Thinking of getting a dog?
There are many reasons for getting a dog. Some reasons and situations are easy and don’t usually require much preparation but others require a lot more research and preparation.
This article is not meant to judge or make a decision for everyone, but it is here to make everyone think carefully and spend time before getting a dog. After all we are a living creature and should not be merely cast aside or returned like a pair of shoes bought on a whim or impulse.
Why do you want a dog?
This is not as easy to answer as most questions. As a lot of humans can have a variety of reason for getting a dog.
Whatever your reasons, make sure you get a dog for all of the right reasons.
Do you have time for a dog?
You will give a dog a home but a dog will give you their life, love, dedication and utmost attention.
Will you do the same? You will need to walk us at least once a day, regardless of the weather.
You will need to provide companionship for us throughout the day. Yes you can probably leave us for an hour or two but if you work for hours on end a day, what about our needs?
Do you go out frequently to socialise and relax from a long day at work? Where do we fit in?
We get lonely and depressed like every other sentient being if we are left alone day after day.
Providing shelter and food is not enough, we need attention, enrichment and most of all love.
Holidays, do you go on holidays each year? Are you intending to take us to share these happy times with you?
Feeding us will result in regular poop clearing.
Do you have the time/energy or even the stomach to clear up after us?
Imagine being on a walk with us and we decide to deliver a huge poop a horse would be proud of in front of loads of other humans, would you recoil in horror or ignore everyone and pick up our poop as if you did not care who was watching then have to walk for the next 10 minutes with a steaming bag until you found a bin?
Most importantly unlike small humans who grow up and move out to start their own families, we will be with you every day until we cross the Rainbow Bridge, which could be up to 10 - 15 years or more.
Do you have the strength to walk into a scene where total destruction has taken place in the home while you were out and be able to greet us with love and clear up the destruction without fuss or anger or making us fear you?
Do you have space for a dog?
Are you very house proud where a single thing out of place will send you into meltdown?
Do you have expensive ornaments at nose ,paw or tail height that could get knocked or chewed?
Do you have expensive furniture that you do not want covered in our fur? Is your home big enough?
Is your garden big and safe enough?
Do you have neighbours that are okay with our occasional singing or shouting?
Do you have neighbours that have cats that may end up being the unexpected participant in a quick game of chase around the garden?
Are your fences tall enough to keep us in and intruders out?
For example we all know how small a Jack Russell is, but did you know it can jump over 5 feet from a standing position? So imagine what a larger dog can achieve.
Also while you are looking at the height of your fence, we are probably looking at the gaps and even under the fence.
Also we are not shy at using other objects to help us escape, like the garden bench or the small tool shed by the fence. Or even a bin pushed against the wall to stop the wind blowing it over.
So when looking at garden security don’t forget to look everywhere because I know we will be !
Are you proud of your lawn and plants which are perfectly placed until we decide your lawn needs to resemble a motocross race track, needs big holes randomly dug and your plants uprooted and strewn around like a tornado has just passed by?
The places where lawn has managed to survive will be multicoloured from constant peeing and pooping.
Being able to walk into your garden barefoot will become a distant memory, even wearing shoes any time you go into the garden will become a constant hazard for that one poop you missed of forgot to pick up.
Can you afford a dog?
We require food, treats, water, bedding, toys, treats, collars, leads, possibly clothing, treats, vet bills, insurance, blankets for your furniture, treats, poop bags and that is just the basics.
Vacuum cleaners seem to make strange noises and regularly break at the increased workload of sucking up so much fur and food/treat crumbs.
Your laundry workload is increased as you will no longer possess anything without dog fur or paw prints on. Not to mention your bedding will have very suspiciously paw looking marks appearing on them even if we are not allowed on your bed. Replacing torn, chewed, broken or items that have simply disappeared never to be seen again until months later they are unburied and carried back into the house covered in soil and barely resembling what they once were.
Replacing socks and other small items of clothing that either disappear or grow sudden dog shaped designer holes that were never there before.
Oh and possibly a few treats wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Other reasons you may not want to have a dog.
The possible alienation from your extended family that doesn’t have a dog and don’t understand your commitments to them.
Some sleepless nights when we first arrive or when we are ill.
Occasional clean ups when we eat something we shouldn’t have and the evidence is now all over the middle of the sitting room carpet.
Getting used to missing your favourite television program because we need to go for a walk or are trying to play?
Admitting defeat and realising you will never get dog hair off all of your clothing.
Going to work and pulling random treats and poop bags from your bag when looking for a pen.
Looking at your friends and start wondering what dog breed they will get if they were to get one.
You will lose your identity as you will no longer be address by your name but merely as your dog’s human.
You still want a dog?
Well done if you still want to get a dog after everything mentioned above.
Even when you have decided to get a dog make sure you take time to get to know them, visit them a few times and even do some overnight visits in your home first.
Remember: you may like and pick a certain dog but that dog may not want to pick you !