Last night, my dog Tika went on an inexplicable barfing jag. I took her outside, but after a bit of time out in the cold, I realized these things can take a while, so I put her downstairs to generate her hideous sounds and effluvia amidst the relatively easy to clean linoleum. Tika goes on these jags periodically because (to put it mildly) she’s not very discriminating about what she eats. If you spend enough time licking dog hair off the carpet, you’d probably have a bit of indigestion too.
While cleaning up the hallway, I thought about the fact that to own a dog, the two most important things you need to have are time and patience. You need time and patience for feeding your dog every day, housebreaking him, brushing him, cleaning up after him, walking him, taking him to the vet, playing with him, training him, and most importantly for loving him. All this has to happen whether you feel like it or not.
Not everyone is temperamentally suited to dog ownership. For example, my father the compulsive neat freak who works 12 hours a day should not own a dog. People relinquish their dogs to the animal shelter for a lot of different stated reasons, but generally it comes down to a person’s lack of time or patience to deal with the realities of dog ownership. So if you are considering getting a dog, first be honest with yourself. Many of us have complicated and busy lives; it’s not a sin to have little time and less patience. On top of everything else going on in your life, can you deal with a dog loudly throwing up in your hallway? If not, maybe you should look for a more low-maintenance type of pet like a goldfish.
Tika on a better day.