A User’s Guide to Raising Your New Puppy While Remaining Sort Of Sane
1. First of all, your puppy is an idiot.
2. Give the puppy a name that reminds it every day what an idiot it is. We recommend: Grandpa Pajamas, Mrs. Boob, Waffles.
3. Your puppy is a coldhearted idiot. You will know this to be true the next time it looks you straight in the eye and pees on your carpet.
4. Don’t get lured in by expensive puppy swag. Deodorizers and “Thundershirts” are bullshit. Wrap the puppy in sheets like a mummy if you need it swaddled and use white vinegar when it shits on the floor.
5. It will shit all over the floor.
6. It will cry a lot, too.
7. And howl like a wolf.
8. In order to entertain yourself and distract from sleep deprivation you should dress it as a tiger.
9. Say to it, “You have no idea how idiotic you look.” And then laugh maniacally because you are talking to yourself and the puppy is adorable.
10. Call in sick from work. Get very involved in a television show you have never seen before. Preferably one that has been on for multiple years and produces 22 episodes per season. Like Scandal!! Then you can feel like you’re accomplishing something when really you are sitting around all day making sure you new puppy doesn’t lick an electrical outlet and die.
11. Remember your puppy is very dumb.
12. Also if you don’t think watching 100 episodes of TV is accomplishing something then we don’t know how to help you.
13. Soon the puppy will start to teethe and will eat everything you love.
14. Weep while clutching chewed-up everything: expensive phone chargers, past due library books, and that once sexy bra, which now resembles a seaweed costume from Blue Lagoon.
15. Don’t pick now to invest in anything expensive that the puppy might destroy, such as a swim treadmill.
16. One cool thing about your puppy is it doesn’t care if you’re naked, so be naked.
17. Adios forever, pants.
18. Blast iTunes Radio “harp music”. The puppy will dig your chill vibes.
19. Being fully naked means it’ll be easier to clean yourself up when the puppy shits on you.
20. Look around at your new shit-covered life and say to the puppy, “This is why we can’t have nice things.” Realize that the puppy speaks no English. Take it outside to pee.
21. Yell with gleeful pride that it peed somewhere other than the carpet. Notice the neighbor man staring at you with disdain. Feel weird for a second about your own delight and the fact that you are naked.
22. Clean your puppy’s eye boogers. They are disgusting.
23. Whisper, “you disgust me” to your puppy and then scream with delight at how cute it is. Catch the neighbor man staring. Put on clothes. Make sure they are machine washable.
24. Your puppy will cry at night. That’s because it wants to sleep with you. Eventually you will break down and let it sleep with you just to shut it up. Know now that you have officially lost. Find new things to congratulate yourself about.
25. When people ask if you sleep with your dog, lie and say “No” so you sound like a strong confident woman.
26. Consider that you probably have to kill your neighbor because now he knows too much about you.
27. Find a dog sitter for while you are in prison.
28. Remind yourself that puppies are good for depression while feeling depressed about being in prison.
29. Post lots of pics to Instagram of your puppy sleeping, that way the world will think you have a good dog and maybe you will think you do too.
30. Prepare yourself for the fact that your puppy is gonna love your crotch etc. Do not let it near you while you are naked because it will go right for your anus and if you let it get a taste of your anus you’re setting a precedent for a totally unsustainable thing.
31. Watch more Scandal.
32. Or Gilmore Girls!
33. Bob’s Burgers.
Annamarie Tendler is a makeup artist and the author of The Daily Face. Find more of her on Twitter and Instagram: @amtendler
Kathleen Hale is the author of two novels. Her essays and reporting have appeared in The Guardian, among other places. Look at her dog on Twitter and Instagram: @halekathleen