alert and up for anything when we're out a walk. She can swim like a fish! Even when she was hobbling she was still attempting to chase balls (she's very ball focussed!!) and jump off walls.
So it was with great reluctance that I started her on Metacam and Nutraquin+. And the effect was almost instant, she was moving a lot easier and no hobbling. But... These 2 boxes yesterday cost me £64! GULP!! They should last 2 months so that's £32 a month. That brings the monthly cost of my dogs to £449 (£360 for dog walker, £30 for dried dog food, £27 pet insurance for Emma and now £32 for drugs) That doesn't include things like vaccinations, worming, toys, leads, collars, poop bags etc. That's almost 25% of my take home salary. See, my luxury!
And here's Emma, my pretty puppy except for her squinty ear (on the right in the photo above) It still hasn't quite recovered from the haematoma. I need to take her back to the vet to see if needs an op or if she just has to live with it. Hopefully it will be ok. She's due to come back into season in the next 2 months and I'm going to breed her this time. She's nearly 4 which is a good age for a first litter. If all goes well this could be a side line I could develop in the future. I've always wanted to breed dogs and have done extensive research including talking to successful breeders. I know the pitfalls but also the rewards (not just financial). I'm doing it all properly through the Kennel Club which isn't the cheapest way to do it but there will be help available if I need it.
My dogs are worth every penny to me :-)