Selfie of Andy Mizrahi, (Me) with my dog

I’m an ambitious entrepreneur. I enjoy side ventures in addition to my main company so I figured I could take on one more.

A few years ago, I tried the hardest venture known to me, a dog, and failed wildly.

I wanted a dog since it was hammered into my head as a kid, that all perfect families have dogs. Or all happy people have dogs. Or something something something, dogs will make you happy.

I was a solopreneur for the first time. My partner sold his shares to me and I was on my own. And I was feeling so cocky, I had a company, I started a basketball league, had a girlfriend, and of all ambitious people, I could handle a dog. I could figure this out, no problem.

So, stupidly, I went online and saw the most beautiful dog I could find. Little did I know they made them this big.

I drove to Pennsylvania and picked him up. The largest dog in the animal kingdom.

We were preparing for this thing like we were preparing for a velociraptor.

We went to the pet store and everything was “Oh you’re going to need the biggest crate. Oh the biggest toys. Oh and the largest treats.” I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

The Bernese Mountain Dog is not only huge, but is known to be powerful beyond belief. Trained to be a worker that can carry loads of weight. Therefore I needed to train him ($$$) so he wouldn’t kick my ass.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Also, since he’s so huge, he needs a LOT of exercise to knock him out. Every morning, I needed to walk him for an hour until he got exhausted. And once he was exhausted, then I can leave him for the day.

However, it felt like I wasn’t tiring him out, I think I was just building his stamina. Each day, it was like I was training an Olympic Athlete who just kept getting stronger and stronger. I’m not Bill Bellicheck, I’m not devising schemes to make you better, I want to get to the damn office.

Don’t even get me started on the size of his fertilizer he left on the front lawn. Many dogs just leave pellets, or something the size of a pen. His dog poop was so large it filled TWO bags to the top. Not one, TWO.

And remember, he was just a PUPPY.

I can only imagine if I had been feeding him falafel.

I’ll be honest, I was staying at my parents house during the winter months, and they just renovated the house. Now I brought a dog home, not a lap dog, a dog the size of a living room table. Dogs, will naturally destroy things. They’ll scrape doors, they’ll chew parts of the wall, dig holes in your lawn. They’ll find things and break em. And my parents’ house was not the right house for a panda to test out his strength.

I was in the second year of my company, still in start up mode, and the costs just kept piling up for this guy. Shots, training, the vet was so incredibly expensive, and so randomly expensive.

He would eat a pinecone, get diarrhea, and now we call the vet. That’s $300.

Again, second year of a startup, I didn’t have the capital to just keep burning randomly onto this guy. He was like running another company altogether.

I had to make the difficult decision to part with my magnificent beast after 4 months. I didn’t have time, the money, the support, or the home to keep him comfortably. I gave him to a good home in Delaware, a family with children and they said he tasted delicious. I’M KIDDING. They took care of him like a regular family does.

Chewie, his name, is now in a galaxy far far away, but his lessons will stay with me forever.

  1. Don’t get a dog. Unless you have a caretaker for it 24–7. But most likely, don’t get a dog (if you’re Andy Mizrahi)
  2. Make sure your home is ready and can handle an ass kicking.
  3. Make sure you are the type who is home all the time and you live a predictable life. (I don’t.)
  4. Maybe adopt an older dog so you don’t have to pay for all of the shots and people can call you a hero.
  5. Don’t get the largest dog in the kingdom unless you can handle it and pick up his giant dung with a shovel.

Anyways, I learned my lesson from my business venture with a dog and will not be getting another any time soon. I hope my story will help you entrepreneurs out there make smarter decisions than I did.


Andy Mizrahi — Video Producer