Ruff Times Ahead?

16 Jun

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When we visited The BF’s cousins in New Jersey a few years ago, we also met their Shih Tzu. He was the cutest dog I’d ever encountered, with tons of energy and a huge, unconditional affection for his owners and he was just so eager to please everyone. Whenever anyone would enter the apartment, no matter who it was, he would immediately stop what he was doing and run exactly 2 laps around the perimeter of the living room. Every time. Once completed the laps, he would come to your feet and properly greet you by eagerly pawing at your legs. Who wouldn’t love to be greeted so enthusiastically every time you came home?

We’ve been toying with the idea of getting a dog of our own for a few years now. Even though we have our own house now, things have gotten a little bit harder. The BF no longer works from home, and we are both gone at work for extended hours 4 days a week. We know that it would be unfair to the puppy to leave him at home for that long. It goes without saying that a dog is a living being that depends wholly on his owner to feed him, clean him, provide the necessities to survive, as well as the attention and affection needed to keep him happy and comfortable and well taken care of.

I see it with one of my co-workers and how her life is affected by being a single mom to 2 puppies. She’s up at the crack of dawn every day no matter how she feels or how late she might’ve gone to bed the night before to take her dogs out. She spends hundreds of dollars each week on a dog walking service. Even if we are swamped, she has to drop what she is doing every day to leave no later than 5:30 so that she can dash home to let them out on those days that her dog walker hasn’t visited. Fortunately, when she is planning on going on vacation or even away for a weekend, she has a lot of support and options for the care of her puppies. The most unfortunate thing is that her older one has been suffering from a lot of health problems since he was a puppy. He was very ill for a few days with a virus last year, and after a number of tests, the doctors were unable to determine what was wrong with him and consequently, didn’t know how to make him better. He eventually got better on his own at home, and has been quite healthy since. He’s also had 2 surgeries on his hind knees. He’s just a couple of years old, and she has already spent tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills for him. Luckily, she had the foresight to purchase pet insurance, which has covered the majority of these bills. I see how hard it is on her, being by herself and with 2 puppies, and she says it all the time. However, no matter how tough she says it is when it gets really trying, more often than not she talks about how awesome they each are and how she wouldn’t give them up for anything.

When you choose to become a dog owner you introduce a different set of priorities into your life and they become your most important ones. Spontaneity becomes a thing of the past. Your expenses increase. Your time can’t be considered your own. Many things to consider before we really get serious about dog ownership. It’s an enormous responsibility and a forever commitment. We’ve had lots of talks about what it would be like to have a puppy in our life and what support we could draw on to make sure the puppy is properly taken care of. Without question, our life would change drastically, though despite the adjustments we’d have to make, it would be really fun to have a dog in our life. We would have the privilege of its loyal companionship and seeing its happy face greeting us every time we walk through the door. Camping and our other outdoor activities will have an extra layer of enjoyment with a dog accompanying us. And, we’ll have a good reason to finally get out and explore our neighborhood and the nearby parks with our new friend.

I think that we will be starting to visit breeders next month and taking more steps towards the big plunge!


One Response to “Ruff Times Ahead?”

  1. Steph S C-O June 16, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    for real?!?!?! WOW — that would be so awesome!!!! 🙂

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