I love dogs. I really wanted my own dog.
When I was young (< 5 years old) we had two German Shepard mixes. One was white and one was tan. I think they barked a lot but I don’t remember much else.
The dog that I truly remember is this black and brown mutt. He was on the smallish side, probably around 30 pounds. I love that dog. Sometimes, I would sit for hours with him, not saying anything, just sharing his company. He was afraid of fireworks so on New Year’s eve, I would sit with him the whole night.
I was pretty lonely then, and that dog was my very best friend.
But I did not treat him very well.
He was an outside dog. Family rules. When he was young and tried to follow people into the house, he got hit on the butt with a rolled-up newspaper.
Nobody walked him. I was too young to be out and about, and everybody else was too busy to walk him. None of the neighbors walked their dogs either – it was simply not something that people did.
After some years, puppy grew up, I got busy, and nobody spent time with him. He dug under the fences and escaped. Mom tried to block all of his escape routes, but he always managed to find a new way out. He was a very clever dog, with a lot of time on his hands.
So every day, he escaped, went gallivanting with his neighborhood dog buddies and came home in the evening for dinner and sleep.
One day, he did not come home.
After a few years, my dad brought home a litter of puppies and asked if I wanted to keep one.
I said no.
I still love dogs. I still really want a dog. But I was a kid, and could not treat a dog the way he should be treated. So I said no.
Now, I share my life with three dogs – Shiba Inu Sephy, Siberian Husky Shania and puppy Lara. They are my best buddies. I make sure they have long daily walks, lots of play time, and there is no hitting, slapping, poking, or pain based dog training.
Am I Ready to Get a Dog?
Consider carefully before getting a dog. It can be awesome to share our life with a dog but timing is extremely important. Dogs are a big responsibility, and they require a lot of care, training, and supplies. This translates into a whole lot of time, energy, physical activity, patience, and money.
Love alone is not enough.
Dogs need a lot of exercise or they will become hyper and destructive at home. Make sure we are fit and energetic enough to give our dog walks, play-time, and obedience training sessions every day.
Am I ready to get a dog?
- Can I take him on walks every day for at least 1 hour?
- Do I have the energy to play with him when I get home from a tiring day at work?
- Do I have the patience to train him, teach him, and not give up on him even when he chews up my $500 shoes, poops on my designer couch, and bites me?
- Can I promise to stay with him for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do we part?
Dogs are a big financial expense. Grain-free good quality kibble, yearly vet check-ups, bully sticks, dog toys, training costs, and everything else adds up to a whole lot of money.
But they are more than worth it because they bring a happiness and peace that is priceless.
I am glad that now, I have the ability to not just buy a dog, but also take care of him properly. I am glad I have the time to walk, play, groom, teach, learn, listen, and just sit with him.
I love dogs. I still remember my friend, the black and brown mutt.
I will never again get a dog just to serve my own needs and ignore all of his needs.
I want a dog, but I will say no until I have the money, time, and patience to properly care for him.
Where to Get a Dog?
If you love dogs and are looking to get a dog, do not get one from a pet store or online store. Pet store and online store puppies come from puppy mills who are only interested in making money and subject their dogs to cruel living and breeding conditions. One thing that all dog professionals and dog lovers can agree on is that puppy mills are bad, bad, bad.
Here is what the humane society says about puppy mills.
The best place to get a puppy is to adopt one from a shelter or rescue, or to get one from an accredited AKC breeder.