I know this doesn’t apply to everyone, not everyone is a student and not everyone wants a dog, but for both that fit this category I give you my reasons why. So you want a dog, for one reason or another. You can’t find a girlfriend or boyfriend so a dog is the next best option, you’re bored and you need some excitement so how about a dog, there are many reasons. Just hold back until you read this, it might change your feelings. This is from personal experience, bear in mind I live in a house with three other guys, and we all wanted the dog……at first.
- The novelty wears off. Congratulations, you have a dog, it’s cute, it’s awesome and it likes to play. You Instagram, Facebook and Tweet the hell out of the little rascal, you take every ‘cute’ picture imaginable and put it out there ‘on the line’. “Look how cute she looks sleeping” or “oh my god her ears are sticking up, just look at it” and many other candid photographs are published. You do them all, one because you want the attention, and two because you want the whole world to know you have a dog, you are responsible enough to have a dog, and you rock. This novelty wears off though, hundreds of pictures later and you realise the dog is just a dog, everyone is bored of it now, and you can’t find another unique picture, you even put a hat on its head, no one cares. Now you have a dog, and no one left to amaze that you, yes you, have a dog.
- You start playing nose goes, and the loser has to take the dog out. The first couple of weeks everyone wants to take the dog out, you even volunteer to walk it. You have enthusiasm for walking that you never had before, you see tennis balls as an infinite amount of fun, and you grab the lead before the dog even sits at the door. Again this doesn’t last long, before you know it, you realise that you hate walking, its cold outside, your legs hurt and all you want to do is sit inside and watch the living dead. This is when ‘nose goes’ begins, you all realise as a group that you have the same ‘can’t be arsed walking the dog’ attitude, the dog sits at the door waiting to go out and one of you, quick wittedly shouts “nose goes”, a panic occurs as the rest of you rush to touch your nose begins. Some of you who have bigger noses than others have an advantage in this game, I am sure of it, but indeed the loser has to take the dog, disappointed in your reactions your stumble off to get the lead, and it begins.
- You realise you have to pick up poo. You never thought about this part of owning a dog, it completely skipped your thought process. “Shit”, yes my friend, shit indeed, it becomes the most horrific of tasks, you’re the one who has to walk her, and you see her squat, “please god let this be a wee”. No, it is not, it’s the biggest poo you have ever seen, “what the hell did you eat last night? A horse?” and you know that you have to dispose of this warm, smelly poo, so you grab a bag and with your nose in your jumper and the most grotesque of faces you pick it up and run like the wind to the dumpster. This task becomes a lottery, will she or won’t she when I have to walk her, you almost certainly know she will if you are the first one up and you have to let her out, you brace yourself, you know the inevitable is coming, you’re the poo guy.
- You start pretending you are asleep so you aren’t the first one up. You know that if you are the first one up you have to let the dog out, that’s just the way it is, so you begin playing a game, a viscous but excellently planned game. You wake up, but you realise no one else is awake, so you wait, you don’t leave your room because you know one of your roommates HAS to get up soon. You do the most tedious of tasks, like cleaning, or god forbid you do homework, yes you heard me, homework. A little tingle of joy rushes through you when you hear a sound in another bedroom, yes, here we go, the unsuspecting victim has awoken, and you hear him make his way down the stairs to the dragon’s lair. You hear that metal ting that you know full well is the cage being opened, yes, you are not first, round one to Nick.
- The dog eats way more than you anticipated. You all assume that because the dog is so small compared to you that it doesn’t eat a lot, you buy the biggest bag you can at the grocery store, this will last a few months. FALSE, it lasts around two weeks, this dog eats like there is no tomorrow, no wonder its excreting what can only be described as wood fire logs. So you have underestimated food costs, and it eats into your own food budget, its ok though, there’s always ramen (for you, not the dog, silly).
- You have no valuable items left. The previous owner, or online research tells you that the dog needs lots of attention or to be “worn out” otherwise it will chew everything you own. You don’t believe it for a second, that’s just a myth, she won’t chew anything if we get her some toys. WRONG again buddy, wrong again, the toys you buy last about as long as that frozen yogurt you’re ‘saving’. You buy an ‘indestructible ball’, there’s no way she’s breaking this, it’s indestructible, you leave her with and come back. What the, pieces of the ball lie everywhere, and your living room floor resembles what you imagine war between the despicable me minions would be like. “What are your teeth made of? Diamonds?” toys are not the only victims, anything you leave in biting distance is susceptible to the onslaught of chewing and destruction. Ipod cables, sweaters, gloves, soccer balls, you name it, pieces of it lies on the living room floor, not even super glue can save them. You cry inside, and you shout at her, she doesn’t care, she’s winning, and you my friend are paying the price of leaving items in the wake of the beast. Now your diet will definitely be Ramen, as you try to replace the items lost to the hound of Baskerville.
- You are constantly nervous when the dog is not in your view. When babysitting children, it is said that as-long as you can hear some noise you know that nothing bad is happening, with a dog, noise or no noise is terrifying. You can’t leave the dog alone for more than five minutes without having an anxiety attack, and you have to go and check to see if any items have been devoured. So you go and sit near the dog, but she wants to play, she’s hyper, all you want to do is watch TV, she doesn’t allow this, not for one moment is there peace. You think about putting her in the cage, but that’s not fair, so you deal with it. You go to your room, she follows, she moves every pillow off your bed, if you have left paper on the floor you now have shredded paper, it’s not just the living room floor that looks like a warzone.
- You never know what the dog is thinking. You run down the stairs to get a drink, and there she is, the dog, you both lock eyes and it becomes a classic face off. You have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen next or what she is thinking. This could go one of two ways, there could be playful biting involved or there could be playful biting involved. You attempt the ‘walk past’, you get to about a couple of feet away and its game time, she hurtles toward you and the playful biting begins, you can either give in and play or dodge like an NFL running back, but let’s face it, you don’t have those moves, and you are stuck, stuck in the game of ‘let’s play with nick until I’m tired’ and you have to play. This becomes a daily struggle, until one day, you become a ninja, you step quietly down the stairs, you wait until someone else has been drawn into the game, or you dehydrate and never get a drink again, usually the latter.
Don’t get me wrong though, it was not all bad owning a dog, she was a lot of fun, and I do genuinely love dogs, but when you don’t have time and the energy to look after a dog, please don’t do it. Bailey (our dog) is now with a family who already have two big dogs, they wanted her and she now has all the time to run around and have fun, so she’s in a better home suited for her. We looked after her properly but we just didn’t have the time, and I wanted to pass on this experience to you all. Dogs are a lot of work, and devotion, so be prepared, my advice is to figure out what you really want, and what you really want is a Playstation, or Fish, chicks dig fish right?