I’ve often wondered why I never got a dog. Am I a puppy hater, I asked myself occasionally over the years. But no, I don't think I am, as I like dogs. I think I’m just a realist. And the reasons for me not getting a dog were solid. Recently, I've started to think, Was I wrong? Again, I don't think so, and not just because I'm never wrong lol. But I thought I'd put it to the test. What test, you ask. The one you're about to take that I just wrote. And, call me crazy, I think it might be a good one for all prospective dog owners to take before they make the decision. [caption id="attachment_13808" align="aligncenter" width="120"] Dogs are adorable – but they’re a lot of work. Are you ready to commit? (photo, Jen Smith)[/caption]
AM I READY FOR A DOG? THIS IS A TEST1. Are you ready to give up all the fun things you do at night? Like go out to dinner, take a yoga class after work, go to a movie, go shopping, a special event? And if you do get a dog, are you prepared to live with the guilt of leaving a dog home alone all day because you might work, then stay out even longer for fun? 2. Are you vigilant? Are you good at sticking to a schedule? If you’re crate training, can you stick to a set of rules, so the dog knows what to expect. If you let your dog out to pee every morning at 7 a.m., then do you realize you’ll have to do this on weekends, too? Are you good at enforcing rules? If your dog is not allowed in your bed, then that should be enforced all the time, not just when you feel like it. 3. Puppies are the cutest! Cupcakes are cute, babies are cute, too. But everybody grows up eventually. If you are getting a dog, make sure you get the deets on how big it will grow so you don't end up with any surprises. 4. Dogs cost money: A dog is a big investment. Think about this: food, vaccinations, vet bills, training, treats, grooming, dental care. And that is just maintenance. And for a dog who is sick and needs medical care, the bills can really add up. 5. Get ready to listen – because just like when you have a baby, everyone has an opinion about your dog and what it needs and how you should be treating and training it. 6. It's not as much exercise as you might think. Most dogs like to walk a bit, then stop a bit, sniff around, then repeat. It‘s not necessarily the 4K 60-minute daily power walk that you’re thinking. 7. Are you ok to pick up poo and worry if your dog has an unusual bowel movement? Actually, collecting poo is preferable to not. When your dog doesn't have a bowel movement, you will worry about it until he does. Again, think baby. 8. Are you prepared to relax your standards? Beware if you’re a clean freek. Your home may not be as immaculate as you like. Your dog will shed hair, trek in mud, perhaps claw at furniture or carpets or your floors, occasionally throw up or pee on a carpet, a given for a puppy. 9. Do you have the energy for a dog? Some days you go home exhausted. And you don't really feel like talking to anyone or taking care of anyone. But your dog will be happy to se you, and wants to play with you and go for a little walk, maybe. Are you prepared to make that commitment every day? 10. Are you looking for free daily entertainment and unconditional love? Then just say yes to a mutt! It's relaxing just sitting around watching your dog go about his/her daily business. And no one will greet you with the same kind of excitement every time you walk through the door than your dog – even when you're just returned from running a 20-minute errand. Suffice to say, I failed the test – but that’s ok. I know I like dogs but I would be a terrible owner. And that's a good thing to know. In the meantime, I console myself by watching doggie videos like this one. [HTML1] How about you? Do you have a dog? Are you thinking of getting one?