Doggy dilemma


I’d like you to meet Sam and Max:

Canine companions

They are quite big part of my life.  In my quest for sustainability, perhaps a PMI analysis is in order…


  • They help me to keep fit
  • They keep me company when Mr Snail-of-happiness is working away from home (and vice-versa)
  • They don’t answer back (usually)
  • They keep the foxes away from the garden (directly and because a terrier-proof garden is partially fox-proof)
  • They eat scraps
  • Sam makes an excellent hotwater bottle replacement
  • I like them

    Sam guarding against fox incursions


  • I have to feed them: they do eat scraps, but I also buy commercial dog food… a drain on the earth’s resources and supporting some multi-nationals that I don’t really like
  • Max is hairy and has to be groomed – a financial cost plus the use of energy and chemicals
  • They have to be vaccinated and have other medical care… chemicals and multi-nationals again
  • They produce ‘waste’
  • They can be really irritating (especially at 5:30 am)


There are possibilities on the draught excluder front

  • Max helps support a local business (Tina the groomer)
  • I might be able to make felt out of their fur
  • They are both rescued, so I didn’t support puppy breeding
  • I have finally trained them to leave the chickens alone

    Max sees a chicken for the first time in his life

    I’m definitely keeping them! But perhaps I’ll review their diet and at least buy their food from the local pet shop to make them a bit more sustainable.

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  1. I like your list of pros and cons – and that the pros win. Our list would be similar (although not identical) and the upside also outweighs the downs, especially the companionship and happiness he provide.



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