Not sure if you have already made your final decision. I have only been a Maltese mom for about 1.5 years to the most adorable little guy named Opie. He was just under 14 weeks of age when we brought him home. I am certainly no expert on the Maltese breed, but I am going to share my opinion with you because I think it is very important for you to be aware of what you’re getting into as a single working mom to a young son.
Although my husband and I are both dog lovers, we have always had large breeds, either German Shepherds or Labrador’s, and Opie is our first small dog after having to put our King Shepherd of 11 years old down for medical reasons.
Because we knew nothing of small breeds, we spent over a year researching the Maltses breed to be sure we were making the right decision. Our children are grown and out of the 3, we only have one 20 year old son still at home, as well we also have an 8 year old granddaughter that visits regularly with my oldest daughter. My husband and I both work full time, but we work opposite shifts, so Opie is almost never alone. When he is left home alone, it is for very brief periods of time, such as an hour while we go get groceries and he doesn't cope well with even that.
All of the research we did lead us to believe that the Maltese breed is a very needy breed and that research as proven true. We felt with our children being grown, we no longer run to sports games or activities with the kids, we don’t go out as much, as we have also settled down and we now have the time to devote to our pet.
I do not regret our decision at all; I can’t imagine not having Opie in our lives. We both absolutely love him, but our lives have totally changed. He takes up all of our time. I don’t know, if we have gone overboard, he is definitely spoiled rotten, but to me that is the whole point of getting a little lap dog. No one chooses a 6 lb dog for protection, or to take long walks with or for rough house playing. With that being, he takes up all of our time and we are doing it with 3 grown adults in the house.
Being totally honest, I would never recommend having a Maltese if you can’t devote a large portion of your time to your pet. And I also, do not believe that they are the best choice when having small children in the house. My 8 year old granddaughter is very well behaved, but I am always so worried that she is going to bounce on him, step on him, or accidently hurt him. Opie is between 6-7 lbs and it certainly wouldn't take much too seriously hurt him. Not only would this be traumatizing for the dog, but for the child as well.
I don’t want to discourage anyone to experience the love of the Maltese breed, because out of any small dog, Maltese is by far the best in my mind, but I don’t believe it is the right time at this point for your family. Raising a son, I speak from experience, I know what boys are like, they are full of energy and love to play like boys, especially when you have a group of his friends over, and maybe a hardier breed would be a better choice. In addition to that, 8 hours is a very long time for a Maltese to be left alone, they really do demand a lot of your time. They are totally lap dogs, devoted, loving and amazing, but they need to with their people, they do not do well being alone. You want this pet to be the best experience for both you and your son, and the Maltese breed might not be your best choice for this. Good luck to you. I’m sorry for sounding so negative, but I feel that you, your son and your pet deserve honesty....you want this to be the best experience it can be