At 810, we are on the road a lot. But we love puppies, because we are humans. What to do?!
There you are – just minding your own little business when the kid that sat behind you in tenth grade English posts a Facebook photo of five baby Labs sitting in a tired laundry basket on his back porch. Or you stop for frozen yogurt and PetSmart tries to lure you into a decade of responsibility with those seemingly innocent signs that read, “Puppy Adoption Day!”
Or you are the victim on the other side of this scenario. You’re having a lovely (albeit boring) day at work when your roomie accosts your phone with an avalanche of reasons why she needs to pick up a puppy on the way home from work.
It’s free! You’ll never know it’s there! It will keep your other dog company! Who doesn’t love a puppy?
Saying “no” to a puppy is a hard task. It somehow makes even the nicest of people seem like heartless trolls who are perusing the Earth, looking for ways to ruin everyone’s happiness.
No matter what side of the equation you find yourself, read on to have some friendly reminders in your back pocket (either for you or your well-meaning roomie) for when you are faced with staring into the eyes of a furry, adorable, little puppy baby who just needs love.
Okay. We are stopping now.
1. You’re never home.
You are an amazing person. You have friends. A job. Possibly even a hobby. You might even be one of those rarest of adults who plays on some sort of athletic team. Good for you. We are all secretly impressed.
As you are going around, being awesome and basically killing it as a human, it means that the majority of your day is probably spent away from home.
Unless you are one of those mythical humans who somehow make enough money “freelancing” to stay at home all the time. If you are, get a puppy immediately. This article is not for you.
For the rest of us, being said amazing person is exhausting. And requires putting in a lot of “Away From Home” facetime.
It is not fair to get a puppy when you are only home to eat and sleep. Puppies are like practice babies – they don’t play with the amount of love they need. And while we all love visiting that friend with the puppy/baby and playing with the bundle of joy, let’s just all admit to ourselves that there is always a sigh of relief when we get to leave, go home, and eat mac and cheese in our beds while watching “Downton Abbey” in peace.
2. Last time we checked, the universe wasn’t writing you checks just for being you (although someone should, you amazing sunflower of a person).
Puppies are expensive! Even free puppies are expensive!
These sneaky friends of friends on Facebook post these inflammatory photos of “Free Puppies Who Need Free Home!!” and then just leave you to make this very important decision by yourself. And at first the double use of exclamation marks tricks you! It makes adopting a free puppy seem like a great (nay, wonderful) life decision.
As much as we hate to be the bringers of bad news, let us echo one of your father’s favorite phrases – “Nothing in life is free.”
Leashes (plural – because your puppy baby will eat through a few). Bowls. Boarding (because of the aforementioned never-being-home business). Crates. Toys. Food. Shots. Treats. Luxury pet subscription box.
All of these things are necessities and all of them cost human money that you have to spend. And I can guarantee that the same week you spend four hundred dollars on pet things, skydiving lessons will be on Groupon and you won’t be able to purchase this (even at a reduced price) because you have to sell your blood to buy little Tyrion heartworm medicine.
3. You are pretty committed to sleep.
There is nothing quite as fantastic as treating yourself to eight hours of glorious sleep. This is becoming increasingly impossible with the amount of Netflix original series being produced but you are doing what you can.
Enter puppy Calzona.
Kiss those few nights of quality sleep good-bye.
Puppies are like alarm clocks that forget when they need to go off. While a legit, grown-up dog can get into a sleeping schedule with you, a puppy is only concerned about itself. That’s right. That droopy eyed fluff ball of cuteness is only out for itself. Bastard.
It will sleep all the day long, waking up for short bursts to run around like a drunk toddler, before collapsing into a heap for a few hours. This pattern does not cease simply because the sun goes down.
You need sleep. More than you need a puppy right now. Get a puppy when you are retired and can sleep when the puppy does.
4. Your other animals/family members/roomies/friends will start referring to you as “the one who doesn’t have it together.”
Oh! We forgot to mention that you already have two mildly disobedient dogs. And when we say “mild,” we mean that you are the only one who can stand to be around them because they break everything and destroy people’s dreams as soon as they meet them.
