This is for everyone who is thinking about getting a puppy; you need to read this first!
Don’t get me wrong, I love Pepper, but getting a puppy is not that simple. You should first be aware of how your life is going to change when you get one, and understand that it’s not just the obvious things like going on holiday that will become harder.
Here is a list of things you can’t do when you have a puppy:
1. You can’t just book a holiday abroad
Kennels aren’t ideal, and pet-sitters are a whole extra expense to add to your holiday. Even if you can afford it; how long do you really feel comfortable leaving your new baby with someone else? Will they even be able to cope with the little whirlwind?
2. You can’t just go out in the evenings
If we need to go out without Pepper, we leave her to sleep in her crate. But if we want to go out in the evenings, we end up waking her up by coming in when we get home, and she probably won’t want to sleep for at least another hour after that. This requires some forethought.
3. You can’t have a perfect garden
Even if your puppy doesn’t dig up your lawn, or chew on the plants, their urine is acidic and can kill grass pretty quickly, leaving you with random muddy patches across the garden. Fake grass is expensive.
Also, if you’re planning to splash out on some nice decking or garden furniture, bear in mind that your puppy could take a fancy to chewing/scratching it up.
4. You can’t spend too much on a new sofa
I would sincerely advice against spending £2000 on a new cream sofa, when the chances are it will get chewed, scratched, or dotted with muddy paw prints. Yes, you can train your little darling not to go on the sofa, but where’s the fun in that?
5. You can’t lie in at the weekend
To her credit, Pepper is pretty good and will sleep til 9am before kicking up a fuss, but I have heard that this is rare. You could be looking at 7 or even 6am for your wake-up calls. No more midday lie-ins, ever.
6. You can’t just get house work, building work or decoration done
Oh you want to paint the living room? That’s great if your pup is happy being trapped in the kitchen while watching you decorate, but chances are she’ll cry about it. Depending on where your puppy usually sleeps and hangs out, you’re going to find it incredibly difficult to do any house work or upgrades in that area.
7. You can’t just host a dinner party
To prevent the howling that will come with putting your pup in another room while you eat, you could always let her roam around the kitchen/dining area instead. But good luck with training a 12 week old puppy not to jump up at peoples’ laps and beg for food. And forget about entertaining in the living room if your guests don’t like being clambered all over and smothered in slobbery dog kisses while trying to converse.
8. You can’t just have a picnic
That sounds like the perfect dog-friendly day out! Except that it will actually turn into a weird, messy wrestling match while the little furball attempts to steal every bite of food you put near your mouth. Apply this advice also to ‘indoor picnics’, or in fact any place you might want to eat that isn’t your kitchen table (yes, this includes the sofa while you’re trying to watch Hollyoaks).
9. You can’t be easily grossed out
Your puppy has a wealth of bodily functions for you to enjoy, including farting, burping, reverse sneezing (I swear to you, this is a thing), and yes, you may occasionally have to wipe their butt clean. As well as this, you can look forward to regularly inspecting their excretions for worms, blood or foreign objects, and randomly finding blood-covered teeth around the house when they start teething.
10. You can’t just sit and read a book
You’ve had a bad day and want to relax on the sofa with a good book or magazine? Good luck with that. If your furry little angel doesn’t chew/rip it to shreds while you try to prize said book from it’s jaws, she will certainly climb on top of you until you can no longer see the pages and are forced to give in with attention.
I sound bitter don’t I, but I’m just being a realist!
All that being said, there is obviously a positive side to getting a puppy too; otherwise why would so many people do it (other than naivety!). Here are the plus sides:
1. You will always have the best greeting ever when you come home
Literally every evening it’s like you’ve been gone for years. It’s a pretty decent ego-boost.
2. You will have endless fun playing stupid games that they love
Sometime’s I pause mid-game and wonder what the f**k someone would think if they’d just walked in! Rolling around on the floor making weird noises and trying to wind up an already wound-up puppy is actually hilarious though.
3. You will have a reason to get out of the house and explore places
You will feel some sort of responsibility to your puppy to change up the scenery as often as you can for fear of them getting board of the same old walk (even though they don’t really seem to, and it’s probably more for your own sanity than theirs).
4. You will have a great hot water bottle every evening
I used to get so cold in the evenings and would layer up with jumpers and blankets even in Summer. But I swear Pepper gives out so much heat, I just have her cuddle up on my lap and I’m done. You could probably save money on your heating bills by using your puppy as a heat source.
5. You will receive kisses and cuddles that are second-to-none
Non-dog owners never appreciate the love that comes with dog kisses. They are the absolute best! When Pepper broke her elbow, I found that her generosity with kisses was a great measure of how well she was feeling.
6. You will have a permanent source of entertainment
The things they get up to, and their facial expressions, will provide you with a constant course of laughter, and of course, something to watch when you’re bored.
7. You will have the perfect conversation starter
I have now been in 3 totally separate networking situations where conversations were about to break down, and things were about to get awkward, before someone mentioned their dog. Suddenly, phones are whipped out, photos are being ‘awww’ed at, and funny stories are being exchanged. = The Ultimate Ice-Breaker. (Sorry cat people).
8. You will have a good reason to get up in the mornings
Ever had those mornings where you just wonder what the point is? On a normal day, you would have called in sick, but you have a puppy now, whose slobbery affections are the best morning pick-me-up you could ever ask for. Seriously. Dogs can prevent depression.
9. You will have the perfect excuse
“Sorry; got to get home to the dog!” is the excuse to leave awkward/unwanted situations I have been waiting for my entire life. As an introvert, having a puppy provides me with an infinite number of get-out clauses for when I just can’t hack any more social interaction.
10. You will have the best friend you could ever have
You now have a creature that is hopelessly devoted to you in a way that you only wish you could fully reciprocate. Your puppy won’t ever judge you or hate you, and they will always depend upon you and strive to cheer you up when you’re down. It really is awesome.
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