Your home is nice, well furnished, full of food, clean, and happy. Unfortunately, it’s probably missing one thing: a dog. That’s probably also what your life is missing. Sit back for a second and ask yourself, legitimately question why you haven’t adopted a dog? With their big brown eyes, soft furry coats, and endlessly wagging tails, it seems difficult to understand why anybody wouldn’t.
Okay, I get it. They shed…basically forever. It doesn’t seem to end, even with copious amounts of brushing. They require a fair amount of food, bathing, and oral care to keep the bad breathe at bay. But there are endless pros to adopting a dog that I don’t think you’ve considered, and that I’m about to shove in your face.
1. A dog is a far cuter alarm clock.
Tired of waking up to the endless and annoying beeping of that insipid cell phone? Or maybe you still have an actual alarm clock, which still is just as annoying. Either way, greeting the morning with a harsh, “BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!” is never a fun way to start the day. I playful puppy, who probably needs to take a pee, is a much more fun, happier way to wake up in the morning. Take for example my dog, Spike. He’s got a bladder and a tummy I can set my watch to. 7am on the dot, I start faintly hearing his little paws scratching at the blankets. If I do not get up with that, he’ll roll around a bit and maybe snort his nose. Eventually he’ll get up and demand some attention in the adorable way only a dog could so that I am forced to get out of bed without an ounce of anger. Far better than an alarm clock.
2. Dogs will teach you how important money isn’t.
Personally, I’m cheap. I clip coupons, look for sales, and use shoes until there are almost holes in the soles. Why not? I’m not made of money and I don’t really make a lot. Furthermore, I am trying to save a little for a rainy day, even though I have realized lately I’m never sure when this alleged rainy day will come. So I hoard my cash, telling myself I’m being wise and thrifty with my finances. Then I got a dog, and suddenly an expensive, and I do mean expensive, bag of dog food didn’t seem like a big deal if it calmed his irritated tummy and skin. Toys? Let’s get four or five and watch him absolutely lose his mind when I open the bag because he knows he’s been brought something special. Treats, special oral sprays so he can still give me kisses without me passing out from his breath, a proper harness so I don’t choke him when he goes scent deaf on a walk, and the vet visits…oh the vet visits. Cash gone in the blink of an eye and while it caused slight discomfort when I glanced at my bank statement at the end of the month, all it took to soothe this feeling was seeing my healthy pup sitting on my bed waiting for cuddles.
3. A dog will teach you patience.
Lots of things can teach patience to a person, I understand that and have learned it firsthand. A frustrating job, a fussy roommate, dealing with a friend’s baby, fixing a leaky sink, and a multitude of other things have groomed me to be a relatively patient person. Handling faulty electronics has arguably been one of the most arduous tasks of my life; I have wanted to punch a hole through every computer screen I have encountered. I am simply not built for this age. A computer and a dog are fundamentally different though. When a dog, “malfunctions,” and pees on my carpet, while I may discipline them, they are far too doe-eyes and cute for it to go beyond, “Bad dog!” Even as I am scrubbing the smell of dog urine out of the carpet fibers, and even as they are lazily staring at me from the couch like the pampered brat they probably are, I am learning patience, and you will to. You’ll begin to understand the dog peed on the carpet primarily because you were gone all day and, well, they had to fucking pee. That’s what they do. Sure it made you mad. Who wouldn’t be mad to come home to that? But at the end of the day there is no better Sensei in patience than a little furball with a lot of love to give. Chewed shoes, stolen food, muddy floors, and so much more, it will be difficult not to develop a well of patience that will extend to all aspects of your life with a pup leaving paw prints up and down your heart.
4. Nobody is going to love you like a dog.
I’m sorry, nobody. Like, not even your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, parents, even your children. Nobody. One day you will come through the door and the humans in your home will not move a muscle. They may call to you, greet you and say hello. It will sound happy or nonchalant depending on the time of day or how long you have been gone. A dog though? Whether you have just taken out the trash or been gone for a week a dog will lose their fucking mind when you come in. I’m talking full body wiggling, whining, licking your face, paws all over you, yipping, barking, so happy to see you maybe they even pee. I also defy you to adopt a dog and see if it ever stays so mad at you it sleeps on the couch. Good news! As long as you’re not a dick and after any minor scolding give your pup a little cuddle all is immediately forgotten. Nobody is going to love you like your dog.
5. Everybody deserves a second chance.
Yes, even dogs. Some are abandoned, and others are forced into shelters due to unavoidable reasons. Regardless of how or why they ended up there, it isn’t like they woke up one day and decided, “Yes, I’d like to leave me family and live in the stark, ghostly, barren rooms that constitute an animal shelter. Please sign me up.” Many people get puppies, for example, and when they aren’t puppies anymore, they find the novelty wears off. They don’t understand what a profoundly loving and wonderful creature they have, who is only asking for cuddles and a bowl of food.
And so, these dogs are given up, left for dead, wandering the streets cold and alone. Not to sound like a Sarah McLaughlin commercial, but it’s the saddest shit you could conceive. And even after everything they go through they are ready to love again. If that isn’t the most inspirational thing in the world I don’t know what is. Some take more time than others. Your dog may need quiet, pets, cuddles, and reassurance to let them know you are not going to leave, you love them, and you want them around. But when they know the reward is a heart so full you don’t understand how it doesn’t explode from your chest in trails of confetti and stardust.