I suppose one of the things everyone in the world has dreamed of was having a dog. That is, unless you’re allergic, you hate dogs (what kind of person are you?!), or well, it’s against your religion.
But all things considered, I haven’t met anyone who hates dogs (or those who have watched a dog die in the movies and not instantly hate the movie), and I hope it remains that way because being a dog owner now, I get super possessive and obsessive about my dog, and that’s one of the things we’re going to discuss later.
Aaaaaaanyway, going back to the crux of the story. I’ve discovered and rediscovered parts of myself that I had thought had long gone, or did not exist before I took over taking care of the 5-year-old German Shepherd who barks noisily at 4-5am, which really annoys my housemate, and who is absolutely smitten with his neon green ball. While getting to know his own idiosyncrasies and personality, I’ve learned a couple of things about myself, too, which I think would apply to other independent dog owners there, because you’ll find that …
1. You will never be prepared enough. Ever.
There is just always one thing that’s missing. You have the dog, and you have the food and water. All good, yeah? No. There’s the harness, the shampoo, the leash, the collar, the deodoriser, the vaccinations, the dog treats, the wet food, the plastic bags for the poo… The everything!
The list seems to go on and on and on, and you will never ever feel like you’re prepared enough to take care of this other sentient being, but alas, you have to wing it. Well, not wing it entirely. You’ll take good care of the dog, as best as you can within your means, but it’s worth knowing that you’re doing the best you can to ensure your dog is comfortable and happy. I know what you’re thinking: it would be better if you had that one other thing? Yeah, don’t sweat it. Take it easy.
2. You worry all the damned time.
One thing that comes hand in hand with owning a pet is the ability to worry about anything and everything under the sun when it comes to your dog. Heck, you’ll even start to find things to get worried about, even if your pooch is fine and dandy and falling asleep. I find myself getting up from my seat just to check whether he’s still breathing. Or, I’ll get worried if he doesn’t bark early in the morning – is he alive? And oh, he hasn’t pooped the whole day, is he alright? Maybe he’s getting used to this new food flavour, or his stomach is upset? Maybe he’s *voice goes on and on, reducing in volume as it continues*
Please don’t be dead, don’t be dead…
3. You save more money for the dog more than yourself.
Having a pet is very much like having a kid. Except they cry less and don’t need breast milk. But you find yourself saving what cash you used to spend buying unnecessary things for your pet, for emergencies, for that checkup you’re planning on going to, or for other things that may or may not arise. You just never know, but at least you’re prepared.
I look like hell, but at least my dog looks hella fine.
4. Sometimes your reason for going to the mall is to just stop by the pet store.
I would definitely, definitely make it a point to stop by the pet store each time I am in the mall, or when I’m close to one. I don’t even have anything pressing to buy. Doggie isn’t in dire need of anything. But somehow I’ll just end up going there, looking around and buying something silly and unnecessary.
Yes, uh, my pet needs this…
5. Following that, it may or may not kill your other plans of socialising with other human beings.
For sole owners, you may find yourself thinking about your dog every now and then, especially if your beloved companion is at home while you’re at work. You just can’t wait to get home and see your pet, who has undoubtedly waited the whole day for you to come back. Even that thought makes you want to go back already. My plans sometimes revolve around my dog, for example, it has to be in the evenings – after a walk, or a bit later on after work because I need to make sure he’s fed and done his necessary stuff before I continue with my own endeavours.
6.You don’t talk about anything else except for your dog, and once you start you cannot stop.
Sometimes you think you’re turning into a crazy dog lady, triggered so easily. A question such as “How’s your dog?”, which can be answered with a simple “He’s well, thanks!” ends up turning into a “He’s great, and you know what he did yesterday so and so and so, bla bla bla -” 16 hours later and you’re still not done.
Your friend, bored to death.
7. You get emotional for no reason.
Maybe it’s a girl thing but sometimes, looking at your dog makes you feel all kinds of things that awaken that sappy part of you. You could be looking at him napping and you’d want to cry. Wow, unstable much.
8. But, you feel happy knowing someone is waiting for you.
This one is true. Again, the same thing happens with regards to emotional responses. Anxiety, stress, and all other dilapidating emotions will soon be forgotten once you’re reunited with your pooch, and I think that’s amazing.
9. You don’t feel lonely anymore.
Granted, dogs cannot speak but their mere presence is enough to make you feel like you’re alright because someone is there with you, especially during those nights you stay up thinking about where your life is going (c’mon, we all know this happens). That’s alright, your dog will come and sit next to you and all is well.
Yeah, and you have someone you can teach to beat you at your own game. Loser.
10. The house is suddenly a home.
Cliche, but a house isn’t truly a home unless a dog is in it. Home is furry, has paws, pants too much, and drools a lot but it’s okay. It’s sweet all the same.
As in, the dog is sweet. Not his drool.