And if you don’t have two dogs already, you probably have one. Or a kitten. Or a questionable boyfriend. Or you collect a lot of creepy dolls. Nonetheless, you already have a “thing” that people attribute to you. Whether that be your extensive “Full House” trivia knowledge or your ability to eat a quart of cookie dough in one sitting, you already have a thing.
You do not need to add “got a free puppy on a whim” to the list of things that people can attribute to you. You already have enough things.
5. Increasing your vacuuming schedule is out of the question.
“The bare minimum” is how kind strangers would refer to your cleaning style. You’re doing your best; we get it. There is zero judgment happening. This is a safe place.
New puppies do not only require an increase in your vacuuming schedule, but also your laundry (they WILL pee in inappropriate places) and your mopping (again with the peeing).
Extra cleaning is just not something that we want to add to your list of daily things to-do. It’s just not worth it, especially when we’ve already talked about how hard it is for you to be well-rested as it is.
6. Have you heard of a little thing called rabies?
Puppies are adorable, money-sucking, piggy-bank-draining vampires. Oh! You thought one day you would be able to travel overseas? Think again! Snuggly little Hagrid will suck all the money out of your account faster than you can put a filter on that Insta-worthy pic of him asleep on your teddy bear. What is one of the largest expenses as a dog owner? Rabies shots.
And if you are not concerned about rabies, right now, immediately, this second go listen to the episode of “This American Life” titled “And The Call Was Coming From the Basement.” It will make you reconsider ever leaving your house.
I’m serious. If you are dealing with a crazy girlfriend who keeps texting you photos of a puppy in need of a good home, kindly and gently send her to listen to this podcast. Just the first twenty minutes will do. It is madness. Actually – that is really the only thing you need to do to talk anyone out of ever wanting a dog. The rest of this list is superfluous.
7. You want that one-person-in-your-life-who-is-allergic to be able to visit your home.
We all have an aunt/dad/human that we wanna kiss on the lips/co-worker who is allergic to dogs. Don’t make it impossible for people you love to visit your home. Buy a fish. The benefits of a fish are incredible. They don’t shed. They can’t get rabies. They will never keep you up at night. You just won’t be able to eat sushi guiltlessly anymore, which is something with which we can live.
8. Let’s talk about the money thing one more time.
Yes. We know. This point has already been touched on. But let’s talk about it just one more time.
We know we don’t want little puppy baby to get rabies. Okay. Hundreds of dollars a year. But we can make our peace with that. We cannot risk that rabies madness. Actually, we shouldn’t get a dog at all just to avoid all possibilities of this rabies nonsense.
Okay. You learned about the rabies and you still want to move forward with this puppy business. You are a brave soul.
Let me paint you a little true and terrifying story. Pretend you are a nice person who adopted a dog. You took one into your home and gave it a warm place to sleep. This dog is in your home for three days. You’ve bought the crate. The food. The bowls. The toys. You are good to go. And then. The slinky minx of Satan pulls on the wrong cord and your 42 inch flat screen TV falls from its “safe” place in your living room and cracks open. I am just going to leave you with this disastrous mental image to digest.
Puppy isn’t looking so good now, it is?
9. You just bought a new rug. Or bedspread. Or pair of boots. Or underwear.
Recognize that anything new that you have excitedly brought into your home will soon be purposefully and totally destroyed by this puppy monster.
10. The last thing you want to do on a Tuesday night when you get home from work at 7 p.m. is walk a dog.
This may seem like an anti-climactic note on which to leave our argument but it is important to keep in mind.
There is no guilt trip quite like the one that a dog will give you once it learns the magical experience that a walk can be. It starts out all fun and games.
Look at you go! You love this walking-the-dog business. It gets you outside. You get to wave to the neighbors. The dog is happy! You are a life champion.
Cut to the day you come home from work, ill-rested (cause you have a puppy, friend), tired, disheartened. You are so excited to heat up the pasta in your fridge, put on sweats, and consume calories while watching hours of “Dance Moms.”
Nope. That damned dog demands a walk. This may seem like a simple fix. Walk the dog. But the thought of leashing, leaving the house, coming back – ugh. It can be too much some days. But the puppy won’t understand. No. You will still have to do it. Every day. Until your feet fall off.
But let’s all be really honest. Puppies are awesome.