Should I get a puppy? 7 Easy Ways to Replicate Puppy Parenthood Before Deciding
Dear Ms. Motherpuppin’,
I would love a puppy and can picture the large loving eyes gazing into mine, romping in the park and snuggling in the morning, however, at the same time I fear that happy hours will forever be cut short, mornings will arrive too early and slogging on walks in the dark, rain, sleet and snow will be my future.
Can the love of a puppy be a bed of roses and warm puppy kisses?
Is there room in my life for a puppy without giving up too much of the things I enjoy?
Adverse to responsibility
Dear adverse to responsibility,
First, of course not, any dog love is not simply warm puppy kisses. Dogs, pooh, need exercise and grow up — plain and simple. It sounds like you are definitely unsure whether or not you can stop only worrying about yourself and instead consider the needs of a small breakable, needy and lovable furry friend that will be completely dependent on you for love and support and its entire well being for the next decade or more (if you are lucky.)
Well, first off usually if you have doubts you should just heed to your instincts and stay under the covers and enjoy happy hours that go well past a happy hour but where would we all be if we did that?
Instead, just as you may have been directed to carry an egg around in high school to in fact realize the gargantuan responsibility sex comes with (what a joke!) try some of these easy ways to simulate puppy parenthood that rank higher on the realism scale than an egg and will allow you to experience the joys and pitfalls of puppy parenthood before actually going all in.
#1. Ignore all of your friends that do not have dogs and only hang with anyone that does
Your new puppy will be your world. You will cut happy hour short to get home to your little fur ball. You will leave social events earlier than ever to wake and get your canine companion out for a walk when most will be lying in and enjoying another cuppa in bed.
But soon, you will actually look forward to your walks and even more an actual hike with hills alongside very fit looking people with dogs and designer workout clothes.
You will want to tell all of your friends, relatives and maybe even co-workers about the latest cuteness of your adorable and your latest excursion. So . . . naturally you will want to surround yourself with those that give a care and understand this new behavior. Those that have similar stories to share about their furry pal and will be able to say awww on que. In effect, you will start to gravitate toward your own type of people.
By ignoring your pet-less friends now and hanging with those that also don’t mind dogs in the house and have adopted a dog park routine more reliable than any boyfriend you have ever had you’ll get to experience what it’s like to hang with the dog obsessed and what will be you in a couple of months.
Once you experience that you may not be pleased with what the future holds or you may be excited by the new you and take it on as vivaciously as the mid-40s lady down the block that just embraced the CrossFit world and now has biceps larger than any women you know.
#2. Argue with neighbors and the HOA about random items
Approximately 80% of neighborly disputes are related to pets and pet waste. HOA boards spend a majority of their time on homeowner disputes derived from pets.
As a pet owner You will inevitably mess up and be faced with angry neighbors, HOA board members that really have no authority, or other emotional people that have taken an opposite side on the argument as to whether dogs are the best mammal on earth.
To properly simulate this inevitability of disgruntled neighbors try stopping to chat and throwing out some offensive positions or hopping on your favorite neighbors app or local social media platforms to seek out your neighbors and the HOA and pick some fights, a great way to prepare for being a puppy parent.
No matter how logical your arguments are, how many times you say you do clean up after your dog and he does not bark all night since he is quietly snuggling by your side, you will be met with contrary circumstantial evidence.
Being on the other side of emphatic people that live in close proximity to you is an important part of being a pet parent, and there is nowhere better to prepare you than the internet or a stroll through your neighborhood.
#3 Remove All of Your Existing Follows and only follow Insta Famous Dogs
As a new puppy parent you will first decide on a social media handle for your puppy and then quickly start content creating. Content will come easy the first years as the dramatic growth of your account since no one is immune to your puppy’s adorableness.
As your account starts to gain followers you will naturally be engaging with other dog social media accounts, soon you will find that your dog’s account is growing at a 4x rate to your own and this may be a commercially viable substitute to a 9–5 job. Your Adorable, like @dougthepug, may also use his cuteness to meet the likes of the Hollywood set and support your lifestyle with his influencer revenue.
At the same time, your followers and those you follow will be fellow dog accounts and your feed will be crammed with dogs. You won’t see the latest zipline or natural wonder calling your name but you will see all the cutest dog poses. By starting the dog scroll now you will have a glimpse into your social media future post puppy parenthood.
#4 Put all of your shoes away and damage one pair that you will wear every day
I never recalled the major destruction of puppies as a child. Dogs seemed to come into our house as rescues of a more advanced age but later in life when I did desire a puppy all of my own I quickly discovered that those shark like teeth can wreak havoc on prized possessions in minutes.
To get used to this and understand what it is like to live without many of your prized possessions unexpectedly just put them away and practice depriving yourself upfront. Learn what it is like to have your favorite shoes out of commission and that the ones that are left may in fact not be complete. For the most authentic experience, I’d recommend destroying the one pair of shoes you have right at the heel area, (which seems to be a favorite puppy snack region) where it is sure to cause a large blister by day’s end and trod around in it all day.
#5 Spill juice on rugs, spread trash throughout your house and yard and put tiny holes in anything that is below eye level daily
Puppies are busy. They will find anything to chew, roll in and will never clean up. They also think it’s hilarious to spread wet, slimy trash (think used coffee grounds) from your trash cans all over your home and roll in or smudge it on furniture potentially after removing the inside of the furniture.
Even as grown dogs, anytime my dogs can get at stinky trash they spread it all over the house, yard or anywhere else they can.
If you’re going to be a pet parent, you have to be ready to get a little dirty and live amongst a bit of chaos. What better way than by cleaning up gross garbage every day?
#6 Wake up extra early get dressed and go outside no matter the weather and right before bed stand outside in the cold
Puppies need to pee a lot and they need to be taught to pee outside, which means you need to take them outside a lot in all types of weather. Anytime you feel cozy and really comfortable, force yourself to go outside and stand in the cold and wait. The waiting time will properly emulate what is to come as you beg your puppy to just do his business and any option of going back to sleep will be spoiled. For good measure you can close off the experience by grabbing something gross off of the lawn with a bag over your hand.
#7 Get used to talking to strangers and answering questions about random things
One thing adorable puppies do is draw a crowd, referred to in Motherpuppin Adorable: What to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s as the puppy effect. Strangers will stop you in the street (some are more welcome than others), children will throw themselves at their feet, traffic will stop.
Get used to the puppy effect by stopping random people you would have never otherwise spoken to and ask all sorts of personal questions about their lives. You may get some odd looks but chats with strangers about all sorts of things initiated first, by the commonality of devoting your life to a dog, will be a common scene that may be more difficult for the introverts among us so best to get used to it now.
If you make it through these 7 steps and are still even slightly considering getting a puppy, then you are officially pet parent material! You’ve experienced what puppy parenthood is like sans egg and are prepared for what’s ahead. Now, get to that shelter, call that breeder and leave that significant deposit. Get the process moving as you are ready to embark on a very fulfilling journey full of warm puppy breath and unconditional love.
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