I didn’t wait, so I totally get it. You’ve found the one. You picture your life together – long walks, shared ice cream cones, Sunday nights cuddled on the couch watching Game of Thrones. And can we talk about how cute he/she is?! You can’t even stand it. It was love at first sight for both of you. I get it, but you should still wait. Think of the consequences! Are you prepared to have a child? To provide for another living thing? To feed, bathe, and care for a bundle of joy forever and ever?
I should start off by stating that I absolutely adore my Australian Shepherd/Lab mix, Lily. I love that people stop us on the street because they are in awe of how beautiful she is. I love that she’s a cuddle bug, and that she always wants to be around people. I love that she bows down to other dogs when meeting them for the first time. I love that she has her own unique personality. I love that she refuses to walk on street grates or get her feet wet. I love that she’s so ridiculously smart that she is brilliant at acting dumb. Lastly, I love that she carries this blanket/doggy bed around with her like she’s Linus from Charlie Brown. Having said all that, she is a huge responsibility and when I got her a few years ago I was in a completely different stage in my life.
Life was easier at the time. I was in a relationship and our dating activities included Lily whenever possible…even 15 hour roadtrips to visit his parents. My best friends all understood the life of a puppy parent because they had dogs as well. Now, my life has completely changed. I don’t have help from my family anymore. I have a three hour commute most days and work odd hours. I’m living in a new city, so I’m attempting to make friends and go on the occasional date once in a blue moon. Speaking of dating, introducing a new guy to Lily for the first time is about as nerve-racking as a single parent introducing a new boyfriend/girlfriend to the children. You know – except for the fact that single parents don’t have to worry about their children jumping or shedding too much on their new love interest for the most part…
|Photo from here.|
I always try to tell my friends who are interested in becoming puppy parents to wait until they are more settled down – like “married and the next step is children” settled down. If not, too many things will pull you away from your dog. If you really want to test the waters to see if you’re ready for a furbaby of your very own, I suggest dog-sitting a friend’s pet. (I’ll volunteer Lily for the weekend! #yourewelcome) Or, follow this great advice I learned from the E! True Hollywood Story of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Supposedly, in order to get a dog, Ben was required to walk a dog leash every morning and evening until his parent’s believed he was ready. As crazy as it sounds, set out the food bowls and walk that leash around the block twice a day! Then let me know if you still want a dog in six months.
Lily is wonderful (She’s cuddled up next to me while I blog as usual…). But, with all the fun adventures and cuddle sessions dogs come with, they also require that much responsibility. Maybe I’m playing devil’s advocate, I just ask that you keep this in mind before committing to a dog…and that you adopt, but that’s a whole other soap box rant for another day!
Stay fit and fabulous,