Counting the costs will help alleviate the “puppy blues”
Before you discount me as a crazy cat lady, I’ll have you know that I have been a “dog pet parent” in the past.
As a child, we had a German Shepherd named Snoopy. I don’t remember him but I’m told that he wasn’t a very friendly dog. My parents sent him to live on a farm.
The next dog we had was a Keeshond named Hector. He, too, was too aggressive for a family with 4 young kids so off he went.
But then we got a puppy. He was a Keeshond that we named Kasey. As a puppy, he fit in the palm of my two little hands all curled up.
Kasey had a beautiful temperament and lived a long life. I was away at university when Kasey died.
As an adult, when I met my husband, he had a dog named Rosco. He was a Shepherd-Lab mix with a calm disposition. He never needed a leash as he was very obedient. He lived to be about 13 years old.
Then we had a King Shepherd named Jessie. She was beautiful and sweet but didn’t listen very well. As she aged, she lost her sight, her hearing, and the use of her back legs.
I do have experience with being a dog’s human. On top of that, my daughter worked as a dog-walker for many years and would often bring her work home with her.
My experiences with dogs over the years qualifies me to make the bold statement that I do not want a dog for a pet. These are my reasons:
I paid $100 for my King Shepherd 20 years ago. Now dogs are thousands of dollars! I totally understand that people love their pets and even refer to themselves as pet-parents, but the extravagant cost is something that I cannot afford. There are at least one thousand other things that I would rather spend my money on.
With any dog, comes the unlovely task of pooper-scooping. When walking a dog, it’s relatively easy to pick up their leftovers with a bag. But if you happen to let your dog out into the yard to do his thing — especially in the dark of night before bedtime — the yard is loaded with bombs that someone must pick up. Not the way I want to be spending my Saturday mornings.
3. Vet Bills
Besides the original outlay of money in the first place, there are bills every time you take Fido to the veterinarian. And they must go. They need shots for rabies, kennel cough, lyme disease, etc. They need wellness exams and have to visit the vet for any skin conditions, stomach issues, and ear infections. Got doggie insurance? That may help, but it still costs money every month.
4. Loud noises
Lightning and thunder, gunshots, and fireworks…all noises that send Rover running for cover. It’s hard to soothe a dog once they’ve been rattled. And if a storm lasts the night, you are in for a long evening of dealing with whining, whimpering, and maybe even wetting the floor.
Hardwood floors scratched. New shoes chewed. The carpet peed on. A once lovely home can take a beating from one dog. Max may like to shed on your favourite armchair or chew the legs under your kitchen table. Maybe even come in after a rain and shake muddy water across the living room walls. Need I say more?
Oh yeah, I am also allergic, we don’t have a fenced yard, and we both work full-time away from home.
I expect that many many people will disagree with me. They will argue that the unconditional love of a dog is worth it. They will contend that the companionship of a dog is worth it. They will declare that the adventures and fun with a dog are worth it.
And, to them, I say, good for you.
Because if you are considering adopting a dog as your forever friend, then you definitely need to consider the costs.
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