I’m a major dog lover, so you should understand that I think you should get a dog!
But, as a dog owner, I understand there are two important dynamics of dog ownership which many people do not imagine before getting one. They are not problems, but rather just things to prepare for so that you can enjoy having your new furry friend even more!
You’ve had a tiring day. There is a game on you’re itching to watch. Your good pal calls and says she and all your other buddies were somehow able to land a table at the busiest sports bar in the city—and it’s just up the street from your office! How perfect! ThisThe day couldn’t have ended any better! Just zip on over there and…oh wait! You have a dog who who’s been stuck at home alone for 6 hours. He can’t be left alone any longer. He might have an accident in the house if not painfully hold it in even longer because he is so well behaved! Not to mention, he needs dinner!
This scenario is all too common. You’ll have to cut activities short or stop the day at awkward times to feed your dog. Establish a friendship with a neighbor—they may even be a teenage kid—who is generally home and can take care of the dog for you. Offer them a little fee. Perhaps just $15 every time you call them up at the last second to feed the dog and take him around the block. Make them a spare key.
My buddy, a singing instructor in Los Angeles, owned a dog who would happily sit beneath the piano as her owner taught youngsters how to sing better. She would get regular strolls in between singing lessons. But one day, my buddy got asked to begin giving music lectures at the neighborhood community college twice a week. She was so honored! But—uh oh. She hadn’t grasped how fortunate she’d been to set her own schedule and work from her house before. She almost couldn’t take the teaching gig but thankfully she arranged to have a neighborhood kid take care of her pup throughout the day.
A tiny accident can cost a lot
I once forgot to shut a cupboard all the way that had my dogs liver flavored (and scented) painkillers in them. And he ate the entire bottle. He had to be rushed to the vet. Forget the near panic attack I had at the thought of losing my sweet pet, that all culminated in a $600 bill to get his tummy pumped and get him all kinds of recovery meds.
You have to develop sharp doggy-safety radar. You need to make sure every single cabinet and door is shut tight. You need to make sure all chairs are pushed in at tables so the dog doesn’t climb onto them. Make sure you don’t have any snacks left over in handbags you leave lying around. It may seem like a pain, but it’s really just an additional five or ten minutes prior to leaving the house, versus an hour or three at the pet hospital and hundreds of dollars out of your pocket because you overlooked something.